April 7 hearing for bill to protect Alaskan’s parental rights in education

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Alaskans are invited to publicly testify April 7 on a bill aimed at aimed at giving Alaskan parents greater freedom in directing the education of their children, including the right to opt out of standardized tests and controversial sex instruction classes also prohibits Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform abortions from teaching in public schools.

The bill requires local school boards to adopt policies that “promote the involvement of parents in the school district’s education program.” These 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.

Senate Bill 89 has already passed the full Senate. It is now in the House Health & Social Services Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Paul Seton.

The bill is scheduled for public testimony on April 7 at 3 p.m.

If the measure passes, 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.

An amendment to the bill prohibits a school district from contracting with an “abortion services provider” and prohibit schools from allowing an abortion services provider to teach sex education.

SB 89 is now in the House Health & Social Services Committee. Click here for the contact information of committee members. To participate in or follow the public hearing, dial (844) 586-9085, or go to a nearby Legislative Information Office during the hearing. The hearing may also be viewed live online at http://w3.akleg.gov/index.php#tab5.


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