This bill ensures various rights that parents and guardians have, specifically in light of their involvement in their child’s education. Schools are required to notify parents and guardians of their rights regarding the education of their children, including the right to:
In addition, H.R. 5 clarifies that parents have the right to:
The bill also provides for family educational and privacy rights, the most notable of which is prohibiting schools from acting as an agent of a parent for purposes of providing verifiable parental consent for a vaccination. Finally, an elementary school or middle school must obtain parental consent before changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name on school forms; or allowing a child to change the child’s sex-based accommodations
Research has strongly shown that when parents are involved in their child’s education, the child has higher grades/test scores/graduation rates, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self-esteem, lower rates of suspension, decreased use of drugs/alcohol, and fewer instances of violent behavior.
Furthermore, each of these rights is designed to help the parent care for their child. If they are unaware that their child is identifying as the opposite sex, they will not know to take any steps to help their child process their gender dysphoria. If they don’t know their daughter’s school allows biological males in the girl’s restroom, they cannot protect her from the dangers that might present. If they don’t know their child received a vaccination, they won’t be able to appropriately handle any medical complications that might occur.
Finally, the education system exists to serve the children and their families, not the political agendas of the teachers or administrators. Parents deserve to know what their children are being taught, as both the ones responsible for their child and as the taxpayers funding the school.
As Kevin Roberts, President of The Heritage Foundation, explains, “These are practices good schools already do. Good principals, teachers, and school boards want parents involved. They want parents to know what books their kids are reading and what’s being taught in their classrooms.”
H.R. 5 has the potential to foster a positive relationship between parents, students, and schools, which would ultimately benefit all three. The U.S. Senate has not yet taken this bill up. In the meantime, North Carolina’s Parents’ Bill of Rights, Senate Bill 49, is making its way through the N.C. House. You can stay up to date on this legislation and others like it by signing up for our email list!