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Calvin Freiburger

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New law empowers parents to veto inappropriate sex ed

Calvin Freiburger

INDIANA, July 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- A new law means that parents in Indiana no longer have to accept whatever agenda-driven sex education lessons their public schools decide on, and the pro-family Liberty Counsel is taking steps to ensure school districts know it.

Senate Enrolled Act 65 was passed earlier this year and requires schools to attempt to obtain written consent from a parent or guardian before teaching a child about various topics pertaining to sexuality.

“We have teachers who are going beyond the standards and are getting into what I call more sensual, more nitty-gritty stuff, almost to the area of pornography,” said State Sen. Dennis Kruse, the bill’s Republican author. “We thought ‘wow this is creeping in now’ so we better do something so that it doesn’t take over the curriculum.”

The legislation, now known as Public Law 154, took effect starting in July. Liberty Counsel announced last week that it has sent letters to every school district in the state notifying them about the law in preparation for the fall school year.

“Under Public Law 154, the First Notice must (A) ‘contain an accurate summary of the contents and nature of the instruction on human sexuality’ that the District intends to provide to children; (B) inform parents of their right to ‘review and inspect all materials related to that instruction;’ (C) inform parents that their child is entitled to ‘alternative academic instruction’ during the same time frame that the instruction on human sexuality is provided; and (D) request from the parent 1) Consent to the instruction; or 2) NonConsent to the instruction,” the letter explains.  

Teachers may only proceed with the lessons if parents or guardians either agree, or fail to respond to two separate written attempts to contact them. Even then, parents and guardians retain the right to opt their children out of said lessons going forward.

Districts are further required to make summaries of “each and every piece of human sexuality instruction material” available online for parents to review before deciding to consent. The summaries must specifically note any reference to abortion, abstinence, birth control, sexual activity, sexual orientation, gender identity, referrals to specific counselors, medical professionals, or social workers; various organizations and initiatives (National Sexuality Education Standards, Future of Sex Education Initiative, Sex, Etc., Advocates for Youth, Answer, SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, the Kinsey Institute, Indiana Youth Group, GLSEN, or the Gay-Straight Alliance); and any effort to reveal or alter a child’s views or behavior pertaining to religion, politics, sexuality, mental/psychological conditions, or gender identity.

Liberty Counsel has also produced a sample non-consent form to help parents express their opposition to problematic materials and request alternative instruction, and warns that schools who ignore parents’ expressed disapproval “risk liability for parental rights violations.”

The letter also recalls examples of incidents necessitating such measures, such as a Virginia district that exposed 14-year-old girls to videos of graphically-described sex tips, and an Arizona district that used materials from a Planned Parenthood affiliate that, among other offenses, repeatedly promotes the abortion giant and suggests that “abstinence” can include sex acts that stop short of intercourse.

“The Indiana law is clear that parents, not agents of the state like teachers or outside radical groups, have the right to direct the upbringing and associations of their own children,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said. “Parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience and capacity for judgment, not school employees or activist individuals or organizations. We encourage other states to follow suit with similar legislation that protects parental rights.”

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