House Republicans have introduced the federal Parents Bill of Rights, or HR 5, aimed at empowering parents and promoting the well-being of children in schools. However, critics like Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) argued the bill would increase “hate and discrimination” in educational settings. Nonetheless, the House Republican majority believes that giving parents the right to have a voice in their children’s education will benefit students and their families.
HR 5, led by Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA), requires local education agencies to allow parents to review the curriculum, library materials, and school budgets. Additionally, parents are to be informed of violent activity and if their child is not reading at grade level by the end of third grade. The legislation also prohibits school systems from socially transitioning students without parental consent.
26-year-old Dem. Rep. Maxwell Frost says that a Parents' Bill of Rights would result in "hate, bigotry, and yes, sometimes death of our students." pic.twitter.com/pBQ1h9GvPh
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 23, 2023
The Parents Bill of Rights contains five pillars to ensure parents can participate in their children’s education: the right to know what’s being taught, the right to be heard, the right to see school budgets and spending, the right to protect their child’s privacy, and the right to be updated on any violent activity at school.
Parents have raised concerns about explicit content in school books in recent years, leading to efforts to remove such materials. In addition, the debate over critical race theory has also made school curricula a hot-button political issue.
However, Frost claims that HR 5 is merely a vehicle for political nonsense and not about policy or freedom. He says it is a response to a problem that doesn’t exist. Frost claimed on the House floor that the legislation would bring “hate, bigotry, and even death” to American students.
Nevertheless, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and GOP lawmakers continue to stress that empowering parents and promoting children’s well-being must be the new Congress’s top priority. During the unveiling of the legislation, Speaker McCarthy and other representatives met with concerned parents to hear their stories and detail how the legislation would impact American education.
Parents have shared their experiences with their representatives, including Neeley McAllister, who said “parents in Fairfax County and in school districts across the country had a front-row seat to what their kids were learning in school. And in most cases, we were dismayed and appalled at the adult subject matter that was not only on the bookshelves of taxpayer-funded libraries but also being forced upon them in the classroom.”