by Brittany Raymer
Former Digital Writer & Editor
The North Carolina Senate has once again taken up the Parents’ Bill of Rights, and it’s even better than the first time around. As Senate Bill 49 (SB 49) quickly makes its way through the committee, John Loke Foundation is voicing its support for the measure.
Parents around the country are more interested than ever in making sure their children get the education that they need, without any propaganda attached. It’s something that’s deeply supported by North Carolinians, with 82.9% of prospective voters believing that a child’s parents or guardians should make educational decisions, according to the latest Civitas Poll.
And now it seems like the North Carolina Senate is pushing forward with SB 49, a Parents’ Bill of Rights. As the News and Observer explains, it’s a bill that “bans curriculum on gender identity, sexual activity or sexuality” from grades K-4, a grade higher than the 2022 version of the bill. It also requires that parents have access to textbooks and other materials for review, either in person or online.
If passed into law, the new bill would require schools to notify parents if their child/ren decide to go by a different pronoun.
This is in reaction to many families finding out that certain school districts hid a child’s transition from his or her parents, in some cases for months. In one story reported by The New York Times, one parent in California found out that their child had socially transition at school and was using alternative bathrooms for six months. It was a homework assignment that tipped her off, as her child’s work had a different name at top.
Actions like this keep parents out of a key aspect of their child’s life and gives schools an inordinate power and influence over the life of a child, which is something many disagree with for a variety of reasons.
In Jan. 2022, NC School Superintendent Catherine Truitt ordered her department to “stop listing students’ legal names on state records and instead use their chosen names.” This bill would effectively put an end to that practice.
As the pandemic made the home a classroom, parents became more and more aware that sometimes ideology and propaganda take precedent over education. The SB 49 would help parents regain some of that precious control.
“The John Locke Foundation supports education policy in North Carolina that ensures transparency and accountability in education and upholds the rights of parents and guardians to oversee the direction over their children’s education, physical health and mental well-being,” said Locke’s André Béliveau, who serves as the government affairs manager. “We believe Senate Bill 49 ensures these policy goals.”
The next scheduled discussion for this bill in the Senate Health Care Committee is next Thursday.