House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have given the American people an opportunity to dramatically strengthen the role of parents in the education of their children.
Mr. McCarthy made the point that the majority has the right to designate the top bills by number. The Parents Bill of Rights is amplified by its designation as HR 5 and is the first bill Mr. McCarthy has introduced in a press conference.
Mr. McCarthy said at the press conference: “That’s what today is all about: It’s about every parent, mom and dad, but most importantly about the students in America.”
Today, millions of children are being taught fake history, discriminatory values, and various sexual values that should be left to their parents to teach. At the same time, too many schools are simply not teaching academic basics (math, reading and language). As a result, more parents have demanded access to information about what the schools are teaching their children.
In some ways, this movement for parents took off during Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s campaign, when more than 1,000 people rallied in Loudoun County demanding knowledge about their schools and their school board. This was a project developed by 1776 Action, a pro-American history activist group. When the Democratic nominee, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” there was a strong backlash, and education became a driving issue in the campaign. Mr. Youngkin was on the right side, with parents. Mr. McAuliffe was on the wrong side, with teachers unions and interest groups.
Then, Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo on violence against school boards and teachers led the FBI Counterterrorism Division to list parents complaining about their children’s schools as potential terrorists.
The result has been a surge in popular support for parental rights. In fact, in America’s New Majority Project, we discovered that 89% of Americans believe parents have a right to know what is being taught in their children’s schools.
Now, House Republicans have introduced HR 5, the Parents Bill of Rights, to protect parents’ right to know what is happening to their children. This bill dramatically strengthens the role of parents in education. As Mr. McCarthy said: “The Parents Bill of Rights has five pillars to ensure parents have the right to have a voice in their kids’ education: 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; [and] Right to be updated on any violent activity at school.”
The Committee on Education and the Work Force has created an excellent explanation of the bill.
The incentive to introduce the Parents Bill of Rights was described by Rep. Julia Letlow, Louisiana Republican, who said: “I think the pandemic brought to light for a lot of us moms and dads, for the first time ever, we sat down, and we saw what our children were being taught through the virtual classroom. 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.”
Education and Labor Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx explained her strong support for the bill, which will be referred to her committee, saying: “Parents have the right and responsibility to keep their children safe. This includes making decisions about life-altering medical treatments and interventions. Determining your child is not going to receive gender transition interventions is not abuse or neglect — it is a parent rightfully making a decision for his or her child. No system should remove a child, or investigate a family for abuse, based on this decision. Nor should a hospital or state be able to circumvent a parent’s right to decide whether his or her child should undergo gender-transition interventions.”
Republican House Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik emphasized: “Parents are the primary stakeholders in their child’s education, and they have a right to know what is going on inside their child’s classroom. For the first time in the new majority in the House, House Republicans are introducing our Parents Bill of Rights to bring our parents’ concerns to the highest levels. In the face of the woke agenda and radical CRT the Far Left is pushing even in the midst of the devastating learning loss, we are ensuring parents have the transparency to know if their child is being properly equipped in the classroom. House Republicans are laser-focused on putting parents back in the driver’s seat, and this is a critical step forward in fulfilling our Commitment to America and creating a future that is based on freedom.”
The Parents Bill of Rights is an important step toward protecting children and strengthening parents’ ability to raise their children according to their beliefs, faith and values. Every American should call their representative and senators and demand they co-sponsor this critical legislation.
• For more commentary from Newt Gingrich, visit Gingrich360.com.