Image Credit: Public Domain
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
State Representative Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport-District 2) is sponsoring a new bill that would require schools to obtain parental consent before students are allowed to participate in sex education classes or receive coordinated school health services.
House Bill 0727 (HB0727) alleges that parents are not being given adequate information about school programs and activities prior to their children’s inclusion in those programs. It also states that schools do not inform parents about everything that takes place onsite involving their children.
The bill’s summary states – As introduced, requires a student’s parent or legal guardian, or the student if the student has reached the age of majority, to provide a written, informed, and voluntarily signed consent to the student’s LEA before the student may receive instruction through the LEA’s family life curriculum, participate in a survey, analysis, or evaluation, or receive health services provided through a coordinated school health program. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 1; Title 49, Chapter 2; Title 49, Chapter 6 and Title 68.
If passed, the new law would allow parents to look at any surveys or evaluations that are going to be administered to their child and would force schools to get the written consent of parents before their children participate in anything. Students over the age of 18 would be allowed to sign consent for themselves.
The same would apply to participation in any “family life curriculum” or coordinated school health program. The law would also stipulate that any student who was excused from that curriculum by their parents could not be penalized in their grades, provided the student completes an “alternate health lesson.”
This means parents would be allowed to opt-in to such programs and not be forced to opt-out. When parents are only allowed to “opt-out,” or provide written notification that their child is NOT allowed to participate, there is a greater chance that schools will fail to send home the necessary information giving parents that choice.
If passed, the new law would go into effect with the upcoming school year.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com