Opt Out Form for Public School Parents

Resource by

Katherine Bussard

Ex. Director & COO

As a new school year begins, have you done everything possible to protect your child from being indoctrinated with values that are contrary to your faith? Did you know that Michigan state law recognizes parental rights and allows you to “opt” your child(ren) out of all school sex education programing, including topics like family planning, human sexuality, reproductive health, sexual orientation, and gender identity?

Our Great Lakes Justice Center has drafted an “Opt Out Form” to make it easy for parents to protect their children and embrace their role as parents in educating their children, especially on such morally-charged topics.  

Michigan’s Revised School Code (Act 451 of 1976, specifically MCL 380.10) states, “It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children. The public schools of this state serve the needs of the pupils by cooperating with the pupil’s parents and legal guardians to develop the pupil’s intellectual capabilities and vocational skills in a safe and positive environment.”

The School Code goes on to say that all sex education is to be treated as “elective education” and requires that parents a)be notified in advance, b) have the right to review all content of the course in advance of it being taught to the students and c) that parents have a right to have their child(ren) excused from such classes.[1] In the 2022 decision on Rouch World v. the Dept. of Civil Right, the Michigan Supreme Court found that the word ‘“sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity…[as] concepts that are inextricably linked.’[2] When this interpretation is applied to the state’s sex education laws, it allows parents to opt their child out of all programing on reproductive health as well as all instruction and programming pertaining to sexual orientation and gender issues, including LGBTQ celebrations and classroom or textbook discussions on these issues.   

How to Use This Form

This form is provided as a public and does not constitute legal advice. 

If you choose to use the printable “Opt Out Form,” it is recommended that you print two copies, fill out both copies, and deliver them in person to the school office or appropriate person at your child(ren)’s school. The last line of the form allows the person receiving the form to sign and date that the form has been received. Once both forms are signed, the school keeps one on file and you keep on file so that all parties have original copies of the document.  If the school staff refuses to sign, you can always take a video on your phone of you delivering the form to the school. Documenting that the form was received is an important step of accountability.

[1] MCL 380.1507 (3) “A pupil shall not be enrolled in a class in which the subjects of family planning or reproductive health are discussed unless the pupil’s parent or guardian is notified in advance of the course and the content of the course, is given a prior opportunity to review the materials to be used in the course and is notified in advance of his or her right to have the pupil excused from the class…”

[2] https://www.courts.michigan.gov/courts/supreme-court/case-information/2021-2022-march-case-information/162482-rouch-world,-llc-v-department-of-civil-rights/, referencing findings on pg.14

About the Author

Katherine Bussard
Ex. Director & COO
As Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Salt & Light Global, Katherine works to disciple servant-leaders in all walks of life, equipping them to share the redemptive love and truth of Jesus. She facilitates training in good governance for communities around the state, mentors other Christian women in leadership, and champions sound public policy. In speaking, writing, and serving, Katherine seeks to encourage the body of Christ to see all of who they are what they do through God’s Word. Katherine resides with her husband and partner in Kingdom service, Jeff.

More On

This Issue