SB 5530



BYSenators Craswell, Rasmussen and Anderson



Establishing parental rights to review all school materials, be notified of certain classes and activities, and have children excused from classes and programs.



Senate Committee on Education


      Senate Hearing Date(s):February 1, 1989; February 15, 1989; March 1, 1989


Majority Report:  That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5530 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass.

      Signed by Senators Bailey, Chairman; Lee, Vice Chairman; Anderson, Benitz, Craswell, Metcalf.


Minority Report:  Do not pass as substitute.

      Signed by Senators Bender, Fleming, Gaspard, Murray, Rinehart.


      Senate Staff:Leslie Goldstein (786-7424)

                  March 1, 1989







Studies have demonstrated that parents play an important role in the education of their children.  Parents have expressed concern about what their students are studying in school.  Communication between school districts and parents and further defining roles and responsibilities of both parents and school districts are methods of addressing that concern.




At the request of a parent or guardian of a student, the board of directors of a school district shall make available any materials that are part of the district's educational program.  The district may charge a nominal fee to cover copying costs.


The student shall be excused from a program or not required to use specific educational materials if the parent or guardian objects in writing to the student's participation in a program or class that uses particular educational materials.  The district shall provide either alternative programs, materials, or waive, or request that the Superintendent of Public Instruction waive requirements to meet compulsory course requirements or high school graduation requirements.


The board of directors of a school district upon request shall notify the parent or guardian before a student participates in any class that includes specified topics or activities as follows: (1) psychiatric and psychological tests, surveys, or treatment; (2) values clarification; (3) survival games; (4) death education, including discussions of death, dying and suicide; (5) the occult, witchcraft, hypnosis, astrology, Eastern mysticism and yoga; (6) sensitivity training and self- evaluation; (7) pornography as defined in statute and any materials containing profanity and sexual explicitness, or both; (8) antinationalistic, one-world government, or globalism curricula; or (9) population control, redistribution of wealth or alternative lifestyles.  If the student's parent or guardian objects in writing, the student shall be excused from participation in the class or activity.  The district shall provide either alternative programs, materials or waive or request that the Superintendent of Public Instruction waive compulsory course requirements or high school graduation requirements.





School district boards of directors are required to adopt policies to ensure the implementation of the Open Public Records Act regarding the inspection of materials in the district's educational program.  Each school district board of directors is required to adopt written policies regarding the following issues:  (1) excuse from attending a program or class; and (2) alternative programming or waiver of requirements for required programs or classes.


Appropriation:    none


Revenue:    none


Fiscal Note:      requested January 31, 1989


Senate Committee - Testified: PRO:  Marilyn Jensen, parent; Michelle Nowak, parent; Lorraine Harvey, parent; Tom Shaner, parent, Chris Shardelman, citizen; CON:  Ken Endelman, parent; Bob Fisher, Washington Education Association; Kris Van Gorkom, Washington Association of School Administrators; Dwayne Slate, Washington State School Directors' Association; Joanne Beard, parent; Val Torrens, private citizen; Sherry Appleton, private citizen; Thelma Sottman, American Association of University Women