State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver Says She Was ‘Cancelled’ by Republicans on the Important Issue of Parental Rights

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) told The Tennessee Star Wednesday that she was “cancelled by Republicans” when her parental rights legislation failed to receive a second in a House subcommittee Tuesday.

Weaver’s “Parent Bill of Rights Act,” filed as HB2451, was assigned to the Health Subcommittee as its first stop. While the bill got a motion by Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro), it failed to get a second for the merits of the bill to even be discussed or debated.

“What I want to make perfectly clear,” Weaver told The Star on Wednesday, “is that regardless of whether the bill gets voted up or down – that is not even in this discussion – it is the fact that my district’s voice is silenced in bringing the bill. It is the most egregious, unconscionable and unacceptable.”

“Unacceptable” is what Weaver responded as she pointed at what she called all of the “feckless men” on the subcommittee, after Chairman Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville) ruled that the measure failed for lack of a second.

Ramsey responded to Weaver, “Excuse me. Sorry.”

“That is unacceptable,” Weaver repeated, even though the microphone at the podium where she stood remained off.

“Take it up, take it up with the committee members later. I can’t change that,” Ramsey said as he talked over Weaver without seconding the bill himself. While it may be frowned upon for a committee or subcommittee chair to motion or second a bill in the House, it is not against the rules.

It was parents who brought the bill to Weaver, which she said was the same in principle to one that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed in 2021.

Florida’s HB 241 included legislative findings that it is a fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education and care of the minor children and that important information relating to their minor child’s health, well-being and education while in the custody of the school district should not be withheld from the parent.

Serving in a seventh General Assembly, Weaver said that as a “senior” and “somebody who has never done that to anybody, even as a chairman, everybody,” she stressed, “Democrat or Republican, deserves a motion and a second.”

“I’ve heard of this being done,” Weaver told The Star, “and I find it disrespectful to the people of Tennessee, because each of us 99 [House members] represents a population block of nearly 70,000 people.”

Weaver still seemed shocked that she was unable to present a bill “as important as parental rights to a supposedly Republican group of men, who are all about supposedly small government and individual rights and for them to look at me like a deer in the headlights.”

For the most part, Weaver’s five-page bill addressed Title 49, which is the section of Tennessee code that deals with education. The chapters that the legislation deals with are related to the Parental Educational Participation Act, the Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act, extracurricular activities, family life curriculum and a parent or legal guardian’s right to access information, receive notification or provide approval relative to their child’s activities while at school.

The bill would also delete the parts of Tennessee law that allows treatment of juvenile drug abusers, prenatal and peripartum care for minors, and consent to medical treatment by a minor without parental consent.

Weaver told The Star she was paid a visit by four members of the administration including Eric Mayo, Legislative Liaison for Governor Bill Lee; Jocelyn Young, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; and representatives from the Department of Health and the Department of Children’s Services, who sat in her office and told her why they were against her bill.

When Weaver asked each of them if they were parents, they all said no except one who said they are having their first baby in three months.

After congratulating the expectant parent, Weaver recapped to The Star that she told them that until they are parents for a while and their children are in school, they should have nothing to say about the bill.

Weaver also said she told Mayo to relay to the governor that if he wants to be a legislator, he should run for State Senate or the House of Representatives.

“I’m sick and tired of him administrating his wants and his desires over here,” Weaver said.

Some of the same individuals from the administration also testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on that chamber’s version of another of Weaver’s bills that would have made it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of vaccination. SB 2151, sponsored by Sen. Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), failed in committee Tuesday by a vote of 7-2.

As Weaver mentioned, this is not the first time even during the current legislative session that a bill sponsored by one of the Republican super majority was not seconded, denying the sponsor an opportunity to present their bill. In fact, in the very same Health Subcommittee meeting of March 1, a “Patient Rights Act” failed to get a second.

The “Patient Rights Act” sponsored in the House by Rep. Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill) as HB2486, which cited the American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics, resulted from the denial of specific rights of Tennesseans while in health care facilities for treatment of COVID-19 that the General Assembly failed to address during the COVID-related extraordinary session in October 2021.

While renowned experts on COVID, including Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance physicians and founding members Paul Marik, M.D. and Pierre Kory, M.D. as well as Idaho pathologist Ryan Cole, M.D. were flown in to give testimony, the subcommittee members denied that opportunity to them and a standing-room-only crowd.

Members of the public and witnesses scheduled to testify were shocked and angry when House Health Subcommittee Chairman Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville) gaveled that the “Patient Rights Act,” sponsored by Rep. Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill) as HB2486 failed for lack of a second without hearing the bill presentation or expert testimony.

A devoted Christian and a singer-songwriter with three No. 1 gospel songs, Weaver concluded, “Vengeance is the Lord’s. I am the conscience of the House, that’s what [former State Representative and Senator and current U.S. Congressman] Tim Burchett told me many years ago.”

In addition to Chairman Ramsey, Republican members of the House Health Subcommittee that failed to second Weaver’s or Warner’s “Parent Bill of Rights Act” and “Patient Rights Act” are Representatives Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), Mark Hall (R-Cleveland), Sabi “Doc” Kumar (R-Springfield), Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville), Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta) and Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro).

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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Star News Network, where she covers stories for The Tennessee Star and The Georgia Star News.

 

 

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7 Thoughts to “State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver Says She Was ‘Cancelled’ by Republicans on the Important Issue of Parental Rights”

  1. […] Ramsey, himself a dentist, presented both of his bills to the House Health Subcommittee that he chairs on the very same day that State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) was “cancelled” by Republicans on her “Parent Bill of Rights Act,” The Tennessee Star reported. […]

  2. kanta masters

    We had a very similar experience with Rep. Griffey’s Election Integrity bill. We literally had HUNDREDS of emails, phone calls, handwritten letters, and personal meetings to show WE THE PEOPLE chose to have HB2074 passed. We had a national election expert provide testimony and another former Mayor of a large city and career attorney provide excellent testimony. The subcommittee voted UNAMINOUSLY against the bill. WE THE PEOPLE have no voice at the Capitol. We MUST elect new legislators who actually LISTEN to their constituents. In our view, this is the only way to truly change what appears to us to be a corrupt, lobbyist-driven legislature.

  3. […] once again his “worst GOP legislator” bona fides, subcommittee chairman Bob Ramsey ignored the fact that it is not against the rules for the chair to “second” the motion and allow the […]

  4. C. Richard Archie

    I doubt Bill Lee had anything to do with the use of your tax dollars to subvert the will of the People, he has minions for that. I suspect it has much more to do with the Liberals he has put in charge of your everyday life and their desire to rule you through executive fiat, and, a refusal to honor the oath that every taxpayer paid employee of the People take to protect and defend the Constitution of this State…

  5. 83ragtop50

    The worthless GOP supermajority rears its spineless head once again. Just a bunch of worthless RINOs. It will take a few years, but they all need to be cleaned out before the liberal cancer is too widespread. I include my senator in that group and seriously question my rep.

  6. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

    HCA Rockefeller Republicans 101. This ain’t rocket science.

  7. faithy

    At least the people can see firsthand what kind of Republicans we are dealing with. Many are squish or democrat’s running as Republicans in their district. No that we know what is going on, it is time for us to understand how local politics work and primary them in April or vote with our wallet which means boycotting the businesses that donate to them.

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