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District 25 adopts parental rights law into policies

District 25 incorporated the state’s new parental rights law into its policies at its school board meeting Tuesday. Superintendent Mary Vagner said she doesn’t expect much to change.

When it comes to state or federal laws, Vagner said the district doesn’t have much choice.

“We are subject to the mandates from the state, as well as mandates from the federal government,” she said.

Signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter in April, the law gives parents the fundamental right to make decisions regarding care, custody, education and control of their children.

Essentially, it gives parents a bigger say in what their kids experience in the classroom.

Vagner said the law won’t really change how the district handles parents’ issues with curriculum, since the district has a history of handling these problems.

“When parents have an issue with those things, we work really hard at working through them,” Vagner said. “Sometimes we’re successful and sometimes we are not able to meet the needs of the parents. We work through it and try to reach resolution effectively.”

The Idaho Education Association is on the fence regarding the law. Since it’s brand new, they won’t know its implications until they happen.

However, the association does like that the law is increasing parental involvement.

“I don’t know a school district in the state that doesn’t listen to their parents, that doesn’t want to have parental involvement in the education process,” said IEA general counsel Paul Stark. “Every school district and every teacher I know of in the state welcomes parental involvement.”

Stark also believes there won’t be a lot of change, except for codifying parental rights.

State Rep. Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls sponsored the bill.

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