Serving Franklin County, WA

Senator to introduce 'parents' bill of rights'

Proposal would curtail school district employee indoctrination of students

GRAHAM — A state senator plans to introduce a parents' "bill of rights" package when the Legislature convenes in January for its 2023 session.

Sen. Jim McCune, R-Graham, said Wednesday, Aug. 24, that its time schools address parental concerns about controversial sexual education, Critical Race Theory and other questionable topics being taught in school.

“Parents know what is best for their children, and the state needs to recognize the parent’s right to play the primary role in determining education policy and school curricula,” McCune said.

He plans to will introduce the Parents’ Education Bill of Rights bill that requires written parental consent for students to participate in controversial new state-mandated sex-education courses; provide parents with online access to curriculum materials, encourage state-education funding to follow students to the school of their choice, support charter schools and home-schooling families, ban teaching of the controversial Critical Race Theory and encourage greater transparency and parental involvement.

“The best way to address division and controversy and reduce the level of tension and animosity is not to force a one-size-fit-all solution on every student and parent,” McCune said. “The best solution is to have parents make informed decisions about what is best for their children, and then respect their decisions. This packet of legislation requires that parents make the call, and ensures they have access to all curriculum materials and resources necessary to see what their children are being taught. The more information people have, the better choices they can make.”

The bill will include:

• School choice — Parents would receive vouchers to cover the costs of sending students to a school of their choice, including private, religious and home-school options.

• A ban on indoctrination — School employees would be prohibited from teaching or using critical race theories to shape student beliefs. The ban includes a prohibition on the idea that “one race, color, national origin, or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin, or sex” and that “a person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

• Parental consent — Students could not be taught about controversial sexual topics without an affirmative permission slip signed by parents.

• Transparency — School districts would be required to post all core instructional materials online within 14 days of adoption by a school board.

• Required notification and approval— School officials would be required to notify parents and receive written permission to assist a minor student with an abortion or gender-reassignment treatments. School officials would be prohibited form transporting students off grounds for an abortion or gender reassignment treatments.

• Safe facilities — Parents would have to give consent before locker rooms and restrooms could be opened to students who do not want to acknowledge their birth gender.

• Ban on puberty blockers — Puberty blockers would be prohibited for use on children at school and school district employees would be barred from taking students off-campus to acquire them.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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