Gainesville school board adopts Parents' Bill of Rights. Here's what it means

Oct. 6—The Gainesville City school board unanimously approved a Parents' Bill of Rights, giving parents the right to review teaching materials and allowing them to withdraw their children from sex education classes.

The policy follows a law of the same name signed by Gov. Brian Kemp in April, HB 1187.

It would seem to increase parental oversight in schools, but Gainesville Superintendent Jeremy Williams said it's nothing new. Public school boards were required to adopt their own policies under the law.

"The policy basically includes items already available to parents," he said. "It's nothing new for us."

The policy was approved Monday, Oct. 3.

In March, Hall and Gainesville school officials said parents already have these rights, with ready access to teaching materials.

Hillel Levin, a University of Georgia professor specializing in education law, said then that the bill "has to do with the culture wars more than anything substantive."

The policy requires teachers to make instructional material "available for parental review during the first two weeks of each grading period," and also allows parents to withdraw their children from sex education classes as long as they provide a written objection.

Instructional material, however, does not include "supplementary or ancillary material," such as articles, worksheets, videos, music or novels.