Updated: Jul 1, 2022
Here's what every parent needs to know in terms of opting out of assignments or lessons under the Parental Bill of Rights Law, Florida §1014.
I was researching homeschool curriculums 🏫 and options and ran into trouble with Florida Virtual School (FLVS). They are considered a public school, and initially told me that I could NOT skip assignments we felt were inappropriate as per the Parental Bill of Rights.
They wrongly 🙅🏻♀️ concluded that the Parental Bill of Rights only gave parents the power to choose a school setting. Quote from email is below:
"As far as skipping assignments goes, that is not permitted in FLVS. The Parental Bill of Rights gives you the power to choose your school setting. If you choose to use FLVS Flex as your school of instruction, then you have exercised your right. Our program is standards based and all assignments are expected to be completed."
Long story short, I quoted the law to them and now they say that while assignments cannot be exempt, "we can work with families and offer alternative assignments in some cases."
I consider this a win...what do you think? Should I press on what they mean by "some cases"?
I ended up replying back to ask what FLVS refers to as "some cases" and told them that I would prefer language that is clear and verified.
I was passed along to Rick Rizzo who is the Director of Instruction, FLVS Flex. He assured me that I was correct in my interpretation of the Parental Bill of Rights, and that multiple parents have asked for alternate assignments for certain topics such as holidays, slavery, Christopher Columbus, etc.
Moral of the story? As parents, we have a right to object to instructional materials based on our beliefs regarding morality, sex, and religion or the belief that such materials are harmful. The Parental Bill of Rights codifies the “fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their minor children” (§ 1014.02 Legislative findings and definition). Do not be afraid to question a school's interpretation of it...you might just be right!
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