House GOP Pass ‘Parents Bill of Rights’ Emphasizing Parental Rights in the Classroom

On Friday, House Republicans passed an education bill titled the “Parents Bill of Rights,” which places an emphasis on parental rights in the classroom, The Hill reports.

The legislation passed with a 213-208 vote, with five Republicans voting with every Democrat against the bill.

It will now move on to the Senate for consideration, though it is unlikely that the Democratic-controlled chamber will take up the measure. House Democrats have dubbed the bill the “Politics over Parents Act.”

The bill demands that schools publish their curricula publicly and mandates that parents be allowed to meet with their children’s teachers.

It also requires schools to provide information to parents when violence occurs on school grounds and a list of books and reading materials accessible at the school library.

Additionally, the bill gives parents a say when schools are crafting or updating their policies and procedures for student privacy, among other tenets.

The legislation also addresses a hot-button issue in the GOP political sphere by stating that school and government officials “should never seek to use law enforcement to criminalize the lawfully expressed concerns of parents about their children’s education,” and that the “First Amendment guarantees parents and other stakeholders the right to assemble and express their opinions on decisions affecting their children and communities.”

Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA, PhD), the bill’s sponsor, said during debate on the House floor Thursday that “This bill is not complex or complicated, nor should it be partisan or polarizing.

“It is not an attempt to have Congress dictate their curriculum, or determine the books in the library,” Rep. Letlow said during the Thursday debate on the House floor. “Instead, this bill aims to bring more transparency and accountability to education, allowing parents to be informed and when they have questions and concerns to lawfully bring them to their local school boards.”

The bill also passed with a number of amendments, including one sponsored by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) that asserts that parents have a right to know if the school their child attends operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities that allow transgender individuals to participate in a sport that does not correspond with their biological sex.

Another approved amendment, also sponsored by Boebert, says parents have a right to know if their child’s school allows a transgender individual to use a bathroom or changing room that does not correspond with their biological sex, The Hill notes.

“As a mom of two and a former educator, I believe for a child to succeed, they need families and schools to work together as partners throughout the learning process,” Letlow said when she reintroduced that legislation earlier this month.