The First Steps

to Restoring the American Family 

Parents’ Bill of Rights Act

by Sen. Josh Hawley

America has long recognized parents’ fundamental right to direct their children’s education. During the school closures over the past year and a half, however, many parents were stunned to discover for the first time that radical ideologies, such as Critical Race Theory, were being peddled to their children. And when they tried to voice their concerns, they were shut down by school boards and intimidated by Joe Biden’s Justice Department. Parents grew in their sense that their views mattered less than the whims of woke school bureaucrats and teachers’ unions.

The Left’s insistence that CRT is not taught in schools belies the reality that curricula and teaching materials infused with racial identity politics are emerging daily from school districts across the nation. Seattle Public Schools even explicitly includes CRT as part of its Black Studies curriculum, which the district is working to embed in every subject. Democrats and their corporate media allies may continue trying to gaslight parents, but parents know better and are increasingly alert to attempts to indoctrinate their children. 

Still, parents need help, and public policy must leave no doubt that parents, not bureaucrats, are in the driver’s seat when it comes to K-12 education. That’s why I have introduced the Parents’ Bill of Rights Act — to clearly and definitively enumerate the rights all parents have over their children’s education.

These parental rights begin with the essential right to full curricular transparency. Contra the policies of school districts like Loudoun County, Virginia, this right allows parents to make copies of teaching materials and prohibits schools from requiring parents to sign nondisclosure agreements to view curricula. Further, parents will be able to access information on individuals who engage their children at school, including guest and outside presenters, as well as any third-party groups which receive school contracts or funding. These rights will help to ensure that toxic ideology does not seep into classroom instruction or trainings.

Under the Parents’ Bill of Rights, parents will be guaranteed the right to visit with their children at school, and to be notified immediately of any safety matters at their kids’ schools. Parents also will be able to access all school records concerning their children, as well as control how any outside groups use their children’s personal data. Finally, parents will have the right to be heard at public school board meetings on all matters pertaining to their kids’ education. 

@HawleyMO: Parents aren’t the problem. They’re the solution.Tweet This

This legislation communicates to school administrators that there will be consequences for failing to afford parents basic rights. When any of these parental rights are abridged, parents are empowered to sue for injunctive relief. And the most serious offenders — schools and school districts which repeatedly violate parents’ rights — risk losing half of their federal funding.

In the new year, Congress should work to free parents and their children from the dual threats imposed by woke ideologies and hubristic education bureaucrats. Passing the Parents’ Bill of Rights would be a good place to start.

  • Sen. Josh Hawley

    U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is recognized as one of the nation’s leading constitutional lawyers. He has litigated at the Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and in state court, fighting for the people’s liberties. Raised in rural Missouri, Josh previously served as Missouri’s Attorney General and earned a reputation for taking on big government, big business, special interests, and organized crime.

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