Summary: Establishes the rights of parents to review curriculum, books, and have access to other documentation and information about their children in schools. Ensures that parents are notified if and when their child requests to use a different name and pronouns in school.
Status: Read in the House for a second time on January 4, 2024
Sponsors: Representative Doug Richey sponsored House Bill 1739. Senator Andrew Koenig sponsored its senate counterpart, Senate Bill 728.
House Bill 1739 would establish transparency measures in schools that would allow parents to access their child’s curriculum, learning materials, and records—including medical records. The bill would ensure that schools cannot hide from parents their child’s decision to live as another gender identity at school. Further, schools would be required to notify parents about felony criminal activity perpetrated by teachers or other individuals on school grounds, and other felony charges that relate to the safety and wellbeing of students.
Why does PDE Action support this bill?
In 2022, our partner organization, Parents Defending Education, discovered that the St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s pediatric gender center advised schools to withhold information about a child’s gender identity from his or her parents.
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, health, and wellbeing. That should not stop when a child enters school grounds. Further, this bill ensures that parents may access their child’s curriculum and learning materials House Bill 1739 would protect parental rights in education and curb schools from usurping parental authority.