About Parent Notification

Do we need to notify parents when teaching LGBTQ-inclusive lessons?

Some families and students may have strong opinions regarding schools teaching LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum to students. Families may express that this education conflicts with their personal beliefs while other families may express a strong demand for increased, deeper, year-round focus on this topic. Our role as public school educators is to affirm the needs of all families while also attending to the multiple priorities and mandates set by SFUSD and the California Department of Education (CDE) intended to support all students.

A discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning people does not constitute a discussion about human sexuality or family life education and does NOT require parent notification according to the California Education Code.

The California Education Code (51938) mandates that parents/ caregivers be notified 15 days before classroom instruction about sexuality, human growth, and development, including sexually transmitted disease/HIV infection. Further, parents/caregivers must be given the opportunity to review instructional materials and exclude their child from curriculum sections related to family life and sexuality. Parent Notification materials can be found in the District Student and Parent/Guardian Handbook, distributed each academic year.

Parent notification does NOT need to be sent in the following instances:

  • When providing definitions to students
  • When intervening in name-calling incidents
  • When teaching about LGBTQ family and gender diversity 
  • Reading a book with LGBTQ character(s)/plots/subplots.
  • When celebrating diversity or April’s LGBTQ Pride month
  • Speaking about LGBTQ persons in the curriculum outside of sexual health education

Parental notification must be provided in the following instances:

  • When discussing puberty, STI and HIV prevention, sexual health
  • Inviting outside speakers to the classroom

However, we do wish to engage caregivers as partners in their children’s education. We encourage schools to regularly communicate school-wide activities or inclusive education efforts to parents to reinforce student learning and discussion at home, this may include LGBTQ and gender diversity efforts. 

Therefore, school newsletters that include ongoing information about school news, events and activities addressing these efforts and are an appropriate place to encourage caregivers and families to continue LGBTQ and gender-focused discussions at home, share resources and participate in events.

Caregivers with questions or concerns about LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum may:

  • Request to review curricular materials and approved SFUSD books at the school site by asking the classroom teacher or review materials online, when available.
  • Consult with or address questions to the school and/or central office administrator

This page was last updated on March 25, 2022