The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) has reported on some disturbing incidents of overreach in education and health care, as teachers, school counselors and health care workers ignored or countermanded parents’ requests.  

The stories came from parents testifying in the Arizona House Education Committee in favor of House Bill 2161 which would protect parents’ fundamental rights to oversee their children’s education and health care. Here’s what CAP wrote about the legislation in a recent email:

  • One Scottsdale mother testified that she opted-out her daughter from a 7th grade social studies lesson. The teacher acknowledged the opt-out in an email but had the 7th grader do the lesson anyway. In Feb 2021, the mother filed a complaint but is still waiting for an answer. Meantime, the teacher is still teaching.
  • Another Scottsdale mother opted-out her 3rd grader from Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Her older daughter then saw the 3rd grader talking to a school counselor, asking her the same questions that were on the SEL survey, including questions about the household income and guns in home. The mother found out that the 3rd grader was given tickets toward a prize in order to answer the question.
  • Another mother testified that she could not access her son’s medical records online after he turned 12 years old. A hospital employee told her they automatically shut out the parents when the child turns 12, claiming it was Arizona law but couldn’t cite which law.

Each incident demonstrates an egregious breach of parents’ rights – as educators and health workers ignored or contradicted parents’ legitimate, fundamental right to raise their children according to their moral and religious values and to provide for their care and nurture.

CAP writes that the legislation protects these rights in a number of ways:

  • HB 2161 clarifies existing parental rights laws by stating that a parent has access to a minor child’s medical and educational records, whether written or electronic.
  • It ensures that public district and charter schools that wish to survey students, must first provide the survey language to the parent to properly obtain written informed consent.
  • The bill allows parents to sue the government, including public schools, for violations of their rights, and allows the court to award them declaratory, injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees.
  • The bill also subjects private and public employees to discipline for withholding from a parent relevant information about the physical, emotional, or mental health of the parent’s child, or attempting to coerce the child to withhold information from the child’s parent.

CAP explains that HB 2161 would not undermine Arizona laws requiring teachers and others in positions of authority to report child sexual and physical abuse, as some argued at the committee hearing.

In opposition to parents, lawyers from the ACLU argued that “children should be able to talk to teachers about their ‘gender identity’ behind their parents’ backs.”

But such school policies, supported by radical trans-activists and their allies, have led to educators and counselors pushing children toward sexual identity confusion, in clear violation of parental rights.

HB 2161 passed out of the education committee with a 6 to 4 vote and has moved to the Arizona House.

The Center for Arizona Policy is one of many Focus on the Family-allied Family Policy Councils across the country, working on behalf of life, marriage, parental rights, religious freedom and free speech.

Of course, such groups need the active support of Christians in every way, from praying for state and local legislators and officials to providing financial support. Such groups need active, concerned citizens to engage on behalf of important issues – whether emailing officials or testifying at the local or state level.

One of our goals at Focus on the Family’s The Daily Citizen is to encourage our readers toward active involvement in culture and policy issues. Our Family Policy Councils provide excellent opportunities for this engagement.

Related resources and articles:

Center for Arizona Policy:

Contact Your State Policy Group

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