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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

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 Two Appeals Courts Won’t Block Injunctions Against Biden's Title IX Rule
As the Aug. 1 date approaches for the broad new regulation to take effect, courts have blocked it in much of the country.
4 min read
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Two federal appeals courts have denied requests by the Biden administration to put aside injunctions blocking a new Title IX regulation that includes protections for transgender students.
John Hanna/AP
Law & Courts Letter to the Editor Religion in the Classroom May Be Legal, But Is It Just?
A teacher responds to Louisiana's Ten Commandments law.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Law & Courts Posting Ten Commandments in Schools Was Struck Down in 1980. Could That Change?
In 1980, the justices invalidated a Kentucky law, similar to the new Louisiana measure, requiring classroom displays of the Decalogue.
13 min read
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry signs bills related to his education plan on June 19, 2024, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lafayette, La. Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, the latest move from a GOP-dominated Legislature pushing a conservative agenda under a new governor.
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican, signs bills related to his education plan on June 19, 2024, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lafayette, La. One of those new laws requires that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, but the law is similar to one from Kentucky that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in 1980.
Brad Bowie/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP
Law & Courts Biden's Title IX Rule Is Now Blocked in 14 States
A judge in Kansas issued the third injunction against the Biden administration's rule granting protections to LGBTQ+ students.
4 min read
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. On Tuesday, July 2, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Kansas and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. On Tuesday, July 2, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Kansas, and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
John Hanna/AP