Parental Rights

  • The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.
  • This state, any political subdivision of this state or any other governmental entity shall not infringe on these rights without demonstrating that the compelling governmental interest as applied to the child involved is of the highest order, is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.

33-6001 and 6002 Parental Rights in Education, Annual Notice of Parental Rights
Summary: The school is to make its best effort to enable parents to exercise their rights as long as there is no undue burden on schools, teachers, and other students.  Parents may be involved in working with the school in regards to such areas as homework, attendance, and discipline.  Parents may review curriculum.  If a parent objects to any curriculum or activity on the basis that it harms the child or opposes their beliefs, the parent may withdraw the child from the activity or program.  Public schools are to notify parents of these right annually.

380.10 Rights of parents and legal guardians; duties of public schools.
It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children. The public schools of this state serve the needs of the pupils by cooperating with the pupil’s parents and legal guardians to develop the pupil’s intellectual capabilities and vocational skills in a safe and positive environment.

33-1608 Family Life and Sex Education
Summary: Primary responsibility of sex education and moral responsibility rests with the home and church.  Schools are only to complement and supplement standards established in families.  The decision to provide sex education is left to local school districts and is to assist the home.

Utah Code 53A-13-101.2. Waivers of participation — Required parental consent for human sexuality instruction.

(1) As used in this section:
(a) (i) “Human sexuality instruction” means any course material, unit, class, lesson, activity, or presentation that, as the focus of the discussion, provides instruction or information to a student about:
(A) sexual abstinence;
(B) human sexuality;
(C) human reproduction;
(D) reproductive anatomy;
(E) physiology;
(F) pregnancy;
(G) marriage;
(H) childbirth;
(I) parenthood;
(J) contraception;
(K) HIV/AIDS; or
(L) sexually transmitted diseases.
(ii) “Human sexuality instruction” does not include child sexual abuse prevention instruction described in Section 53A-13-112.
(b) “Parent” means a parent or legal guardian.
(c) “School” means a public school.