by Mary Lou Masters
House Republicans under the leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California are reintroducing legislation to promote parental rights in their children’s education, giving them more of a say in school curriculum, according to The Associated Press.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights Act will be the first piece of legislation McCarthy has introduced as speaker, the AP reported, and will ensure that parents are aware of their rights and that schools understand them. School systems will be required to publish the curriculum and budget spending, and must ask permission of parents before any medical examination takes place, such as mental health counseling.
“That’s what today is all about: It’s about every parent, mom and dad, but most importantly about the students in America,” said McCarthy when introducing the bill.
The bill also mandates that the school provide parents with a list of books available in the library. Teachers have to propose two, in person teacher-parent meetings per year, and the school board must respect the First Amendment rights of parents, allowing them to voice concerns.
The conservative movement for more parental involvement is targeted at books and curriculum that relate to gender ideology, sexual orientation and race relations, as well as transgender students’ bathroom preferences, according to the AP.
Many Republican governors have made parents’ rights a point of focus in their administrations, namely Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. In March 2022, DeSantis signed the Parental Rights In Education bill which prevents teaching on “gender ideology and sexual orientation” in grades K-3, and Youngkin signed a bill requiring schools to notify parents when “sexually explicit” content is used in the classroom in April 2022.
“So many times across this nation, we found that parents were attacked, called terrorists, and they simply wanted to go to school boards and be heard,” McCarthy said.
“McCarthy would rather seek to stoke racial and social division and distract us from what will really help our students thrive: an inspiring, inclusive, and age-appropriate curriculum that prepares each and every one of them for their future,” the National Education Association (NEA) told the AP in a statement.
The NEA is the country’s largest teachers’ union. In 2022, the union pushed gender ideology and critical race theory into the classroom, called parents extremists and promoted LGBTQ ally badges and summer reading lists with books about kneeling during the National Anthem.
Neither McCarthy’s office or the NEA immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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Mary Lou Masters is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Kevin McCarthy” by Kevin McCarthy.