|Back to March Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 182||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||MARCH 2001|
|High School Accepts Opt-Out Form|
SACRAMENTO, CA - The parent of a high school student in the Elk Grove Unified School District has successfully opted her son out of a class promoting the gay lifestyle by submitting a Student Exemption Form. The form was designed in January by the California Student Exemption Project, a coalition of five pro-family organizations including the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the Campaign for California Families, Life Legal Defense Foundation, the Pro-Family Law Center, and the U.S. Justice Foundation (a private group).
The form was created specifically to enable parents to withdraw their children from "diversity" teaching mandated in California for all grades by new state laws effective Jan. 1st. (See Education Reporter, Feb. 2001.) Although the Elk Grove principal initially resisted the parent's request, the student was eventually placed in an alternative class.
"The issue wasn't the teacher's sexual orientation but what he was teaching his students in the classroom," explains Pacific Justice Foundation (PJI) Director Brad Dacus. "The administration may have realized that the school district might not prevail in the event of litigation."
Last month, PJI unveiled a more generic exemption form which can be used by parents in all 50 states for a variety of issues. "This form is much broader," Dacus describes. "In addition to sexuality instruction, it includes witchcraft, R- and NC-17 rated films, guided imagery, meditation, and other activities parents find objectionable. We can even customize it to accommodate individual situations, because, unfortunately, we can't predict potentially harmful courses or activities that may be in the pipeline."