Members of the Republican House Education and Workforce Committee and House Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee held a series of Friday roundtables with Florida parents to garner support and input on the recently introduced “Parental Bill of Rights,” which is headed to the U.S. House floor for a vote, roundtable attendees told the DCNF.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx and Florida Republican Rep. Aaron Bean asked parents for feedback on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in K-3 classrooms, and how the law could apply on a federal level, parents attending the roundtable told the DCNF.
Parents called for more legislation on a national level to give them control in their child’s education and within the lawmaking process.
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“Parents have a right to see the curriculum; they have a right to see what is going on in their schools,” Tanya Kacsan, Moms for Liberty Clay County Chapter chair, told the DCNF. “[Foxx and Bean] presented the [Parental Bill Of Rights] bill to us. We’re excited that we have a seat at the table and that the conversation has been started, and that we’re there to have that conversation; it is certainly refreshing.”
House Republicans, under the leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California, introduced the “Parental Bill of Rights” on March 2, requiring school districts to provide parents with curriculum, reading materials, budget and spending information.
The legislation would require school districts to notify parents if any violent activity occurs during the school day.
“We know that this is headed to the House floor, and we want to have our voices heard through the amendment process because there are changes we would like to see,” Erin Skipper, Clay County School Board Member, told the DCNF. “We know that Florida parents are winning when our elected officials are really talking about parental rights in education. We’re excited that a conversation is being had.”
Foxx and Bean asked parents about the effectiveness of Florida’s education policies which bar school districts from teaching Critical Race Theory and providing minors with access to sexually explicit or pornographic material, parents attending the roundtable told the DCNF. Laws similar to Florida’s aren’t universal in other states, Kacsan told the DCNF.
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“Florida is a little bit unique in that we have a Parental Bill of Rights and we have laws to protect our children from pornography, and Governor DeSantis has really helped kind of put that to the forefront and has worked to get that stuff removed from our schools,” Kacsan told the DCNF. “But that’s not the same in every state.”
Across the country lawmakers are moving to increase parental rights in education; the Kentucky House passed a bill allowing parents to challenge sexually explicit materials in the classroom.
Virginia Department of Education policy requires schools to post all “sexually explicit content,” including all materials used for the lessons and curriculum, on the school’s website and also requires parents to be alerted at least 30 days before the lessons occur.
“I was joined today by parents, teachers, and education officials all united by our belief that our education system is critical to the future of our nation,” Bean told the DCNF. “Schools are struggling to retain good teachers and colleges and universities are saddled with government regulation. It’s time to reclaim the moral high ground in America and unleash bold, transformative education reforms that will empower parents, protect kids and prepare the workforce of the future.”
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