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Archive of: Back to School Suggestions

Stay Encouraged! Take "Baby Steps"

Parents hold a lot more cards than they think! This website is intended to give you quick access to information, tools and support. We encourage you to take a few ideas from this website and just take "baby steps". Don't worry if you feel ill-equipped or haven't gotten the subject totally understood - many of your district leaders don't even have a clear understanding of all the issues around Oregon's K-12 comprehensive sexuality education. You will learn as you go...and this will grow your courage and resolve! Select a few "cards" (perhaps from the list below) and see what happens. Your district works for you and should be able to explain and justify why they are doing what they do [regarding sexuality education]. They should be able to articulate the specific parameters they have set around this very sensitive topic. Here are some possible "first steps" for you to consider:
Look at information and tips found on our website! Check your school district's website, newsletter & announcements. Watch for key-words, topics, events related to sex education/health. Look at books in your child's library [about sex, relationships, identity, bullying, etc.]. Ask to see ALL of the sex ed resources, curriculum(s), & plan of instruction Review your district's policies around sex education. Talk to other parents. Ask your child what they are learning/discussing in their health class. Meet resistance with facts and primary sources. Become familiar with you and your child's legal rights. Read material that you encounter VERBATIM to your school board. Make copies of content/materials that are concerned about Email specific questions or concerns to your administrator and school board members. Follow-up the next week. Hold them accountable. Expect answers. Be respectful - but also resolute. Ask LOTS of questions. Pace yourself. Involve other parents/guardians - strength in numbers - moral support. Keep your teachers, administrators and school board members accountable. Remember that you are helping other busy parents/guardians when you dedicate some attention to this.

Who is Your Child's Medical Decision-Maker?

Safeguard your role as medical decision-maker in the life of your child. Parents' Rights in Education strongly urges you to take the necessary steps to protect your family from being asked probing and medically unrelated questions by their doctor. Choose your doctors wisely; talk to your children in advance about how they should answer questions that the doctor and government have no business asking. Be careful what school documents you sign. This would include School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) which fall under HIPAA rules. Oregon Certified SBHCs that do not provide reproductive services (ie: morning after pill, abortion) are required by law to refer minors to agencies that will provide them confidential reproductive services. In Oregon, minors of any age are allowed to access birth control-related information and services as well as treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) without parental consent. IS IT REALLY THE JOB OF YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT TO PROMOTE THIS? View Oregon Health Authority's Minor Rights: Access & Consent to Health Care at: https://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyPeopleFamilies/Youth/Documents/MinorConsent2012.pdf On a more national level, check out: http://nypost.com/2013/09/15/obamacare-will-question-your-sex-life/

Don't Like What You Are Finding?

What if, after viewing your school's sex education curriculum (including supplemental materials, links, resources), you find yourself concerned about the content, class activities, roll playing scenarios and assignments that you find? Make copies of it, scan it or take pictures of it with your Smart phone! Then...go to a school board meeting (yes, you can do this!). Distribute copies of the curriculum that you are concerned about, read it verbatim, perhaps encourage the board members to roll play or discuss a few of the activities together. Now...just wait. It is their job to justify and explain why they have approved these materials. Ask them how this is intended to make the classroom safe and kids more healthy? IF, you have the time, write down some basic questions/concerns that you have and be sure to give them a copy of this before you leave. Remember, it is the school board's duty to establish district policy and approve curriculum. They should be able to give you direct answers and explanations. Be respectful yet resolute. These are YOUR children that you are entrusting to the district's care!

Keep Asking.

You may not be familiar with or comfortable with asking to see curriculum. As a parent/guardian you have the right to see ALL the curriculum (including supplemental materials, outside resources, links) that teachers will be using and sharing with their students. Don't be surprised if you encounter:
Resistance Lack of clarity Delays Missing peices Intimidation Loose policies Confusion Lack of a consistent standard Mixed messages
Some of the above items result from a lack of understanding or communication by the district as to what is legally required to have available or in place. Parents' Rights in Education encourages that you be respectful but resolute when seeking answers. By law you have the right to view the curriculum and supplemental resources used in the education of your child. It is important that your district leaders and staff know that you are monitoring what takes place in your child's school. You are entrusting your minor child to their care and want to know what kind of instruction/curriculum is being presented.

Hang On To All Your Correspondence!

Parents' Rights in Education encourages parents and guardians to gather, collect and retain any and all emails, newsletters and notices related to:
Sex education courses Health/sex education curriculum adoption Sex Education handouts, assignments, surveys, resources and links that your child receives Health care services (including dental, mental, School Based Health Center) Bullying prevention After school programs Permission slips regarding viewing movies, field trips or guest speakers Youth Advisory Councils (YACs) Health insurance promotions Health/sex ed school board policy reviews
You never know when this information may come in handy if you begin to see a pattern of activities/materials that feel like they are negating your rights as parents. If something doesn't seem right - you will have evidence to back it up.

Have Some Concerns? Let Us Help Equip You

You do not have to be an expert on the SBHCs, sex education, or Youth Advisory Councils ("YACs"). There is just not enough time in the day. Parents' Rights in Education wants to provide you with knowledge that you can use when you need it. We are urging you to be equipped...and want to assist you by providing tools and tips that can save you time and energy. If you have questions or concerns about a School-Based Health Center (SBHC) in your district, a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at your child's school or if the Annual Oregon Adolescent Sexuality Conference (held in Seaside, Oregon, April 2014) is being promoted to students in your district then please visit the link below. Additional resources can be found on this webite as well. Click here:Be Equipped

Beginning of the School Year Message

This is a short message - as we know this is a very busy time of year. If there ever was a time of the year to take a few minutes to view some of the information that our website provides...THIS IS IT! As you get papers to sign, monthly school newsletters, robo call announcements, meet your child's teachers, attend school events and begin to pour over your child's homework assignments...it is imperative that you be mindful of your rights as parents. Taking a few minutes to get acquainted with our information/insights/tools will help equip you. It won't take long for you to begin to recognize topics, phrases, events and circumstances that will alert you to slow down and hone in a bit more on them. If you are unsure you should or can do anything, revisit parentsrightsined.wordpress.com throughout the year. We are here for you! Parents' Rights in Education exists in order to provide accurate information, effective tools, and strategic support to parents, school officials, and community members who have reason for concern about comprehensive sexuality education in Oregon public schools grades K-12.

You Should Be Concerned...But Also Encouraged!

The 2012 revisions that the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has added to grades K-12 Human Sexuality Education OAR 581-022-1440 are radical and far-reaching. Nonetheless...concerned community members CAN do something about it. The attached questions are not at all encompassing but do include many of the recent 2012 Human Sexuality Education OAR revisions that the ODE deems necessary in order to “be in compliance with the law”. View this website in order to see the other laws that your district is to be following. These are laws that protect your rights as parents! Do not buckle when you feel intimidated, pressured or unfamiliar verbiage is used and you do not know how to respond at a particular moment. It is not your duty to justify why your district should not presenting information like you see below. It is the job of the district to explain their decisions/rationale. Keep them accountable. This can be done in a respectful manner while also retaining your resolve. You are not alone in your concerns about the information below that the ODE advocates for Oregon students grades K-12. CLICK HERE to view sample questions that you can use!: Sample Questions Re 2012 ODE Sex Ed Revisions If interested, visit ODE’s website for more details about these 2012 Sex Ed revisions: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=1773

3 Important Things You Can Do When School Begins

1. INSPECT - Ask to see ALL the sexuality education materials and resources that will be used in your district's K-12 sexuality education coursework. 2. RAISE AWARENESS - If you don't like what you see, draw public attention to it. Ask your district leaders LOTS of questions. Read (verbatim) portions of the sex ed materials/resources that you are concerned about at a school board meeting. 3. OPT OUT your kids - If enough parents/guardians do this...the district leaders will notice! All of the above suggestions can be done in a respectful and professional manner. Nonetheless, you do not have to be intimidated. Remember that in reality, the district staff works for YOU (the taxpayers). You are entrusting your children to them during the school day and they have the duty to be transparent in the kinds of services/materials they are presenting to your children.

Empowering Parents Guide

This "Empowering Parents Guide" offers an invaluable eight-page guide to parents who want to know how to quickly stay informed about what their children are being taught when it comes to sex and sexuality. Even more importantly, this guide provides concrete and practical steps parents can take to find out what materials, messages and resources are being presented to their minor children throughout the school year. Click Here: EmpoweringParentsGuide
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