- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

An Illinois high school teacher was docked a day’s pay and issued a formal reprimand after he warned students about their Fifth Amendment rights before answering a school-mandated survey about at-risk behavior, Fox News reports.

“I advised my students that they had a Fifth Amendment right not incriminate themselves,” John Dryden, a social studies teacher at Batavia High School, told The Kane County Chronicle on Tuesday. “It was not my intention for them not to take the survey.”

Several questions on the 34-page survey included deeply personal questions about past drug, tobacco and alcohol usage.

But the school’s superintendent, Jack Barshinger, said the teacher broke the rules.

“The issue before the board was whether one employee had the right to mischaracterize the efforts of teachers, counselors, social workers and others and tell students in effect that the adults are not here to help but they are trying to get you to incriminate yourself,” he said in a statement after a closed session.

Nearly 100 students, parents and teachers turned out at the meeting to rally behind Mr. Dryden. A Facebook petition generated nearly 6,000 signatures, Fox News reports.

“These kids need to know that the U.S. Constitution is there for them,” Batavia 2nd Ward Alderman Alan Wolff told school board members, The Chronicle reports.