House Speaker McCarthy introduces Parents’ Bill of Rights

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News March 2, 2023

Parents’ Bill of Rights legislation would require school districts to post curriculum publicly, offer in-person meetings with parents, and notify parents of any instances of violence or assault at the school, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy arrives for a Parent Bill of Rights event at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. / Greg Nash photo

“The pandemic brought to light for a lot of us moms and dads for the first time ever, we sat down and we saw what our children were being taught through the virtual classroom. And when we saw that, so many of us were disheartened with what we were viewing,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Louisiana Republican Rep. Julia Letlow. “Then we did the right thing, right? We went to our school boards and we voiced our displeasure. But we were turned away.”

The legislation was first introduced in November 2021 after a memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland instructing the FBI to investigate parents speaking out at school board meetings in opposition to Critical Race Theory and school mask mandates went public.

Some of those parents were present at a forum in the Capitol for introduction of the bill on Wednesday.

Fairfax County, Virginia parent Amelia McAllister, who said that her young daughter was suspended 11 times for refusing to wear a mask after Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order to allow parents to opt-out of mask mandates.

“Your perseverance — what it really tells me is I’m probably going to be voting for you one day,” McCarthy told the young girl.

Also in attendance was Scott Smith, whose daughter was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at her school by a biological male who identified as a female. Smith was arrested at a school board meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia in 2021 for disorderly conduct.

“I watched you on TV that day, and I want you to know that every parent in America stood with you,” McCarthy told Smith.

Indiana Republican Rep. Erin Houchin assured Smith that the proposed legislation would require notification of any violent activity at the school.

Another parent, Nicole Solas of Rhode Island, told her story of being told to file public records requests for information about gender theory in her child’s curriculum and the school board then debating whether they should take legal action over her hundreds of public records requests. Later, the National Education Association named Solas among others in a lawsuit seeking to prevent some materials it said violated teachers’ privacy rights from being released.

“I wouldn’t believe that was even true in America if you didn’t stand up and tell me,” McCarthy said. “You are the exact reason why we want the Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

McCarthy repeatedly pledged during the 2022 campaign cycle to pass the Parents’ Bill of Rights if Republicans won control of the House. The bill, though, is seen as unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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