A bill giving parents more say over their children’s health and education passed the North Carolina Senate on Tuesday.
Sen. Amy Galey, R-Alamance County, sponsored Senate Bill 49, which protects elementary school-age children from being taught inappropriate topics and the right of parents to know what their children are being taught.
“The government is not a partner in raising our children. Parents have the duty and responsibility to raise their own children according to their own cultural, social and religious beliefs,” Galey told ABC11. “The Parents’ Bill of Rights is really about acknowledging parents’ vital role in their children’s lives.”
The bill would also require that schools alert parents if the name or pronoun their child is referred to by teachers or other school administration changes.
The only exception would be in cases where “a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in the child becoming an abused juvenile or neglected juvenile.
In addition, the bill bans K-4 curricula from including “instruction on gender identity, sexual activity or sexuality,” except if student-initiated.
The bill cleared an appropriations committee on Monday after nearly two hours of debate and hearings.
Over two dozen speakers, including parents, teachers and members of the LGBT community, shared their passionate views on the bill.
Critics of the bill said that the legislation could affect children who are struggling with their gender identity and are worried about telling their parents.
“Requiring school employees, including counselors, to categorically out students who question their gender identity is a serious violation of student privacy,” claimed Kristie Puckett-Williams of the ACLU of North Carolina.
Many Republicans praised the legislation, among other supporters.
“It also encourages the schools to enable parents to be involved in the education and upbringing of their own children – a right that’s fundamental and in America, that’s guaranteed by the US Supreme Court,” Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Values Coalition, told ABC11 last week.
The bill passed in the Senate 29-18 along party lines and now heads to the House for approval.