IHAM-1 Notification of and Access to Sex Education Curriculum


In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 32A, the Shutesbury School Committee has adopted this policy on notification of parents and guardians of curriculum that “primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues.”

At the beginning of each school year, the Superintendent shall review curriculum with the Principal to determine which program instructional materials and curriculum will likely involve “human sexual education or human sexuality issues.” The school shall notify parents and guardians of the program instructional materials and curricula in a manner that is practical and reasonable.

When possible, notification will be provided to parents/guardians at the beginning of the school year, or at a minimum, a week prior to the beginning of any instruction on human sexuality. Each such notice to parents/guardians shall include a brief description of the curriculum addressed by this policy, and will inform parents/guardians that they may:

1. Inspect and review program instruction materials for these curricula, which will be made reasonably accessible to parents/guardians and others to the extent practicable. Parents/guardians may arrange with the Principal to review the materials at the school and may also review them at other locations that may be determined by the Superintendent.

2. Exempt their child from any portion of the curriculum that primarily involves human sexual education or human sexual issues, without penalty to the student, by sending a letter to the school Principal requesting an exemption. Any student who is exempted by request of the parent/guardian under this policy may be given an alternative assignment This alternative assignment shall be equal to the amount and level of work expected from students in the human sexuality class and shall not be used to infer or communicate any sense of consequence. In addition, the student shall be relocated during the time of the human sexuality program to a room or location that communicates no sense of consequence or embarrassment.

A parent/guardian who is dissatisfied with a decision or actions of the Principal concerning notice, access to instructional materials, or exemption for the student under this policy may send a written request to the Superintendent for review of the issue. The Superintendent shall review the issue and give the parent/guardian a timely written decision, preferably within two weeks of the request. A parent/guardian who is dissatisfied with the Superintendent’s decision may send a written request to the School the parent/guardian a timely written decision, preferably within four weeks of the request.

Educators, school administrators and others interested in reviewing these materials shall have reasonable access. A written request must be submitted to the Principal, who may decide to grant or deny access. Written denial of access shall occur with 14 days of receipt of the request. The process outlined for aggrieved parents/guardians shall be followed for resolution of any dissatisfaction.

A copy of this policy shall be included in the annual Family Handbook and distributed to teaching staff on an annual basis by the Principal.

Students will be informed that each sexual education session is a confidential setting. However, if they disclose information that they are engaging in activities that threaten their own or others health or well-being, this information will be shared with their parents/guardians and/or the Principal.

REF.: Department of Education

Second reading, first vote: 12-19-07
Final vote: 01-16-08