Law & Courts

Parental Permission

By Linda Jacobson — February 07, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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

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
Law & Courts Webinar
Future of the First Amendment:Exploring Trends in High School Students’ Views of Free Speech
Learn how educators are navigating student free speech issues and addressing controversial topics like gender and race in the classroom.
Content provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
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
Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

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 What the 'Roe v. Wade' Reversal Means for Educators, Schools, and Students
The decision will dramatically reshape the context of schooling for the women-dominated profession—as well as affect students, counselors, and health curricula.
7 min read
Anti-abortion and abortion-rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases.
Anti-abortion and abortion-rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court Friday. The court issued a ruling ending constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years.
Jose Luis Magana/AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court Overturns 'Roe v. Wade’; States Can Ban Abortion
The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents.
7 min read
A celebration outside the Supreme Court, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Washington. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years — a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Law & Courts School Groups Worry as Supreme Court Recognizes Right to Carry Handguns in Public
In a 6-3 decision over a New York state law, the court says little about schools as 'sensitive places' where guns can be prohibited.
6 min read
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court in 2021.
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court in 2021.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court Strikes Down Maine's Exclusion of Religious Schools From Tuition-Aid Program
The justices hold that barring "sectarian" schools from the program for towns without public high schools violates the First Amendment.
7 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
iStock/Getty