Blog   Education | Government | Health & Sexuality | Marriage & Parenting

Parents’ Bill of Rights Passes State Senate, Heads to Gov. Cooper

kindergarten work space at school with paper, child's hands, and scissors

This afternoon, the North Carolina Senate gave final approval  to SB 49—Parents’ Bill of Rights by a vote of 26-13. This action comes after the bill was considered and approved by the House Rules Committee and then the full House earlier in the week. This bill clarifies and codifies parents’ rights when it comes to their child’s education and health care.

In testimony before the House Rules Committee on Wednesday, NC Family President John L. Rustin told lawmakers, “For decades state and federal courts, and this General Assembly have recognized that parents have a fundamental right to the care, custody, and control of their children. As Senate Bill 49 clarifies, this fundamental right does not end when a child enters a school building or a health care facility. In fact, one of the greatest predictors of a child’s wellbeing and success is parental involvement, and Senate Bill 49 seeks to restore transparency and a sense of partnership and cooperation between parents and their children’s school and health care providers.”

Rustin also addressed questions about a provision in the bill that would require parents to be notified if a child seeks to change their name or be referred to by different pronouns at school, “As for the concerns expressed about the bill ‘outing’ children to their parents, we have compassion for individuals who are struggling with identity issues and gender dysphoria. However, for a school to willfully withhold this information from parents is a breach of trust and a violation of the parent’s right to know, especially when a student has publicly requested to be called by a different name and referred to by different pronouns by their teachers and fellow students.”

Senate Bill 49 now proceeds to Governor Roy Cooper for his signature or veto.

More About the Bill

Sponsored by Senators Amy Galey (R-Alamance), Michael Lee (R-New Hanover), and Lisa Barnes (R-Franklin), Senate Bill 49 would:

  • Allow parents access to review textbooks and other instructional materials upon request, along with procedures to express concerns;
  • Prohibit schools from teaching lessons on “gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality” in kindergarten through fourth grade;
  • Enable parents to consent or withhold consent to their child’s participation in certain activities and instruction;
  • Require teachers to inform parents if their child has requested a change in name or pronouns prior to making any alterations to the student’s identity in school records or by school personnel; and
  • Require healthcare practitioners to obtain written parental consent before providing treatment to a minor child.

You can learn more about the Parents’ Bill of Rights here.


Receive Our Legislative Alerts