Pierce County state senator plans to introduce bills to protect children, increase accountability, and respect the will of parents in education
As Labor Day quickly approaches, and with it, the return of students and teachers to the classroom, one lawmaker says it is time for Washington to recognize the ultimate authority of parents to determine what is best for their children’s education.
“Providing for K-12 education is the paramount duty of the state, but in most cases, the education of a child is the primary concern of that child’s parents,” said Sen. Jim McCune, R-Graham. “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.”
When lawmakers return to Olympia in January for the 2023 legislative session, McCune will introduce a Parents’ Education Bill of Rights for consideration. The package will include measures that would require 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 (CRT); and encourage greater transparency and parental involvement.
McCune said his legislation will respect the substantial number of parents genuinely concerned about controversial sexual and divisive race-related materials being forced on their young children.
“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,” said McCune. “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.”
Measures included in the Washington Parents’ Education Bill of Rights package include –
- Right to choose – This measure would establish the right of all Washington parents to educate their children at the school of their choice, be it public, private, home-based or religious. It would require the state to provide parents with vouchers equivalent to their student’s portion of the public-school fund.
- The Educational Choice Scholarship Program – This measure would provide students from designated public schools with the opportunity to attend participating private schools. The program also provides scholarship opportunities to low-income students who are entering kindergarten through 12th grade.
- The Individual Class Freedom Act – This legislation would prohibit school employees from indoctrinating students on CRT, the concept 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 in Youth Sexual Education – This would require parents or guardians to sign permission slips before students participate in the new controversial, comprehensive sex-education program mandated during the 2020 legislative session.
- Education Transparency Act – This would require each school district to post, on its website, all core instructional materials used within its curricula within 14 days of adoption by the school district board of directors. This would provide parents and legal guardians with access to, and an opportunity to review, all classroom materials. Most schools currently use an online portal to access grades. This bill would make a similar system available to parents, while also preventing copyright issues.
- The Parental Involvement Act – This measure would require parental, guardian or court notification and consent prior to providing a minor student with abortion or gender reassignment treatments at school, and would prohibit school officials from transporting students off school grounds for such purposes without prior parental or court consent.
- The Safe Facilities Act – This measure would require parental notification and consent before restrooms, locker rooms and other environments with an expectation of privacy are made gender-neutral or opened to students whose gender assigned at birth does not correspond to the intended facility.
- Ban on “Puberty Blockers” and irreversible surgeries for school-aged kids – In July, the federal Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that puberty blockers can cause serious and lasting negative health risks for children. The FDA documented thousands of deaths linked to the most common puberty-blocking drugs now given to children who suffer from gender dysphoria or claim to be transgendered. Complications related to the use of these drugs include heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, malignant tumors and suicidal behaviors.
This bill would ban the use of these drugs in schools and prevent schools from taking children off-campus for the purpose of administering these drugs.