NC’s Parents’ Bill of Rights affecting sexual education in schools

The law has caused districts to create either “opt-in” or “opt-out” policies for sexual education classes.
The new state law has caused school districts across the state to review their sexual education policies.
Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 5:02 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A new state law, known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” has caused school districts across the state to review their sexual education policies.

Last month, the law prompted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to change its policy so that parents have to opt their students “in” to the classes.

Some are concerned that means fewer students will take the classes. So far, only about a third of students in fifth through ninth grades have opted into those classes. That percentage is well below districts that have an “opt-out” policy.

North Carolina law requires schools to teach that monogamous, heterosexual marriages are the safest. Schools must also teach about all FDA-approved contraceptives or barriers to infection.

Experts credit that education with helping reduce infections and teen births, along with access to those methods. State lawmakers, though, are restricting discussions about gender identity and sexuality in schools.

Some also argue the standards should be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people.

“We’re leaving them out of the educational sphere without arming them with the tools necessary to have responsible sex,” Duke Hospital gynecologist Clayton Alfonso said of the LGBTQ+ community.

As for the opt-in or opt-out policies, there does seem to be some confusion about the law. The sponsor of the Parents’ Bill of Rights and the state school board association both said the law still allows districts to choose the option that is best for them.

Related: Stricter state laws are chipping away at sex education in K-12 schools

Watch continuous news coverage here: