House Democrats unanimously opposed the Republican-led “Parents Bill of Rights,” legislation that would require schools to inform parents if they encourage or promote children’s transgender transition attempts.
The Parents Bill of Rights Act still passed on Friday, though every Democrat and five Republicans voted against it. Those five Republicans were Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mike Lawler of New York, and Matt Rosendale of Montana, who said Friday, “The answer to an out-of-control education system is not turning more control over to the federal government!”
The legislation comes as parents across the nation push back against ideological content in schools related to gender, critical race theory, COVID-19, and more.
HR5, which would require districts to give parents the ability to review their children’s curriculum and reading lists, seeks to “ensure the rights of parents are honored and protected in the Nation’s public schools.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy emphasized that parents not only have a right to know what’s being taught in schools and to see the reading materials, they have a right to be heard, to see school budget and spending, to protect their children’s privacy, and to be updated on any violent activity at school.
And on Friday, McCarthy slammed Democratic lawmakers for their votes, accusing them of being an “extreme minority party.”
“We have such an extreme minority party in the Democrats that they think parents shouldn’t have a say in their kids’ education, they think it’s OK for the DOJ to call parents terrorists if they go to a school board meeting,” McCarthy said Friday. “That is no longer the case in America, because this Congress is fighting for you, and is a voice for you. The parents now have a bill of rights in their kids’ education, they have a say.”
Lawmakers like Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed the bill is about targeting people who identify as LGBTQ.
“This Republican bill is asking the government to force the outing of LGBT people before they are ready,” Ocasio-Cortez argued. “When we talk about progressive values, I can say what my progressive value is, and that is freedom over fascism.”
McCarthy praised Republican Louisiana Rep. Julia Letlow, the bill’s sponsor, for introducing the bill last Congress that ultimately moved forward and passed the House during this Congress.
“What’s very interesting is the Democrats thought it was too extreme, that the Democrats believe that parents shouldn’t have a say in their kids’ education, and actually know what the reading materials [are],” McCarthy said in Friday remarks. “But Democrats believe that was too extreme.”
“Democrats didn’t believe that in this bill we say parents have a right to be heard that they should be able to go to school board meetings and not be called terrorists, that they can have a say,” he continued. “But Democrats thought that was too extreme.”
The House speaker hailed the bill’s passage as “a win for every mother, every father, but most importantly, for every student in America.”
“You have a Parents Bill of Rights now, but unfortunately, the Democrats are too extreme to believe that parents should have a say in their kids’ education,” he said. “This bill will go on to the Senate. We hope they’ll be able to take it up. But this is a win and a change for America.”
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