CV NEWS FEED // A year after it was revealed that the Biden administration colluded with the nation’s largest teachers union to target concerned parents as “domestic terrorists,” the House of Representatives is preparing to debate a new Parents’ Bill of Rights in Washington, D.C.
The Parental Bill of Rights, or H.R. 5, was reintroduced by Louisiana Rep. Julia Letlow, PhD, and co-signed by 73 House Republicans. The bill would enshrine concrete legal protections that “ensure parents always have a seat at the table when it comes to their child’s education.”
According to the House Committee on Education and Workforce, the bill begins with by stating parents “have a God-given right to make decisions for their children,” and establishes five “common-sense” principles:
- Parents have the right to know what their children are being taught.
- Parents have the right to be heard.
- Parents have the right to see the school budget and spending.
- Parents have the right to protect their child’s privacy.
- Parents have the right to keep their children safe.
“As a mom of two and a former educator, I firmly believe that the relationship between parents and schools should be collaborative, not adversarial,” Letlow said. “Excluding parents from education will never work because it ignores the simple truth that these are our children, not the government’s.”
Commitment to America
The bill, which will be debated in the House on Thursday and Friday, is a major fixture of House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” agenda, and supporters describe it as a necessary check on the increasing prevalence of radical left-wing ideologies in both public and private schools.
Over the last three years, concern has grown over the influence of Critical Race Theory and “transgender” ideology in schools, with constant reports of school districts hosting pornographic events, making sexually explicit books available to children, and forcing divisive “anti-racist” lessons on students as young as elementary school age.
According to Letlow, these recent controversies have been a major wakeup call for parents, who began to pay more attention to what their children were learning thanks to the remote learning implemented by most schools in 2020.
“[For] the first time ever, we sat down and we saw what our children were being taught through the virtual classroom,” said Letlow. “And when we saw that, so many of us were disheartened with what we were viewing – and so then we did the right thing, right? We went to our school boards and voiced our displeasure, but we were turned away.”
Far from being just turned away, many parents – including those who spoke out against a high-profile “transgender” rape coverup in Loudoun County, Virginia – found themselves investigated by federal law enforcement. Last year, it was revealed that the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to the Biden administration requesting that the FBI use federal counterterrorism tools under the Patriot Act to track and categorize parents speaking out at school board meetings.
Former Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who serves as senior political advisor to CatholicVote, said that H.R. 5 doesn’t just hold educators accountable, but also the Biden administration.
“In collaboration with public school bureaucrats, the Biden administration has weaponized the Department of Justice and the FBI to assault concerned parents across the United States. In response, this Parents’ Bill of Rights will protect the God-given right of families to make decisions for their children, to know what they are being taught, and to protect their privacy and safety,” said Huelskamp.
Exposing the Left
In many ways, the Parents’ Bill of Rights is a national version of a Florida state law that was passed in 2021 and the 2022 Parental Rights in Education Act, which detractors on the left immediately labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In fact, California Democrat Adam Schiff baselessly claimed H.R. 5 was “little more than an extreme attempt to ban books and undermine the safety of children.”
In reality, the bill establishes baseline reporting measures for public schools such as mandating that teachers meet with parents at least twice a year and update them on curriculum changes. The bill also legally established parents’ rights to know what books are in the school’s library – and guaranteed their First Amendment rights to protest those books or anything else at the school.
Tom McClusky, director of government affairs at CatholicVote, said Democrats don’t have voters or parents on their side when it comes to the issue.
“Democrats have resorted to attacking this bill, and those like it, as ‘censorship’ because they need to obscure the fact that they’re the ones sticking pornographic and racist books in school libraries and silencing parents for voicing dissent. Polls show that American parents overwhelmingly reject the extreme platform of the left and that parents should be involved in their children’s education.”
While the bill is expected to pass the House on party lines, experts say it won’t likely advance to Biden’s desk. Still, according to McClusky, House Republicans may have won the first round by exposing what Democrats really think of parents.
“For the last two years, the Biden administration and House Democrats have done everything in their power to target concerned parents – even involving federal law enforcement in an effort to intimidate men and women concerned for their children’s education,” said McClusky. “By forcing a debate and a vote on the Parents’ Bill of Rights, House Republicans are making it clear to all Americans where Democrats stand. And it’s not with children or parents.”