ENDORSEMENT: PDE Action Endorses HR 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act
March 10, 2023
Apolitical parents have spoken up over the last two years about troubling curriculum and violence occurring in public schools. There is an intentional and universal lack of transparency and accountability among school districts. Concerning incidents are major and widespread. In Kansas, kids are taught to see gender through the lens of a “Gender Unicorn.” The state Department of Education in Hawaii contracts with Panorama Education annually for over $1 million to “provide and administer a student social emotional learning survey and dashboard.” Healthcare professionals are advising teachers “not [to] notify parents if their child uses a chest binder” in Missouri. Teachers are being forced to read books that teach students they are either the “oppressed” or the “oppressor” in Michigan. Teachers are being forced to prioritize social and emotional learning over math, science, language arts and history. Examples of social and emotional learning include mood surveys, engaging in self-reflection and encouraging students to point out differences in skin color. These efforts by school districts are immoral and unconstitutional. Parents, not teachers, administrators or students should be guiding their child’s upbringing and education.
The Parents Bill of Rights Act, introduced by Congresswoman Julia Letlow, addresses the primary issues parents have vocalized over the last two years: academics, free speech, safety, fairness and transparency. We hope Congress will be receptive to the Parents Bill of Rights Act and vindicate parents who have spoken up and yearn for such legislation. This bill will increase transparency in curriculum, surveys/data, violent incidents and district finances. These are logical, straight forward, common sense changes which address parental concerns and reset the relationship between parents and administrators. In addition, it will expand transparency and enforcement under the PPRA and FERPA. It is unconscionable that parents have been unduly excluded from information about violence in schools and curriculum taught in classrooms. This bill will help districts re-prioritize the fundamentals of education which have tragically taken a back seat to pet projects like social and emotional learning, as well as other district wide professional development sessions that push politically and socially charged content.
What the Parents Bill of Rights Act means for Parents:
- Curriculum will be posted online for parental review
- Data collections from surveys will not be given to third parties
- Literature in libraries will be tracked and shared with parents
- District budget, revenue, and expenditures will be accessible to parents
- Parents will be notified of all violent incidents that occur on school property
- Parents will be chief decision makers for all medical decisions involving their child
- Parents will be notified of changes to gifted and talented programs in child’s school
- Parents will be guaranteed in person meetings with child’s teacher and district administrators
“Kansas City Public Schools has guidelines to keep gender identity of students secret from parents; provides training that includes the “Genderbread Person” and “Gender Unicorn,” (January 19, 2023), https://defendinged.org/incidents/kansas-city-kansas-public-schools-has-guidelines-to-keep-gender-identity-of-students-secret-from-parents-provides-training-that-includes-the-genderbread-person-and-gender-unicorn/ (last accessed March 5, 2023).
“Hawaii Department of Education Contracts with Panorama Education for $1,391,356.65 for the 2022-2023 School Year,” (August 30, 2023), https://defendinged.org/incidents/hawaii-department-of-education-contracts-with-panorama-education-for-1391356-65-for-the-2022-2023-school-year/ (last accessed March 5, 2023).
“Transgender Center Staffers at Washington University of St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital Advise Parkway Schools Not to Tell Parents About Child Chest Binders,” (January 12, 2023), https://defendinged.org/incidents/transgender-center-staffers-at-washington-university-of-st-louis-and-st-louis-childrens-hospital-advise-parkway-schools-not-to-tell-parents-about-child-chest-binder-use/ (last accessed March 5, 2023).
“Mason Public School’s equity plan encourages teachers to read books by Paulo Freire and other ‘anti-racist’ writers,” (January 5, 2023), https://defendinged.org/incidents/mason-public-schools-equity-plan-encourages-teachers-to-read-books-by-paulo-freire-and-other-anti-racist-writers/
Download this press release here.