Our Mission
Protect and Advocate for Parents' Rights to Guide the Education of Their Children.

Fall Newsletter, 2016

Another School Year Begins

The lazy days of our warm and wonderful summer are over and our children have headed back to school.  We want our children to have a safe and successful learning experience this school year.  

As you start the school year remember, our children do not belong to the government.  The constitution protects us as we protect our children.  In many public schools there are shocking sex education programs, curricula, medical services, surveys and off-campus resources which can come between child and parent despite, federal, state laws and local district policies that specifically support your parental rights.

As a parent or guardian, we have the right to guide our children's education and health care and be the final authority in deciding what is best for our child.  We also have the right to expect full disclosure of any and all services, content and materials disseminated to our child while at school.

Below are some recommendations we encourage you to consider.  Taking action is not a sign of disrespect or lack of appreciation for the hard work that many of our child's teachers, counselors and administration do throughout the school year - rather, it is acknowledging and upholding our rights as a parent to guide, direct and safeguard the treasured bonds between parent and child. 

Back to School Basics

In today's educational world, as parents we need to be vigilant. You are your child's greatest advocate and protector from government intrusion into issues and subjects, many of which were historically not the purview of public education.    Stay alert, learn what to watch for and ask questions. What may sound harmless and innocent may not be the case.  

As you probably are aware, government has inserted itself into many aspects of our private family lives and in the health care and education of our children. Below are some items we recommend keeping on your radar throughout the year.

School Forms -  Don't sign anything until you fully understand the implications on your child's education, health, safety, privacy and your rights as parents.  Always keep a copy of what you sign.  Put all questions to the school in writing, request a written response, and save all of your correspondence.

Bodily Privacy for All Students 

This is really good news for the rights of all students and their families across the country!

On August 3, 2016, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-3 to put a stay (emergency relief pending a decision on the merits of the case) regarding a June 23, 2016 Fourth Circuit Court ruling which stated that a Gloucester County School Board could not bar transgender students from using bathrooms  opposite their biological sex.

Opting Out Now!
There is a national movement afoot.  Parents and guardians are exercising their right to decide whether they want their children exposed to certain sexuality education content, participate in school surveys or statewide testing, receive physical/mental health assessments without parental consent, etc.
Safeguard your child by writing your own or modifying an existing opt-out letter.  Do this each year - preferably at the beginning of the year, but any time is ok.  An opt-out letter specifies what you, the parent/legal guardian, will allow and/or not allow your child to be taught or exposed to while on school property or at a school-sponsored event.

School Choice in Oregon

Are you concerned about your child's education in a one size fits all environment?  Do you find some of curriculum objectionable and the content that is  being taught to your child to be contradictory to your values?  Do you believe our public schools are meddling in areas that were historically defined as family issues?  Are you troubled by the sexually explicit content of K-12 sexuality education material that is being taught to your child?  Are you bothered by the government dispensing health care to your child while at school without you knowledge or consent?

If these questions represent concerns for you, take heart, there are organizations and individuals who are fighting for school choice, not only in Oregon, but across the nation.  More than half the states offer educational choice, sadly, Oregon is not one of them.  School choice as defined by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is:  "School choice allows public education funds to follow students to the schools or services that best fit their needs - whether that's to a public school, private school, charter school, home school, or any other learning environment parents choose for their kids."

Terminology Today  

Below are some words and terminology you will want to familiarize yourself with in the coming school year.

Some of the names below represent clubs in the public schools, others are non-profit organizations that have been given access to students in public school.  Still others are new words in the "educational lexicon". When you encounter these terms while at school, ask the school to define them for you.

Youth  Advisory Council
Wellness Survey
Healthy Teen Survey
Eliminating Barriers
GLSEN - Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Peer Educators (Teen Counsel)
Teen Sex Specialist
Gender Neutral Bathroom
In Loco Parentis
Planned Parenthood
Basic Rights Oregon
Wellness Check
Health Fair
Teen Outreach Program (TOP)
Safe Spaces

Quick Hits - What's Happening Around the Country

Did You Know

The Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) held their semi annual conference in Bend on July 16th - 17th.   Newly elected school board members had their eyes opened at the July 15th pre-conference presentation by the OSBA.  At this pre-conference, the OSBA provided a Glossary of Common Terms in Equity Work.  Such as:

Race:   A powerful social idea that gives people different access to opportunities and resources. Race is not biological, but effects everyone - whether we are aware of it or not.

Microaggressions:   The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environment slights, snubs or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile derogatory or negative messages to a target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

White Fragility:  A state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.  These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the situation.  These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial  equilibrium.  Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar.

Call to Action

1.  Call your school and ask about their policy on student bodily privacy.

2.  Opt-out and encourage your friends to do the same.

3.  Find out how K-12 human sexuality education will be presented at your child's school.

"[O]ur constitution long ago rejected any notion that a child is a mere creature of the State and, on the contrary, asserted that parents have the right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare [their children] for additional obligations."
    Troxel v. Granville (2000)
Need Support? 

Parents' Rights in Education has been receiving a growing number of requests from communities around the state to speak and provide information and insights into how to best protect their parental rights and the rights of their children.


Please feel free to contact us, we are here to help you!