As you might have heard, this past Monday the Arizona State Board of Education decided not to change the existing sex education rules for public schools.

After getting an earful from over sixty concerned parents and grandparents, the Board decided not to move forward on recommendations that would have opened the door for extreme sex education curricula. In essence, some of the Board members concluded that they should leave sex education policy to the state legislature.

However, did you know that the sex ed curriculum used in schools is actually selected by the local school board?

In a recent email, our friend Paul Parisi with 4Tucson laid out a series of helpful questions for parents to consider.

  • Does your school district teach a sex education curriculum that respects your family’s values or undermines them?
  • Does your school district’s sex education curriculum only give mention to abstinence, while encouraging sexual explorations and experimentation?
  • Does your school district personally notify you when they are considering new or updated sex education curriculum as required by AZ Code R7-2-303(1)(b)(iii)?
  • Has your district informed you of your parental rights in regards to sex education curriculum and instruction?
  • Have you been given ample time to access and review the sex education curriculum before it is approved by the school board in accordance with AZ Code R7-2-303(1)(b)(iii-iv)?

I would encourage you to find out if your school teaches sex education, and if so, what curriculum it uses. Under Arizona law,

  • Children may not attend a sex ed class unless a parent has granted written permission (ARS 15-102(A)(4); AZ Code R7-2-303(1)(a)(i))
  • Schools should have procedures in place “by which parents may learn about the course of study for their children and review learning materials, including the source of any supplemental educational materials” (ARS 15-102(A)(2)).
  • Parents have the right to access instructional materials (ARS 15-102(A)(7)(j)) and to review courses of study and textbooks (ARS 15-102(A)(7)(m)).

In addition, schools should have procedures in place . . .

  • “[B]y which parents will be notified in advance of and given the opportunity to withdraw their children from any instruction or presentations regarding sexuality in courses other than formal sex education curricula.” (ARS 15-102(A)(5))
  • “[B]y which parents who object to any learning material or activity on the basis that it is harmful may withdraw their children from the activity or from the class or program in which the material is used. Objection to a learning material or activity on the basis that it is harmful includes objection to a material or activity because it questions beliefs or practices in sex, morality or religion.” (ARS 15-102(A)(3))

At Center for Arizona Policy we support the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children, which necessarily includes the foundational concepts of human sexuality and gender.

Sign up here to stay informed on CAP’s efforts to protect children in Arizona from extreme sex education curricula.

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