Youth Risk and Behavior Survey
By Liv M
The biennial Youth Risk and Behavior Survey was administered to students in their English class on Wednesday, May 1. The purpose of this survey is to provide information to the Center for Disease Control about common behavior for high school students. Students have recently expressed concerns about the accuracy of the survey because they may feel that it isn’t completely anonymous.
The Center for Disease Control is the national public health institute in the United States. Their goal is to protect public safety by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.
Students are asked by administration to answer truthfully on the survey, as it contributes to the overall statistics about the risks of adolescents in the country. However, a few have admitted to being a little less than truthful. One student, who will remain anonymous, said, “I did answer a few questions untruthfully, but I don’t think that it makes a big deal. I’m only one person, you know.”
Another student, who will also remain anonymous, said “I didn’t lie on the survey, but I know a lot of kids did. I don’t really understand why, because they wouldn’t take time out of their day just to see what one student said.”
Evan C., a senior, said, “I think that [the survey] is a good tool for getting data on high schoolers. It should be useful in the long run, and I didn’t really feel uncomfortable completing it or anything.”
Mr. Donovan commented on the survey as well. He said, “I think the majority of students do answer truthfully, of course with a margin of error. Over time, our data has been fairly consistent with the national trends as well.”
A big concern from many students, and the reason why there has been so much controversy, is whether school officials are able to trace the answers back to a specific student’s computer. The answer is no. Mr. Donovan said, “We wouldn’t be able to track a student’s laptop based on the answer he provided for us. The most we could do is narrow it down to a room.”
Overall, this tool will be used for the student body’s benefit rather than to punish them. The next time students will have to complete this survey is in 2021.