Don’t let the Senate Health Committee erode parental authority

June 8

Dear Friends,

This Thursday, June 10, the Senate Health Committee will hear Senate bill 3801 and Assembly bill 5597. This bill already passed the Assembly Health Committee on May 20.

It would amend the current law that gives schools the ability to administrate student surveys on sensitive issues including sexual behaviors and attitudes, drug use, physical activity and eating habits. Presently, schools in New Jersey must send home forms for parents to grant permission for their student to participate in this personal and probing sexual health survey.

The proposed change in New Jersey law would remove the requirement for parents to actively opt their student into the health surveys. Instead, every student would be passively opted into the survey unless their parent in writing requested for them to be excused from the survey. If a parent overlooks an email, misplaces an unopened letter, or the child forgets or even intentionally does not give their mom the opt out form – then the student will be surveyed about their sexual beliefs and activity. A parent’s silence does not mean a parent’s consent.

What is the reason for this change? According to the language of the bill, not enough parents are giving schools the permission to ask their children these sex-based health questions. What do the bill sponsors recommend as the solution? Simple: stop asking the parents for their permission!

The level of mistrust and deception parents already feel in their interactions with public schools will only be exacerbated by this overreach of state government to remove the parent once again from the equation!

Tell the Senate Health Committee to respect parental authority by voting NO on Senate bill 3801 and Assembly bill 5597.

Protecting your family,

Shawn Hyland
Executive Director