Roy teacher suspended over dating survey returns to classroom

Caitlin Burchill, Deseret News

Students carrying signs of support for Roy High School teacher Candace Thurgood stood in the rain outside the school Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Thurgood had been placed on administrative leave after handing students a questionnaire about sexual activities and delinquent behavior. She was reinstated Friday.

ROY — A Roy High School teacher who was suspended after distributing a survey in class on risky dating behaviors returned to the classroom Friday.

Candace Thurgood had come under scrutiny after the school received complaints about a survey distributed during a lesson in a college-credit class called Adult Roles. The course also includes financial literacy.

The 30-question survey titled “Know Thyself,” which originated in a 1980s Dear Abby column, asked whether students have had abortions, been kissed while lying down, or if they had tried alcohol, pot or ecstasy.

Officials from the Weber School District on Friday said there appears to have been no ill intent behind the survey, which will not be used again in the class.

Meanwhile, a handful of former students who were supportive of Thurgood gathered at the school Friday morning for a rally. They said they were delighted about the news.

Kelby Nielsen, who graduated from Roy High more than 10 years ago, said Thursday night that he was organizing the rally to return the support Thurgood had given him as a student.

“She takes that time with each student, no matter what,” Nielsen said. “She creates relationships that are unbreakable.”

According to her faculty bio on the school’s website, Thurgood has been teaching at the school for 24 years. During that time she served as the adviser for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organization, was an adviser for student government and worked in the school’s Royal Tots Preschool.

Nielsen said he was surprised to learn earlier this week that Thurgood was at the center of an investigation over the survey. He remembers taking a similar survey when he was a junior years ago.

“It was kind of a platform,” Nielsen said. “It was a way for her to know what really needed to be focused on and how far her students…

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