The Republican National Committee unanimously approved a resolution to repeal obscenity exemptions and protect public school children by requiring parental notification and approval for all human sexuality instruction to be only “opt in” instead of the meaningless “opt out” that has been used.
Drafted by Cynthia Dunbar, Republican National Committee member for Virginia, the resolution protects students from potentially unsuitable content by supporting a parent’s right to grant prior consent for sex education. Many state laws and local school policies usually require that schools notify parents that their children will be taught human sexuality and provide access to review the materials. Then parents have the opportunity to notify the school that their child is to be exempt from the instruction and needs to be given an alternative.
However, these policies have been manipulated in many cases as districts do not always provide a complete description of the materials, make access difficult, and include the “opt out” forms with the flood of other permission slips and forms that parents have to fill out at the beginning of the school year. As a result, parents do not have effective notice of what their children will be exposed to or chance to opt them out. The “opt out” laws are also usually limited to “human sexuality instruction” or “sex ed” and do not cover other subjects in which the materials would be offered.
Liberty Counsel is the only nationwide pro-family organization that has been researching and working strategically on this issue in recent years and is preparing to begin work this fall on getting legislation introduced in as many states as possible. Liberty Counsel is working to repeal the educational “obscenity exemptions” that permit harmful and illegal materials to be presented at schools and libraries under the guise of educational and/or scientific materials. The exemptions have been used by Planned Parenthood and SIECUS, and their many subsidiaries, to develop some of the explicit human sexuality materials, such as the “3Rs” curriculum. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” etc., and provide them to school districts not only as “sex education” but anti-bullying, STDs/AIDs prevention, health education, family life education, etc., incorporated in subjects such as English, science, social science.
“This resolution approved by the Republican National Committee protects children from harmful and often illegal human sexuality content in the public schools,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Parents deserve the right to know what their children are being taught and an opportunity to consent to it. The fact that the Republican Party has formally supported an ‘opt-in’ process over a flawed and meaningless ‘opt-out’ system should be applauded,” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.