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Parental Involvement:

Opt-Out Form to Avoid Bad Sex-Ed


Q. We have gradually told our daughter about sex. She's now 11, and does know the facts of life. We've discussed how great it would be for her to stay a virgin until she's married. We want her to be up to speed on all health issues, including sex, but we don't want her to get into the R-rated stuff or anything that's too coarse or graphic or off the mainstream. It sounds like school sex ed class gets in to that stuff a lot. So what the heck should we do?


Welcome to the wacky world of values clarification, situational ethics, moral relativism and propaganda. Isn't it crazy that people with views like yours are the ones being painted as the weirdos and troublemakers? But of course, your view is the "right" view, from the point of view of freedom of speech, teenage health, and plain, old-fashioned courtesy and common sense.


The best thing you can do is to let it be known in your school and your district that you prefer "abstinence-based" sex education, not "comprehensive," which covers a wide range of controversial and often offensive topics going 'way beyond the health education required by most state statutes.


Beware of photos of sex organs with sexually-transmitted disease, or AIDS or HIV "prevention" discussions or classes, in which the WAY that many people contract that sexually-transmitted disease is discussed. If you don't want your child to see pictures of sex organs or know about anal sex, oral sex, and so forth, you need to be pro-active with your school and opt your child out of that whole mess.


Be sure to download the opt-out form, below, sign it, and give it to your child's school principal. If your child's school or any teacher breaches the conditions set out in the letter, you can sue them. Hopefully, just having the letter on file will go a long way toward preventing any kind of ugliness like that.


You also should share the letter with other parents to offer them the same opportunity, and send copies to your elected school-board members.


If you get a hold of some raunchy sex ed curriculum - often, the worst stuff is in the teacher's manual and supplemental materials - and if you're bold, then go to the school board meeting and have a school board member read the raunchy material aloud. That should get these adults to realize the impact of this material, provided at taxpayer expense, into the minds and hearts of children and youth.


Another good idea is to ask your school board to reconfigure sex ed in your district so that parents can opt their children IN to the classes that cover anything that goes beyond the bare-bones "birds and bees," including condoms, STDs, homosexuality and so forth. If they don't opt their child in to that sex ed class, then the child will automatically be enrolled in the "basics" class, which can be abstinence-based under most state laws. This opt-in format would stop forcing parents like you to have to opt their child OUT of the class to avoid that kind of teaching.


It's a good idea to check your state statutes on health education to see what schools are REQUIRED to teach children. Most of what is so objectionable in sex ed curricula these days goes 'way beyond the basics that schools are required by law to teach, so there's room for hope that they can cut out the bad stuff.


Last, if you're really diligent, you could go to the school and ask to see the sex ed curriculum for the rest of your child's school career, even years in advance, including the teacher's manual and any supplemental materials.


Quote verbatim any objectionable passages and use them in your school board appearance, a letter to other parents, or even an op-ed to the local newspaper with the link, below, and your thoughts on sex ed.


Homework: Here is an opt out form you can use from the Pacific Justice Institute. Please go to their website and search for Student Exemption Resources, fill out a brief form, and obtain more help in this important arena:


Having this form on file will also help protect your child from nasty, invasive and often disturbing surveys that schools often give students without expressed parental permission.


Here's another good form to have on file:


By Susan Darst Williams Parental Involvement 2012



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