HALL MONITOR: “YES” on Michigan’s Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (HB 5374)

Name: House Bill 5374, Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Summary: Establishes the rights of parents to review curriculum, books, and classes, and to have access to other documentation and information about their children in schools. Ensures that parents are notified about threats to their child’s physical safety regarding incidents in or near the school.

Status: Introduced and referred to Committee on Government Operations in November 2023.

Sponsors: Representative Cam Cavitt is the primary sponsor. Representatives Mike Hoadley, Luke Meerman, Gregory Markkanen, Pat Outman, and David Martin are cosponsors. 

Bill Breakdown: 

House Bill 1739 would establish transparency measures in schools that would allow parents to access their child’s curriculum, books, and information about teachers and guest speakers, and to observe their class in session. The bill would require schools to obtain parental permission before requiring students to attend assemblies or field trips, and also requires parental consent before collecting biometric data or using photos or videos of students. Finally, the bill would require schools to inform parents if physical or sexual assaults, the presence of weapons, drug use, or police investigations, have occurred in or around the school, or if crimes have been committed by school employees in or outside the school. 

Why does PDE Action support this bill? 

Parents, not schools, are a child’s first and foremost caregiver. It is vital that parents are included in conversations about their child’s education and wellbeing. Parents entrust schools with their child’s safety and have the right to be informed about threats to that safety on school grounds. Further, this bill ensures that parents may access their child’s curriculum and learning materials, and enables them to protect their child’s digital and biometric privacy. House Bill 5374 would protect parental rights in education by encouraging transparency between schools and parents.