1. Make sure you are notified.
If parents did not receive notification regarding their child(ren)’s sexual health education, ask the school/district: How and when are parents notified about the planned instruction in comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education?
If parents are uncertain of their child(ren)’s school district, please see the following: (https://www.cde.ca.gov/schooldirectory/). This Website link, maintained by the California Department of Education, is where one can simply add in their own Zip code to identify the appropriate school district/schools.
Step 2. Carefully review the curriculum.
If it is not indicated in the notice, ask the school/district: How and when can parents review all curricular course materials to be used in comprehensive sexual health education? This can be available on-line or at the school/district.
Curricular materials should be examined judiciously to determine that what is to be taught child(ren) regarding human sexuality is acceptable to their parents and supportive of the values they wish to impart. For example, does the instruction and materials include information about abstinence? (The Education Code requires that instruction and materials include information that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent HIV, other STIs, and unintended pregnancy. It also states: ‘Instruction shall provide information about the value of delaying sexual activity while also providing medically accurate information on other methods of preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.’ ‘Abstinence-only’ sex education, which offers abstinence as the only option for preventing STIs and unintended pregnancy, is not permitted in California public schools.”)
If unclear in the curriculum review, ask the school/district:
Are children taught human sexuality matters regarding gender identity/sexual orientation in curricular areas other than comprehensive sexual health education?
Who will instruct child(ren) in comprehensive sexual health education and in which course?
Who determines whether the instruction and materials are “age appropriate” (especially, if the district chooses to provide sexual health education below Grade 7?
Step 3. Exercise your option to excuse, as desired.
Should parents choose to excuse their child(ren) from all or part of comprehensive sexual health education, they must assertively do so in writing. If it is not indicated in the notice and/or curricular materials, ask the school/district: what “Opt-Out” form should be use and when is it due to whom?