A group of Republican lawmakers, led by Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, introduced a bill on Wednesday, Nov. 17, including a “parents’ bill of rights.” The bill targets Democrats and teachers’ unions it accuses of having concentrated power to “dictate what our children should be taught in the classroom.”
The bill outlines eight “rights” given to parents in their children’s education. Under the bill, schools that violate these fundamental principles could risk being sued and suffering cuts in federal funding.
According to an official statement released by Hawley, the bill’s primary purpose is to defend the rights of parents against efforts to exclude them from their children’s education. Parents themselves could be the ones to pursue lawsuits against the institutions.
In his statement, Hawley blames the left and the Biden administration for the empowerment that teachers’ unions and politicians have developed to introduce their progressive ideologies, such as critical race theory, into the curriculum.
“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.”
The eight fundamental rights put forward by the bill are:
1- To know what their minor child is being taught in school.
2- Information about who is teaching their child, including guest speakers.
3- Information about the people and organizations that receive school contracts and funds.
4- Right to visit the school and check on your child during school hours.
5- Access to all school, medical or other records relating to your child.
6- Information about the collection and transmission of your minor child’s data.
7- Absolute transparency about what is discussed and decided at School Board meetings.
8- Accurate information about situations that affect the safety of your child at school.
The legislators maintain these rights have been completely undermined during the last few years, especially during the past few months, as a leftist ideology has been introduced in the classrooms.
Hawley also aimed at the Department of Justice, which issued a memo in October that directed local and federal law enforcement to work together to end a ‘disturbing trend’ of alleged harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school board members, teachers, and workers in America’s public schools.
Hawley 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.”
In this regard, he asserted that it is time “to give control back to parents, not woke bureaucrats, and empower them to start a new era of openness in education.”