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Know Your Rights

Protect Your Kids

Sex Education and Your
Rights as Parents

The human family constitutes a community of love and solidarity, which is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural, ethical, social, spiritual and religious values, essential for the development and well-being of its own members and of society.  The parents’ love, placing itself at the service of children to draw forth from them (“e-ducere”) the best that is in them, finds its fullest expression precisely in the task of educating.  Parents have the duty and right to impact a religious education and moral formation to their children, a right the state cannot annul but which it must respect and promote.  (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 238,239)

Parents Are The First Teachers

The Home Is The First School of Christian Life

What You Need To Know:

California Healthy Youth Act

On January 1, 2016, the California Healthy Youth Act (“HYA”) went into effect requiring California public school districts to provide students in grades seven through twelve with comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention information, including gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. There is ambiguity regarding the opt-out provisions in the instruction of involving discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation.  Parents have the right to excuse their children from some or all instruction discussing human reproductive organs. Under the law, school districts may also offer “age-appropriate” instruction earlier than grade 7, and many do.  Each school district can determine its own curriculum. Schools are required to inform parents and guardians a minimum of 14 days in advance and parents and guardians have a right to review all materials. Parents also have the right to excuse their children from tests, questionnaires and surveys relating to sex. To excuse a child, a parent must state his or her request in writing to the school district. 

For more information about the law and in which area a parent or guardian can opt-out, please read the California Catholic Conference Analysis

Parents Are Encouraged To:

Contact your schools and school districts to request clarification and to advocate 

for parental rights to be protected to the fullest extent

Know Your Options

Check if the school district has a form letter to use. If not, below are some sample letters for parents to send to schools to review material, or to opt their child out of all or part of the instruction:

Talk to your children

Parents are the primary educators and as part of their vocation have the responsibility to teach Human Sexuality with love and in a dignified way consistent with the teachings of the Church. 

Understand California Law

Confusion Continues to Reign Regarding California’s “Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act” (FAIR ACT)

California Healthy Youth Act (HYA):     What you need to know

Resources:

Prayer to Begin School Year

California Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Find Your Local California School Contact Information

Educational Resources

Purely You

Focuses on children who are at or near early stages of puberty. Helpful parent's guide available.

LoveEd

Focuses on raising kids that are smart, strong and pure by Colleen Kelly Mast.

Tobet

Theology of the Body for Teens
(K-8 curriculum) aimed at school children, but can be used by all.

Rooted

K-12 Theology of the Body Curriculum by Ruah woods

Rooted offers age-appropriate materials for schools, catechist and parents. Free downloadable material for both parents and catechists are available.