In this post, we share important clarification about the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. YRBS administration is taking place between September and December 2021 in schools across the state. Survey findings are expected to inform policy and program decisions.
Schools: YRBS participation is voluntary
Schools should know, however, that YRBS participation is voluntary, not mandatory. Such autonomy was clarified in a September 24 statement about the YRBS from the Department of Public Instruction. In addition, the statement encouraged schools to provide parents with timely notification so they could decide whether or not to opt their children out of the survey.
Karen Fairley, Executive Director of the Center for Safer Schools at DPI, wrote:
“Although schools are randomly selected with consideration that, collectively, reflect the demographics of the state, schools have the choice to not participate in the survey.“We appreciate that some of the questions in the survey may be considered sensitive, overly probing, or not in alignment with everyone’s values, perspectives, or beliefs … [It] is important that schools notify parents in a timely manner, allowing parents the ability to determine if they want their children to opt-out of participating in the survey.”