Law & Courts

Parental Permission

By Linda Jacobson — February 07, 2006 2 min read

Once again, a controversial proposal to require Georgia’s public school students to obtain a parent’s permission before joining an extracurricular club is back in the hands of the state legislature.

Late last month, a Senate education committee passed a bill requiring such permission after virtually no discussion.

Under the proposed legislation, which was sponsored by state Rep. Bobby Reese, a Republican, parents would need to be notified of the name of the club or activity their children want to join. The parents would also have to be informed of the purpose or mission of the group, the name of the club’s faculty adviser, and a description of its previous or planned activities.

While lawmakers who support the bill say they’re not targeting any specific student club or group, the proposal is largely seen as an attempt to head off the development of gay, lesbian, and straight clubs.

Conservative organizations in the state, such as the Christian Coalition and the Eagle Forum, back the plan and say that parents have a right to know if their children are joining something that goes against their values.

The issue surfaced in Georgia after a controversial gay-straight club was formed in rural White County last year. After first allowing students to establish the club, school officials there eliminated all non-academic clubs following protests by conservative Christians.

But the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia argued that such bans violate the Equal Access Act, which was passed by Congress in 1984 and allows noncurricular clubs to be formed at school. School officials can only prohibit clubs that disrupt the educational mission of the school, the group argued.

This isn’t the first time the issue has advanced in the legislature. It was first introduced during last year’s session, but was put on hold after state schools’ Superintendent Kathy Cox asked members of the legislature to let the state board of education take up the matter. The proposed policy—which is opposed by the Georgia ACLU—was rejected by the board on a 10-3 vote in June.

Officials from the Georgia ACLU did not return calls seeking a comment on the latest proposal.

School officials have opposed the idea. While such parental involvement might be appropriate, the Georgia School Superintendents Association says that if the bill becomes law, it “would create onerous administrative expectations for school staff members.”

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts High Court Asks Biden Administration Views on Harvard Affirmative Action in Admissions
Some had expected U.S. Supreme Court justices to jump at the chance to reconsider the practices in education, but that's delayed for now.
3 min read
In this Nov. 10, 2020 photo the sun rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court seemed concerned Tuesday, Dec. 1, about the impact of siding with food giants Nestle and Cargill and ending a lawsuit that claims they knowingly bought cocoa beans from farms in Africa that used child slave labor. The court was hearing arguments in the case by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Supreme Court is still weighing whether to hear a case challenging Harvard University's race-conscious admissions policies.
Alex Brandon/AP
Law & Courts If Critical Race Theory Is Banned, Are Teachers Protected by the First Amendment?
Bills to rein in how race and other controversial topics are taught have thrust K-12 teachers into a thicket of free speech issues.
10 min read
Image shows a teacher in a classroom.
skynesher/E+
Law & Courts Puerto Rico’s Former Education Secretary Pleads Guilty to Fraud Conspiracy
Julia Keleher pleaded guilty to federal fraud conspiracy charges, striking a felony plea bargain and potentially avoiding maximum jail time.
Syra Ortiz-Blanes, The Miami Herald
4 min read
In this Oct. 13, 2017 file photo, Education Secretary Julia Keleher gets a hug from a student at Ramon Marin Sola Elementary School, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
In this Oct. 13, 2017 photo, Education Secretary Julia Keleher hugs a student at Ramon Marín Sola Elementary School, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. The former education secretary pleaded guilty to two federal fraud conspiracy charges for crimes committed during her time as Puerto Rico’s top education official.
Carlos Giusti/AP
Law & Courts High Court Declines to Hear Ex-Principal's Race-Bias Case Over Transfer to Central Office
The justices also refuse to take up a case challenging the requirement that men, but not women, register for the military draft.
4 min read
In this Nov. 4, 2020 photo, the Supreme Court in Washington.
In this Nov. 4, 2020 photo, the Supreme Court in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP