Good luck today!

I guess you know that it’s Halloween! No doubt this is one of the more exciting and/or challenging days of the year for school administrators.  It’s also a good time to remind you of a provision in the Education Code about parental rights.  Section 26.010(a) of the Texas Education Code says:

A parent is entitled to remove the parent’s child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent’s religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent’s child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity. 

The statute goes on to say that this parental authority cannot be used to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for the entire semester.  And the student must satisfy grade level or graduation requirements of the school. 

I always think about this part of the Education Code on October 31st.  In my career, that’s the first instance I can recall of parents seeking an exemption from school activities.  Those objections were usually based on a religious view, and they pre-dated the enactment of Education Code 26.010.  But since 26.010 has been in place, it’s been clear that the right of parental exemption applies to any school activity, and the objection does not have to be based on a religious point of view. Thus we have parents who will object to the dissection of animals, or the assignment of particular reading material. 

So Happy Halloween!!


Tomorrow: One for the Sheesh-O-Meter.