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