If this year’s surprising election results and stories of angry parents protesting mask mandates, obscene sexual education curriculums, the teaching of Critical Race Theory, and boys allowed in girls bathrooms have taught us anything, it’s that parents’ rights to direct the upbringing, care and education of their children are under attack.
Parents shouldn’t have to fight to exercise the rights they’re entitled to. One U.S. legislator agrees with that.
Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has introduced the Parents’ Bill of Rights Act in the U.S. Senate as way to guarantee that schools and school boards understand that they must be responsive to parental rights.
The bill, which does not yet carry an identification number, will allow parents to sue any school system receiving federal dollars to enforce eight basic rights:
- The right to know what their minor child is being taught in school, including, but not limited to, curricula, books, and other instructional materials.
- The right to information on who is teaching their minor child, including guest lecturers and outside presenters.
- The right to information on individuals and organizations receiving school contracts and funding.
- The right to visit the school and check in on their minor child during school hours.
- The right to all school records, medical or otherwise, concerning their minor child.
- The right to information about the collection and transmission of their minor child’s data.
- The right to have sufficient accountability and transparency regarding school boards.
- The right to know about situations affecting their minor child’s safety in school.
Sen. Hawley issued a press release explaining the need for this bill.
“America has long recognized the right of parents to direct their children’s education but we are now seeing a concerted effort by the Left to shut parents out,” he said. “Whether it’s Joe Biden’s Justice Department attempting to classify parents as ‘domestic terrorists’ or activists funded by dark money who seek to quietly introduce critical race theory into school curricula, education has taken a back seat to radical politics in many schools and parents are taking notice. It’s time to give control back to parents, not woke bureaucrats, and empower them to start a new era of openness in education.”
Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democrat Representative from the state of Hawaii and presidential candidate in 2020, told Fox News on October 24 that “Concerned parents are the latest targets of the establishment. This is a bigger problem than Democrats or Republicans. This is about the establishment elite trying to hold on to their power and continue to increase it. And the mainstream media is a powerful arm of that establishment elite.
“And it comes down to this: You’re either with them, agreeing with them, supporting them, carrying the water for them, or you’re not. You’re either part of their team or you’re not. And if you’re not … they will target you, censor you, demonize you and call you a domestic terrorist and sic the Attorney General on you.”
One organization that has been at the forefront of many of those legal fights on behalf of parents trying to protect their children is the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). In a press release concerning Hawley’s new bill, ADF Senior Counsel Matt Sharp said:
“A government with unchecked power to intrude on parental rights can easily become a threat to everyone’s freedom. Sen. Hawley’s bill helps protect the right of parents to raise and educate their children consistent with their beliefs and values. In light of the recent threats to parental rights from Attorney General Merrick Garland and school boards across the country, it is important that Congress pass laws that safeguard the right of parents to make decisions regarding their children.
“We commend Sen. Hawley for introducing this timely legislation, and we urge Congress to enact these protections so parents can continue to decide what is best for their children.”
We’ll keep you apprised of the bill’s developments as it gathers co-sponsors and navigates the various committees on Capitol Hill.
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