By DAVID BOYLE
The Alaska Legislature in 2016 passed House Bill 156, legislation empowering parents to direct the education of their children. Former Rep. Wes Keller sponsored the bill, which was carried by Sen. Mike Dunleavy in the Senate.
The bill required schools to notify parents not less than two weeks before involving children in any activity, class, or program that includes content pertaining to human reproduction or sexual matters.
As the woke culture has begun to infiltrate education, there are more subjects that parents have a right to be informed of based on this bill.
Not only are you to be notified two weeks before your child participates in a sex education class, but this law would also apply to any discussions in the classroom concerning gender identity, sexual orientation, or different pronouns being used to describe each other.
School boards also must allow parents the opportunity to review the content of an activity, class, performance standard, or program and be given the opportunity to opt their child out of the course should they so choose to do so.
Schools must provide curricula for parental review. This is to better inform you as to what is being taught to your child.
Additionally, parents can withdraw their child from any activity, class, or program. For example, if a parent objects to their child being indoctrinated from a socialist point of view in a social studies class, they can opt their student out of that part of the class.
There is one limitation: Parents must object each time the parent wants to keep their child from an activity, class, program, or standards-based assessment/test required by the State.
School boards are directed to implement these policies in their districts. Parents may wish to question their school boards to determine if these policies have been put in place. If so, have these policies been communicated to all parents? Do these policies cover all the newest issues being discussed that involve sexual activity?
Many times, bureaucracies will fulfill the letter of the law but not the spirit of the law. In this case, school districts may implement policies to follow the law yet keep their real curricula hidden from the public.
The intent of this law is to help parents get engaged in their child’s education and require the schools to inform parents of their rights to participate in their child’s education.
As time has passed, many parents and schools themselves have forgotten about parental rights in education. Now you know how you can exercise your parental rights and responsibilities for your child’s development and education.
David Boye is former executive director of Alaska Policy Forum and is Must Read Alaska’s education writer.