WASHINGTON – In a straight party-line vote, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed their "Parents Bill of Rights Act" on Friday. No Democrats voted for the bill.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted, "It’s a good day in America for parents and students."
JUST PASSED → The Parents Bill of Rights! It’s a good day in America for parents and students. https://t.co/9uKVh5Ow4n
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 24, 2023
He continued, "Today was a win for every mother, every father, but most importantly, for every student in America. You have a Parents Bill of Rights now, but unfortunately, the Democrats are too extreme to believe that parents should have a say in their kids' education."
The Parents Bill of Rights is based on five principles. It states that parents have the following rights:
- the right to know what their children are being taught;
- the right to be heard;
- the right to see the school budget and spending;
- the right to protect their child's privacy;
- and the right to keep their children safe.
It comes after a fiery week on Capitol Hill in hearings debating parental rights in the classroom. Republicans say it's about transparency and who's in charge of raising children. Democrats call it censorship and say it pits parents against teachers.
The hearings come in response to concerned parents speaking out at school board meetings, opposing sexualized or race-centered teaching in public schools.
"Obviously some Democrats today want to silence parents who disagree with their woke agenda to indoctrinate American children with controversial and inappropriate curriculum," said Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA).
The GOP's "Parents Bill of Rights Act" requires schools to post curriculum and respect free speech at school board meetings.
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In the hearings, Republicans focused on a Department of Justice memo that targeted parents for protesting at school board meetings.
The bill's most divisive point is a requirement that schools list books in libraries.
Democrats accuse Republicans of wanting to censor history. "This state-mandated censorship does not protect students, instead these legislative efforts will likely harm students, teachers and the quality of public education," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). "We do not shield children when we shield them from the truth, as uncomfortable as the truth may be at times."
Sarah Parshall Perry with the Heritage Foundation tells CBN News the movement is parent-driven.
"The parents have found their voices," Parshall said on CBN's Faith Nation. "Covid has given us a new perspective on exactly what our students, what are children are learning at the grassroots level. And many of those concepts are not only divisive, we're seeing books now included in school libraries that are outright pornographic and in violation of longstanding obscenity laws."
The "Parents Bill of Rights Act" still faces an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
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