House GOP demands action on parental Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 22: Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) speaks at a news conference about the National Defense Authorization Bill at the U.S. Capitol on September 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Freedom Caucus announced they will not support the military funding bill, saying it does not hold President Biden accountable for the Afghanistan withdrawal, it undermines homeland security and they oppose the female draft amendment to the bill. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 22: Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) speaks at a news conference about the National Defense Authorization Bill at the U.S. Capitol on September 22, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 11:41 AM PT – Friday, December 3, 2021

Republican members of the House Education and Labor Committee brought forward a bill to strengthen parental rights.

Speaking on the House floor on Thursday, several GOP representatives moved to consider HR 6056, the Parents’ Bill of Rights Act. The bill clarifies parent’s rights, which include the right to know what their children are being taught, the right to be heard, and their right to protect their children’s privacy.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) opened by drawing attention to the Democrat Party’s viewpoint on education by pointing to Virginia’s failed gubernatorial candidate, Terry McCauliffe, who said parents shouldn’t be telling schools what they should teach. Cole emphasized the need for congressional intervention when it comes to education.

“Education is one of the most important issues that we face today. Determining how our children will be educated, determines the future fate of our nation. Unfortunately, many school districts have been ignoring the wishes of parents, or worse, telling parents they can not play a role in their child’s education,” Cole stated.

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said she doesn’t understand why anyone would oppose the Parents’ Bill of Rights because it simply boosts the rights parents already have.

“Making school spending in curriculum transparent should already be the norm. After all, what do schools have to hide,” asked Foxx.

When Democrat representatives took the floor, they suggested directing funds to free childcare and paid parental leave as an alternative, which Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said wasn’t the answer.

“It’s that we’re funding a government to do things to us, to interfere with us. We’re funding an FBI to target parents,” said Roy.

Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.), the first Republican woman to represent Louisiana in Congress and an academic administrator herself, also called for action to be taken. She said the government can’t take total control of the education system, urging her fellow lawmakers to see the importance of educators and administrators working with parents to ensure student success.

“The idea that government can exclude parents and have total control of the classroom will never work,” she claimed. “Because it ignores the simple truth, that these are our children, not the governments. The Parents’ Bill of Rights puts safeguards in place that ensure that the foundation is built on a meaningful dialogue between family and their child’s school.”

She went on to add that the ideas in the bill aren’t partisan or polarizing, but are simple and common sense.

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