Indiana Parents Must Consent to Curriculum

Jul 17, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Liberty Counsel has notified all Indiana public school districts of Public Law 154, which mandates at least two written requests for parental consent or nonconsent before any instruction in human sexuality may be given to children.

P.L. 154 became effective July 1, 2018. Liberty Counsel has drafted a comprehensive Parental Non-Consent Form for parents to use in protecting their children from harmful sex-ed materials and indoctrination in matters of sexuality. This law now puts schools and administrators on notice of specific content to which many parents will never consent. If schools expose children to this material, after having received notice that parents object, they risk liability for parental rights violations.

In order for the parents to receive effective notice and provide informed consent or nonconsent, schools must accurately cite the portion of the curriculum where any of the following may appear:

A. Abortion
B. Abstinence, including any definitions of “abstinence”
C. Birth Control/Contraceptives
D. Sexual activity of any kind whatsoever, i.e., “vaginal, oral, or anal sex”
E. Sexual orientation, including, but not limited to any variant of homosexuality,
including “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual,” “queer,” or “questioning” identities
F. “Transgenderism” or “gender identity,” including, but not limited to: gender as social
construct; gender binary; gender spectrum; gender reassignment surgery, gender
dysphoria, false gender pronouns, gender expression, or cross-sex hormones
G. Any referral to a counselor, medical professional, or social worker, within or outside
the school
H. The privately-sponsored “National Sexuality Education Standards;” “Future of Sex
Education (FoSE) Initiative;” “Sex, Etc.;” “Advocates for Youth;” “Answer;” “SIECUS;”
“Planned Parenthood;” “The Kinsey Institute;” “Indiana Youth Group;” “GLSEN;” or
the “Gay-Straight Alliance”
I. Any reference to or participation in a personal analysis, evaluation or survey that
reveals or attempts to affect my child’s attitudes, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs or
feelings concerning: political affiliations; religious beliefs or practices; mental or
psychological conditions; sexual behavior or attitudes; sexual activity; sexual
orientation; gender identity; or illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior.

Under this law, before any instruction in human sexuality may be given to children, the first written notice to parents 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 to consent or nonconsent to the instruction.

“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,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This law requires schools to provide an accurate description of the curriculum and they cannot gloss over radical ideologies. 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. Parents should use the nonconsent form to put their local school board on notice regarding content that is not acceptable for their children,” Staver said.

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.