NC's Foxx helps roll out revived Natl. Parents Bill of Rights
Reintroduction rollout event heard from parent sued by NEA for asking about gender identity curriculum
A Mar. 2 event reintroduced a Parents Bill of Rights and was attended by U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) as well as North Carolina’s Rep. Virginia Foxx, who leads the House Committee on Education & the Workforce.
H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights, has 5 pillars to ensure parents have the right to have a voice in their kids’ education, per a release by McCarthy’s office.
Right to know what’s being taught in schools and to see reading material
Right to be heard
Right to see school budget and spending
Right to protect their child’s privacy
Right to be updated on any violent activity at school
Also present at the reintroduction event were Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Representative Julia Letlow (LA-05), Representative Aaron Bean (FL-04), and Representative Erin Houchin (IN-09).
During the Mar. 2 event, Letlow, a key lawmaker in the reintroduction of the measure, commented on how important the bill was given the events parents witnessed during remote instruction.
Watch the video of the full meeting on YouTube.
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During the event, lawmakers heard from a Rhode Island mom named Nicole Solas.
Solas, a mom of a five-year-old, was given time to speak about her request for more information about gender theory materials being denied by her child’s elementary school unless she submitted a formal request - which she did and had to repeat “hundreds” of times as the school refused to respond.
The Rhode Island mom said her district’s school board threatened to sue her and attempted to shame and embarrass her over her requests at a publicly held board meeting.
While the district didn’t go forward with suing Solas, the country’s largest teachers union, the National Educators Association (NEA), did.
“The largest teachers union in the country, the NEA, did file a lawsuit against me to bully me and harass me with frivolous litigation and to send a message to other parents that if you ask questions about public education, they will come after you,” Solas said in her remarks before asking how the Parents’ Bill of Rights will protect parents.
Foxx responded that the “Parents’ Bill of Rights guarantees that you have the right to go to the school board” and ask these questions.
In her response, Foxx cited her 12 years as a school board member in North Carolina and went on to say “petty tyrants” try to stop people through lawsuits, but told Solas “You have a rock to stand on, and that’s the Constitution.”
Watch the full exchange between Solas and Foxx below:
In the North Carolina General Assembly, multiple versions of a Parents’ Bill of Rights have been filed; two of which were filed by Democratic lawmakers.
Senate Bill 49 is the main bill filed by Republican lawmakers. The bill has a long list of accountability and transparency protections for parents that extend into the mental health, well-being, and moral upbringing of their children.
One provision of the bill, which Democrats and the LGBTQ community have objected to, deals with barring the teaching of gender identity ideologies and sexual topics for young students in grades K-4.
The objections to the provision have largely ignored that teaching sexual topics to students is largely restricted by current law to grades 7 and up.
Senate Bill 49 is currently sitting in a House committee as House education committee leader Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston) has indicated the House may be submitting changes or even a bill of their own.
The bills filed by Democrats include House Bill 58 and Senate Bill 74. The two bills are identical and have been consolidated on the legislature’s website.
Both bills list a basic set of rights parents should already have when it comes to accessing information about their child’s education. The Democrat-filed bills also stripped out any mention of barring the teaching or discussion of gender theory or other sexual topics with the state’s youngest students.
Neither of the Democrat-led bills are likely to ever advance and are sitting idle in their chamber’s respective committees.
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