Section 50.1(1) of the School Act requires notifying parents when providing instruction that deals primarily and explicitly with human sexuality. Parents must be notified in writing prior to the start of human sexuality instruction and have the right to exempt their child, without academic penalty, from all or a portion of human sexuality instruction.
Most schools will have a template of a letter that can be used to send home to parents. This letter should have clear options for parents to choose from such as:
- I want my child to participate in all aspects of the human sexuality education component of the curriculum
- I want my child to be included in the human sexuality education component of the curriculum but be excluded for the presentation being given by organization X
- I want my child to be excluded from all aspects of the human sexuality education component of the curriculum and can leave the place where the education is taking place for the duration of the part of the instruction
- I want my child to be excluded from all aspects of the human sexuality education component of the curriculum and remain in the place where the instruction is taking place without taking part
Schools are required to provide alternative learning experiences for those students who have been exempted from human sexuality instruction by their parents. Contact your school administration for details specific to your school and school district.
Although most parents are in favour of children participating in sexual health education, it is important to inform and involve them in the delivery of the program. This will help to resolve any misconceptions about the content and goals of the curriculum outcomes, and also give parents an opportunity to provide input and to offer support.
Some ways to involve parents:
- send a school approved letter home that describes what will be taught including presentations and presenters
- share lesson plans and curriculum outcomes
- encourage opportunities to meet in person to discuss any concerns
- refer parents to the the Parent Portal of this website where they can get more information about the curriculum, parent-specific information about healthy development, sexual health and their role in sexual health education
What If a Parent Wants to Observe a Class?
Teachers are not obligated to honour parental requests to observe classes and may obtain further guidance from the school administration or the Alberta Teachers’ Association.