One Republican lawmaker has introduced a measure to protect parental rights, which he warned are under attack by public schools teaching gender ideology without parents’ knowledge or consent.
The Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their Kids (PROTECT), Act was introduced by Sen. Tim Scott, R.S.C. If passed, the bill would require that government-funded elementary and middle schools tell parents before changing “a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name” and before allowing a child to change “sex-based accommodations.” The government could withdraw funding from K-12 schools that fail to disclose this information to parents.
As Scott writes, “Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right to raise and educate their children in the way they choose.”
He roots this right in the 14th Amendment, which states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The South Carolina senator claims that public schools have violated parental rights by “deliberately hiding information about gender transitioning children from their parents.” Public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia, among others, have pushed gender ideology on students behind parents’ backs.
In Fairfax County, Scott notes, teachers are told they needn’t seek parents’ permission before using alternative names and pronouns for students. Montgomery County school districts provide similar instructions for teachers.
“Regardless of their intentions, these schools are sabotaging the parent-child relationship and encouraging children to keep secrets from the adults who are charged with protecting and defending them—their parents,” writes Scott. “School districts, activist organizations, and teachers unions must never be allowed to intrude on parental rights by concealing critical information from parents about their children.”
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