Cara Paiuk, a Connecticut mother was outraged when she came across a question on her son’s Kindergarten application. The forms, which were being filled out by her husband, asked if she had given birth vaginally or through a cesarean.
Paiuk told Yahoo Parenting, that she ripped the form out of her husband’s hands when she saw the question, “This is kindergarten, and they want to know about my vagina! I don’t understand — there’s no correlation between the two for me.”
Curious as to why the application would ask about her son’s birthing method, Paiuk called the school and was able to meet with the school’s head nurse and talk to the district’s outside medical advisor. According to Paiuk’s essay in The New York Times, A Kindergarten Form Asks: Vaginal Birth, or C-section. Why?, the head nurse told her the reason for the question was so that a teacher or school administrator could look at the student’s medical history if they believe there is a problem. The nurse specifically noted that an umbilical cord wrapped around the neck and depriving a child of oxygen could lead to developmental problems.
Paiuk was not satisfied with this answer, in her essay she writes, “If adverse birth events are the underlying concern, why not ask about them? Birth trauma can occur regardless of delivery type. And why not ask about other possible medical explanations for kindergarten challenges? ‘Shouldn’t they,’ I asked, ‘include the question about whether a child is vegan so a teacher can look for vitamin deficiencies?’
The nurse responded, “We don’t like to ask questions about food. Parents are very sensitive to that.”
Paiuk told The Huffington Post, “To me, it’s akin to asking, ‘Did you breastfeed?’ That’s information a doctor might require. But school administrators?” She continued on to say, “My assumption is that they’re trying to gather information about whether there was birth trauma, which, by the way, can happen any way you deliver your child. So at the very least, they should reword the question to say, ‘Is there any birth trauma we should be aware of?'”
Since the invasive question has been brought to his attention, the superintendent of West Hartford Schools has said that he will be reevaluating all school forms for future students and parents.