HALL MONITOR: “YES” on codifying parental rights in Wyoming schools (SF 117)

PDE Action supports Wyoming SF 117.

Name: Wyoming Senate File 117

Summary: Provides for parental rights in education aligned with existing Wyoming parental rights law. 

Author/Sponsor: Senator Dan Dockstader

Breakdown: Senate File 117, filed in 2023, would have ensured that Wyoming schools include parents in matters related to their child’s health and wellbeing. The bill would have required schools to tell parents if and when there is a change to the services a child receives to address “mental, emotional or physical health or well-being.”

The bill would prohibit schools from blocking parents’ access to their child’s records. Schools would be prohibited from encouraging children to withhold information on their mental or physical health from parents. Finally, Senate File 117 would require schools to create procedures by which parents can file a complaint pursuant to this law. 

Wyoming Senate File 117  included language to ban “classroom instruction” on “sexual orientation and gender identity” in kindergarten through third grade—similar to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act. We agree that schools should not waste precious classroom time teaching students controversial narratives on sex and gender. 

So-called “bans,” however, can be ineffective. PDE Action believes that legislation that protects parental rights, ensures schools are transparent about their curriculum and programming, and gives parents the ability to opt their children into lessons or programs that contain controversial topics, are better ways to ensure that schools are providing the best possible education for American students. 

Senate File 117 passed the Wyoming Senate but was not considered for introduction in the Wyoming House. 

Why did PDE Action support this bill: 

We supported this bill because parents—not schools–should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to their child’s health and wellbeing. PDE Action supported this bill because it protects parental rights aligned with Wyoming state law. Families are a building block of society, and parents have the right to decide their children’s upbringing, care, and education. Government entities, including schools, should not make decisions about a child without the knowledge and consent of able parents.