House Democrats recently made clear that they don’t want parents interfering in sex-related matters involving their own children.
Last week, as Hurricane Ian dominated the news, House Democrats voted unanimously to block an amendment to the Mental Health Matters Act that would have required parental consent before schools pursue providing services related to gender identity or sexual orientation.
Rep. Lisa McClain, a Michigan Republican, offered an amendment that would have mandated elementary and secondary schools that receive federal grants for mental health services under the bill to consult parents.
McClain’s amendment would have required parents to be given a “written notice” of the mental health services provided to their children, including assessments, group sessions, staff interventions and even providing books or a curriculum about the topic.
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That also would include services “related to the child’s or other children’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
During the floor debate last Thursday, McClain argued that her amendment “would establish that parents have the right to be informed of any mental health related issues with their children. In other words, schools may not hide critical information from parents.”
“I think it’s disappointing that it has come to this — that on the House floor we have to make an affirmative case for parents’ rights. Yet here we are,” she added. “School officials and personnel are not the parents. School officials and personnel have no right to ignore a parent’s decision on what they think is best for their child.”
She challenged critics to just open social media, where they could find plenty of examples of teachers “bragging” about discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with kids without parents knowing about it.
“Every mother and father in this chamber should want to know what is happening with their children,” said McClain. “Every one of us has the right to know what a person is telling our child.”
On Twitter, McClain noted, “Parents must always have the right to know what their children are being told in school! No one should ever be allowed to withhold information, especially when it comes to a child’s mental health! My amendment today would ensure parents’ rights on this issue are never violated.”
Yet Democrats apparently don’t want parents to have such knowledge or information.
They defeated the amendment 220-208 in a straight, party-line vote.
Among those Democrats who rejected the idea of schools consulting parents before tinkering with a child’s mental health was Rep. Val Demings, the Orlando Democrat running to oust Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio.
In response to the defeat of McClain’s proposal, Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California tweeted: “House Democrats just BLOCKED a bill requiring schools to provide parental notice and obtain consent before offering students health services. House Republicans believe parents have rights—including the right to be involved in every decision regarding their child’s health.”
After McClain’s amendment failed, Democrats passed the overall bill by a 220-205 margin. One Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, voted with the Democrats.