A bill ensuring a parent’s rights to direct the education of their child in regards to any instruction relating to “human reproduction, health, or sex education,” is scheduled for a public hearing in the Alaska Legislature on April 9 at 9 a.m.
Introduced by Sen. Mike Dunleavy, Senate Bill 89 requires local school boards to adopt policies that “promote the involvement of parents in the school district’s education program.”
According to the bill, the policies must include procedures allowing parents to object to and withdraw children from an activity, class, performance standard, test or program the parent believes is “harmful to the child.”
Accordingly, parents would be able to review the content of objectionable instruction or tests and to withdraw their child.
Schools would need to notify parents of any instruction or activities pertaining to sex education at least two weeks before the instruction is scheduled to begin. In order for the student to participate they would need written permission from the child’s parent. The bill would also ensure that when a child is absent from an objectionable activity or class they would not be penalized.
Additionally, the bill prohibits schools from administering questionnaires or surveys that inquire into “personal or private family affairs of the student” when such information is not a matter of public record unless there is written permission from the parent.
In administering any questionnaires, schools would first need to give parents an opportunity to review the questionnaire and provide them with a written notice regarding how the questionnaire will be administered and used, as well as who will have access to the results.