School Opt-Out Resources for Parents

Students all over the state have returned to school, and now is an excellent time for parents to research and review the opt-out options available for specific curricula in public schools. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS A PARENT!

According to California law:

  • A parent/guardian has the right to examine the curriculum materials of any class their child will attend. (Ed. Code 51101, 51938)
  • If any part of a school’s instruction in health conflicts with the religious training and beliefs (including moral convictions) of the parent/guardian, the student shall be excused from the part of the instruction that conflicts with the parent/guardian’s religious training or beliefs. (Ed. Code 51240)
  • In grades 1 through 12, a school may not administer a test or questionnaire/survey with questions about personal beliefs or practices of the pupil (or their parents/guardians) on sex, family life, morality, and religion, unless the parent is notified in advance, in writing, and affirmatively gives permission for the child to participate. (Ed. Code 51513)
  • A parent/guardian of a pupil (in grades 7 through 12) has the right to excuse their child from all or any part of comprehensive sexual health education, HIV prevention education, and assessments related to that education.  Before exercising this option, parents/guardians also have the right to be notified about planned instruction and to review those materials before the instruction takes place (Ed. Code 51938, 51939).  If a school district elects to provide sexual health education below grade 7, it should be age-appropriate, and parental rights designated for grades 7-12 are in effect.

Links to support for parents/guardians of public-school children:

Parents’ Rights –

California Healthy Kids Survey –

Comprehensive Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS Instruction –

Curriculum Frameworks & Instructional Materials –

Identification & Parent Notification Requirements –

Parents/ Family & Community–

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) –

Information provided by the California Catholic Conference