Despite opposition from Democrats, the GOP-led House approved the Parents Bill of Rights on Friday. It passed narrowly, from 213 to 208. Only a few Republicans voted against the bill and none Democrats voted in support. This bill promotes transparency by requiring school districts to post their curricula publically, including lists of books that will be available to students.
Friday morning’s vote was previewed by Kevin McCarthy, the House Speaker (Republican-California), who expressed support via Twitter.
The House is about to vote on H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights.
It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, the zip code you live in, or the wealth you have. As a parent, you should have a right to know what’s going on inside your child’s classroom. https://t.co/zKZJhJlz9g
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 24, 2023
H.R. is being voted on by the House. 5 The Parents Bill of Rights. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, where you live, or how much wealth you have. You, as a parent, should have the right to see what’s happening in your child’s classroom.
Democrats who oppose the bill claim that the real purpose of the legislation’s passage is “fascist and extreme” and will result in book-banning, and the outing of LGBTQ+ students. Republicans supported the bill because of the overwhelming support they received from their base.
The GOP bill was created in response to growing anger about the lack of information regarding everything, from school curricula and safety policies to critical race theory and gender ideology in the classroom to how schools are run. The Justice Department of the Biden administration was inspired by parents’ anger at these issues at school board meetings to investigate the “disturbing pattern” of violent threats to school officials.
The Parents Bill of Rights Act was approved by the House Republicans. It would require school districts to give parents access to reading lists and curricula. Schools would also be required to notify parents if staff encourage or promote gender transition.
The bill’s passage comes as many state legislatures are also discussing and enacting measures to increase transparency and support parents. Parents have been angered by the push from education to indoctrinate students to adopt progressive/Marxist ideals while keeping parents out.
The Democrats protested against the measure and attributed it to “extreme MAGA Republicans” who, according to Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), “don’t want American children to learn about Holocaust” and “want books to be banned, bully LGBTQ+ communities, and want guns in classrooms, kindergarten, and above.” Republicans ignored these arguments.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), stated that “nowhere in this bill it’s banning any books”. He said that the purpose of the language was to ensure parents are aware of books in school libraries that contain explicit material.
Norman and others claimed that explicit sexual content is inappropriate for children of certain ages in books that are being attacked in certain states or communities. Norman mentioned books that discuss children who “sexually act from the age of six” or that contain explicit images of oral sex.
Norman asked, “Parents? Is this something you want to read with your children?” “Parents, what is it that encourages academics? And allows that child to be competitive in the 21st Century?”
Matt Gaetz (Republican from Florida) was joined by four Republicans who voted against this measure. Gaetz used Twitter to explain why he opposed the legislation on Friday morning.
From Wokeness to funding to bathrooms to Critical Race Theory, the federal government SHOULD NOT be involved in education.
I don’t want to strengthen the federal Department of Education. I want to abolish it.
I don’t want Congress more involved in decisions that are best made…
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 24, 2023
The federal government should not be involved in education, from Wokeness to funding for bathrooms to Critical Race Theory to funding for toilets.
I don’t think it is necessary to strengthen the federal Department of Education. It should be abolished.
I don’t want Congress to be more involved in school district decisions. I want Congress to be less involved.
Therefore, I voted against the Republican bill today to create a federal “Parents Bill of Rights.”
The bill was also opposed by four other Republicans: Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Matt Rosendale, and Mike Lawler (R–NY).