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SAMPLE PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT NOTICE

SAMPLE PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT NOTICE
September 26, 2002

(Please re-type inserting the appropriate names and addresses.)

DATE

Mr./Ms. ____________, Superintendent of Schools
Address
City, State Zip

Dear ________________:

In accordance with State statutes, 120B.20 relating to Parental Curriculum Review, this letter serves to require prior written notification from the school concerning any intent to provide physical, mental health, or social services/counseling to my child. Similarly, the school must obtain my written consent prior to providing any of said services.

Except for emergency medical care involving sudden, traumatic physical injury or illness, and then only when I cannot be immediately located, I am hereby exempting my child from participation in any health care or social service programs/activities, whether provided directly by the school or through a connected resource/family/youth center. The requirement for my written consent extends to any non-emergency physical or mental examination/procedure and also to any effort to place pressure (such as referral by a school counselor to another agency) on my child for the purpose of circumventing my prerogatives of determining the manner and means of satisfying my child's health care needs. Activities by school staff or through school programs that encourage my child to bypass me will be met with legal action. Concerns by school staff relating to my child's immunizations, vision, hearing, eating habits, etc., are to be brought to me for my attention and assessment. School staff members are not to take it upon themselves to obtain a diagnosis or to provide treatment. Assessment and testing are to center on academic, knowledge-based factors.

I am also exempting my child from any assessments which are being administered to students for the purpose of evaluating teachers, schools and school districts on their implementation of the Profile of Learning curriculum, in particular, the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs).

The informed consent requirement therefore encompasses, but is not necessarily limited to, the following typical school services:

1. Nursing health assessments and/or school-based physical examinations.
2. Personality testing and school-based counseling related to physical or mental health.
3. Behavioral or physical screening and/or diagnostic instruments (i.e., emotional factors such as anger or peer relationships, so-called psycho-sexual indicators relating to sexual activity or orientation, chronic physical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, tuberculosis). This restriction applies to all "EPSDT" (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment) services, which typically are provided via state funds.
4. Non-emergency first-aid services.
5. Lectures, presentations or school assemblies relating to sex and substance abuse.
6. Anger management, "self-esteem," and conflict resolution courses; group & family counseling
7. The Minnesota Student Survey
8. Minnesota Comprehensive Asssessments (MCAs)

I appreciate the difficulty of the school's position in today's political and social climate, in which parents are presumed to be incapable of exercising good judgment in the areas of health, discipline, and the emotional well-being of their children. It is regrettable that a notice of this nature is necessary. I thank you in advance, therefore, for your cooperation in this matter. For our mutual protection in these difficult times, a copy of this letter is on file with my attorney.

Sincerely,
Mr./Mrs./Ms. _________________
cc:
_______________, County or State Board of Education
_______________, Principal, ______________ Elementary/Middle/High School
_______________, Esq. (your private attorney or group attorney)

********

What Can Parents Do?

1. Parents should make use of the new law to review any test that their child has taken. "The Commissioner must make available to parents...")

  • Request to review the test and your child's actual answer sheet. This is how one parent discovered mistakes the testing company had made on the scoring of Basic Skills Math Test.

  • Review the tests for academic challenge. Can they use calculators? How advanced is the reading and vocabulary? Is all the reading test taken from newspapers? (It is.) Is 80% of the reading test taken from the Star Tribune? (It is.) What kind of worldview do you see represented? Note the content that is absent, such as, readings about our Constitution, unalienable rights, private property, free markets or national sovereignty, for example.

  • Note particularly the question and answers to the 10th grade writing test which critics have called invasive.

  • If there is any part of the tests you find objectionable, speak out. You may contact state senator and representative, your school board members, the Department of Children, Families and Learning, your school administration, other parents and letters to the editor.

    2. Nonpublic schools should not participate in the Basic Skills Test.

  • The Basic Skills Tests measure "functional literacy," according to state education staff. The "academics" they test are those that should have been taught in 6th grade. Passing scores fluctuate according to levels established by the Department of Children, Families and Learning, so the validity of the passing scores is forever questionable.

  • The Basic Skills Tests also assess and record the beliefs and values of every test participant. This information becomes part of the students' permanent electronic record, a record that is available to all levels of government. The Basic Skills Reading Test is taken entirely from newspaper articles, articles that reflect the new national curriculum.

  • Is your private school giving the Basic Skills Test and telling the students they are required to take it? Explain your objections to the principal and opt your child out. Many private schools think that by participating in the Basic Skills Tests, they are demonstrating the superior education private schools provide. In fact, they are allowing state and federal government to monitor and track the beliefs and values of your child.

    3. Opt your public school child out of the MCAs.

  • Government intends all students to be assessed, so you and your child may come under enormous pressure to take part. Some parents take the heat. Others are unwilling to endure the difficulties they and their child often face, sometimes from teachers and sometimes from administrators in opting out. This is a decision parents must make for themselves.

  • Refusing to participate in MCAs is most effective when several families agree together to opt out.

    4. Include a signed "Parental Informed Consent Notice" in your child's school records that serves notice that you require prior written notification from the school concerning any intent to provide physical, mental health, or social services/counseling to your child. Similarly, the school must obtain your written consent prior to providing any of said services.

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