Sadly, political power-seekers have turned the public schools into battlegrounds. Special-interest groups do their best to convince parents that their local schools are trampling on their rights and the rights of their children.
Parents and students do have specific legal rights in regard to the use of public schools in all states. Here they are:
- The right to a free (tax-supported) education for all school-age children residing in the United States, regardless of immigration status.
- The right not to be discriminated against.
- The right to learn English and to be helped with assignments in another language if necessary.
- The right to be safe in school.
- The right to express opinions and religious beliefs in words, clothing, or adornments.
- The right to inspect children’s educational records, to participate as a volunteer or observer, and to receive any information relevant to their children’s education.
- The right to learn about current scientific theories regarding evolution.
- The right to opt out of sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education.
- The right to opt out of standardized testing.
- The right to homeschool.
- The right to opt out of nonacademic surveys.
- The right to receive specialized instruction for special needs children.
- The right to get rid of unfit teachers.
- The right of every child to participate equally in school sports.
Nothing there about banning books or forbidding discussion of certain topics or opting out of school policies designed to safeguard the health of children and staff.
The ultimate parental right
Parents who do not approve of the public school curriculum have the option to homeschool or to send their children to a private school.
Parents who do not approve of a school’s measures to protect children against contagious disease by requiring vaccinations or masking have the option to homeschool or send their children to a private school.
US public education exists to serve the public—the entire public, not segments of it.