Chief Sponsor: John D. Johnson

House Sponsor: ____________


8     General Description:
9          This bill addresses the rights of parents, and the sovereignty of the state, with respect to
10     public education.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     recognizes and exercises state sovereignty in public education;
14          ▸     recognizes, exercises, and protects the rights and responsibilities of parents in the
15     education of their children; and
16          ▸     grants parents the right to opt out or withdraw their children from objectionable
17     matters and materials.
18     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
19          None
20     Other Special Clauses:
21          None
22     Utah Code Sections Affected:
23     ENACTS:
24          53E-2-401, Utah Code Annotated 1953
25          53E-2-402, Utah Code Annotated 1953

27     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

28          Section 1. Section 53E-2-401 is enacted to read:
29          53E-2-401. Education -- Rights of parents -- State sovereignty.
30          (1) (a) Public education is an essential and fundamental element of state sovereignty.
31          (b) There is no valid authority or basis for:
32          (i) direct or indirect involvement, management, or control of state or local education by
33     the federal government or a national organization; or
34          (ii) mandates, programs, or policies of the federal government, or a national
35     organization, relating to state or local education.
36          (2) (a) Parents have the primary authority and responsibility for the education of the
37     parents' children, as recognized and protected under this section and Sections 53E-2-201 and
38     53G-10-204.
39          (b) The role of state and local government is to support and assist, rather than to
40     interfere or conflict with, the primary authority of parents for the education of the parents'
41     children.
42          (3) In accordance with Section 53E-2-201, the Legislature, state and local school
43     boards, charter school governing boards, and all public schools shall respect, protect, and
44     further the interests of parents in their children's education.
45          (4) A parent has legal standing to seek and obtain judicial and other legal relief, as
46     needed, to exercise and secure the parental rights described in this section.
47          (5) Individual liberty and state sovereignty in relation to local public education
48     includes all:
49          (a) curriculum, textbooks, and other educational materials;
50          (b) teacher training; and
51          (c) rules, policies, courses of study, agreements, and programs relating to local public
52     education.
53          (6) The state may reject any attempt by the federal government or a national
54     organization to direct or interfere with state sovereignty with respect to public education.
55          (7) As provided in this section, and in accordance with Subsection 53E-2-201(1)(c),
56     parents and families are represented by their elected representatives, and act directly, and
57     indirectly through their elected representatives, to exercise the rights described in this section
58     as secured by the United States Constitution and the Utah Constitution.

59          (8) The freedom of speech of an elected official of the state, as a representative of the
60     people, may not be restricted or impaired by a government officer or government entity,
61     including a governing body of which the elected official is a member.
62          Section 2. Section 53E-2-402 is enacted to read:
63          53E-2-402. Right to protect child from objectionable instruction or material.
64          (1) In accordance with the rights and responsibilities of a parent, as described in
65     Section 53E-2-401, a parent may opt out and withdraw the parent's child from the use of, or
66     participation in, any public education matter or material that the parent determines
67     objectionable, including curriculum, subject matter, textbooks, or activities identified by a
68     parent as objectionable.
69          (2) School administration may not retaliate against a parent for exercising a right
70     described in Subsection (1).