Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is set to introduce a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” measure in order to “to turn back efforts to shut parents out of their children’s education” and counter “woke bureaucrats” implementing Critical Race Theory.
“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 Missouri Republican said in a draft statement obtained by Fox News:
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,” he concluded.
… are getting school contracts and money. It will also protect parents’ right to show up and check on their kids and be involved. Parents aren’t the problem. They’re the solution.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 4, 2021
According to Fox News, a document describing the legislation quotes failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach” — a comment many see as the death knell of his campaign in a race that was ultimately won by Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin by running on the issue of education.
“Parental rights, particularly in education, are increasingly under attack,” the document states, continuing, “All across the country, American parents have been mocked, bullied, and belittled by bureaucrats and school board members who think they know better.”
The document also notes the FBI’s investigation of concerned parents who spoke out at school board meetings against radical policies like Critical Race Theory and gender theory. As Breitbart News reported, the White House and Department of Justice “‘actively engaged’ with top officials of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) prior to the group’s letter to President Joe Biden requesting federal law enforcement explore parents voicing concerns about education issues as possible ‘domestic terrorists.'”
A spotlight was placed on the FBI’s tactics against parents as a whistleblower revealed that they had used “counterterrorism tools” to investigate persons voicing concerns about education in their local school districts.
The Left’s latest: any criticism of Critical Race Theory is racist and like saying the n-word https://t.co/gYmbyyIlWx
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 16, 2021
Hawley’s legislation will enumerate eight rights to be held by parents with regard to their child’s education and provide for an avenue by which parents can sue their school boards if they violate those rights. Obtained by Fox News, the eight rights are as follows:
- 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.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also introduced a Parents’ Bill of Rights in the lower chamber, along with Education and Labor Ranking Member Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and other House members. In a joint statement, the members said “Earlier this month, Virginia parents delivered a political shockwave that was felt across the country. They sent a clear mandate that parents must have a seat at the table when it comes to their students’ education.”
“Our Parents Bill of Rights will protect parental involvement by reinforcing their right to be heard, their right to see curriculums, and their right to be updated on any violent activity that happens on their children’s campus,” the statement continued.
Some states have statutory protections for parents similar to Hawley’s proposal.
As Breitbart News exclusively reported, two Arizona parents are the first to file a complaint under the state’s new Parents’ Bill of Rights law passed last year, stating that the “school district violated their right to ‘direct the upbringing [and] education … of their child.'”
Breitbart News also reported on a “Scottsdale, Arizona, school district official who was alleged to have access to a dossier of private information and photos of parents and children in the district,” among other violations in Virginia and elsewhere.
The idea of a Parents’ Bill of Rights has proliferated across the country, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) also recently signed one into law.