This bill would update the current Parental Notification Law (Ch 71, Sec. 32A) which we wrote and lobbied back in 1994. This new bill was crafted to specifically address the range of outrageous abuses against schoolchildren and their parents in the public schools by the powerful homosexual and sex-ed movement. If passed, it would likely be a model for legislation across the country. With over two dozen original co-sponsors (and many others who have pledged support) it's a clear result of the outrage across the state.
AN ACT REGARDING PARENTAL NOTIFICATION AND CONSENT
(Link on State House website.)
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Chapter 71, Section 32A of the General Laws is hereby amended, and Section 32B added, to be the following:
Section 32A. Parental Notification and Consent.
A. Definitions. As used in this section -
1. The term "alternative sexual behavior" means homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbianism, transsexuality, transgenderism, cross-dressing, pansexuality, promiscuity, sodomy, pederasty, prostitution, oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, polygamy, polyandry, sex re-assignment treatments, "bondage and discipline", sado-masochism, bestiality, and similar behaviors. It also includes issues and relationships deriving from those behaviors, including but not limited to "sexual orientation", and alternative family, parenting, and marriage constructs.
2. The term "school program" means any school sanctioned activity, or portion thereof, whether on or off campus, whether during or outside school hours, whether organized, presented or directed by school employees, agents of the school, students, volunteers, or others. This shall include, but not be limited to classes, curriculum, assemblies, outside speakers, workshops, clubs, exhibits, private or non-private counseling sessions, 'teachable moments', reading assignments, videos, posters, displays, and handouts. It shall not include spontaneous student-initiated conversations among themselves.
B. Requirements for parental notification and consent.
Every city, town, regional school district or vocational school district presenting, implementing, or maintaining a school program which involves human sexual education, human sexuality issues or alternative sexual behavior shall adopt and implement a written policy ensuring parental/guardian notification of such school programs and a description of their content.
All such school programs shall be offered only in clearly identified non-mandatory elective courses or activities in which parents or guardians may choose to enroll their children through written notification to the school, in a manner reasonably similar to other elective courses or activities offered by the school district.
To the extent practicable, instruction materials and related items for said school programs, including access to related extra-curricular events, shall be made reasonably available to parents, guardians, educators, school administrators, and others for inspection and review.
No public school teacher or administrator shall be required to participate in any such school programs that violate his religious beliefs.
Section 32B. Surveys regarding personal or private issues.
No student in any public elementary or secondary school shall be requested or required to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning: (1) political affiliations; (2) mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or his family; (3) sexual behavior and attitudes; (4) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior; (5) feelings of victimization; (6) suicide or self-abuse; (7) birth control or abortion; (8) critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships; (9) legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers; or (10) income without the prior written consent of the parent or guardian.
All such surveys, analyses, and evaluations shall be made reasonably accessible to parents, guardians, educators, school administrators, and others for inspection and review.
2. Why the new bill is needed
The new Parents Rights Bill (Docket S321 - see text above) is a much needed update to the current law, Ch. 71 Sec. 32A. This new bill was written by the same people who wrote and lobbied for the current law back in 1994.
In recent years there has been an enormous increase in aggressive and often quite graphic sexual and homosexual-related programs, literature, etc., brought into the public schools. These have have slipped in through real (or perceived) loopholes in the current law, and are being presented to children in public schools as early as Kindergarten, without parents' knowledge or consent.
In one incident, Lexington Parent David Parker was arrested and taken to jail over the school officials' continued refusal to notify him when presenting homosexuality or transgenderism to his 6-year old son in Kindergarten. This made national news, and there is now a federal civil rights lawsuit over the incident against the school officials. And this is just one of many, many incidents across the state. In February, 2007, Federal Court Judge Mark Wolf issued a ruling indicating that virtually all of homosexual programs in the public schools are out of reach of the current law!
Parents are extremely distraught. There are major problems in the current law (text below):
(1) It's too narrow in scope. It applies to "curriculum which primarily involves human sexual education and human sexuality issues." Schools routinely claim that (a) homosexuality and related behaviors are not "human sexuality issues" and (b) that assemblies and other programs do not constitute "curriculum".
(2) It forces parents to "opt out" their children. (a) This is often cumbersome and bureaucratic for the parents, and they are often not notified properly or in a timely manner. (b) It becomes embarrassing and often humiliating for kids to be removed from a class and put in another place temporarily. (c) Schools often just ignore the notification requirement.
(3) No other activity in schools involves "opt-out". Every other class or activity is "opt-in".
(4) It does not apply to invasive surveys given to kids in the schools, and it does not allow a "conscience clause" for teachers. Surveys in particular, many quite unscientific, have become a vehicle for presenting inappropriate and even destructive concepts to children.
The new bill was carefully written to reflect the needs of parents and children in this current environment. It does the following.
(1) It makes these programs and activities "opt-in" like everything else in the schools.
(2) It lists the behaviors and activities covered so there will be no confusion (as there is now). NOTE: Shocking as it sounds, ALL of the behaviors listed have been presented to children through Massachusetts public schools.
(3) It offers a "conscience clause" for teachers. Many teachers are extremely uncomfortable being forced to present these topics to children.
(4) It covers invasive surveys by giving the parents control over what kinds of sensitive questions are asked of their children.
This bill is not a "nice to have" -- it is a "NEED to have" for parents and children across Massachusetts!
The current Parental Notification Law (which would be replaced):
CHAPTER 71. PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Chapter 71: Section 32A. Sex education; policy regarding notice to parents, exemption.
Section 32A. Every city, town, regional school district or vocational school district implementing or maintaining curriculum which primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues shall adopt a policy ensuring parental/guardian notification. Such policy shall afford parents or guardians the flexibility to exempt their children from any portion of said curriculum through written notification to the school principal. No child so exempted shall be penalized by reason of such exemption.
Said policy shall be in writing, formally adopted by the school committee as a school district policy and distributed by September first, nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and each year thereafter to each principal in the district. A copy of each school district's policy must be sent to the department of education after adoption.
To the extent practicable, program instruction materials for said curricula shall be made reasonably accessible to parents, guardians, educators, school administrators, and others for inspection and review.
The department of education shall promulgate regulations for adjudicatory proceedings to resolve any and all disputes arising under this section.