This past Tuesday, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) brought forth a bill to stop schools from forcibly hiding a child’s gender transition from their parents.
The new Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their (PROTECT) Kids Act would force schools that get any sort of federal funding to get express permission from the parents/guardians before taking steps to change a child’s gender pronouns or preferred name on any official school form, or letting said student make use of the locker room and bathrooms that go along with their newly selected gender identity.
“Schools exist to educate children — not indoctrinate them. And a quality education requires input from those who know children best: their parents,” sctoss stated in a release which announced the new bill. “Sadly, radical and secretive gender policies have shut parents out of the conversation and broken their trust. My bill will safeguard parental rights, improve the crucial relationship between parents and schools, and ensure that children can learn in an environment free from activist ideology.”
The text of the new reads:
As a condition of receiving Federal funds, any elementary school…or school that consists of only middle grades… that receives Federal funds shall be required to obtain parental consent before—
(1) changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name on any school form; or
(2) allowing a child to change the child’s sex based accommodations, including locker rooms or bathrooms
“The law in the United States has long recognized the importance of parental rights,” read the bill in its “findings” section. “A parent’s right to oversee the care and education of their child is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.”
However, “public schools across the country are violating these fundamental parental and familial rights by deliberately hiding information about gender transitioning children from their parents,” reads the bill, highlighting quite a few isntances all over the country in which schools forced their staff to follow through with a student’s expressed gender transition without parental consent.
At first, the bill pointed out that the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, which put out its own document about Gender Identity that told the administrators of the school to facilitate a “gender support plan” for the transgender students that did not need the involvement of the parents. Second, the bill highlighted the Linn-Mar Community School District in Iowa which was slammed with a lawsuit for the creation of “gender support plans” for the kids that did not involve parental consent. Third, it cited the case of Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, which forced all of their teachers to go through a training program that made them recognize the gender identity of transgender students, utilize their new preferred name and pronouns in their classes and on all official governmental school records, and allow them to make use of the bathroom and locker rooms that go along with the gender they selected, all without the need for express parental consent.
This legislation from Scott comes to light in the wake of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin taking strides to replace the state’s transgender policy with one that puts the rights of the parents first.
“The U.S. Constitution, the Virginia Constitution, federal law, state law, and relevant case law place beyond debate the rights of parents to be informed about their children and the limitations of government to usurp parents’ rightful role,” read the document. “Additionally, decades of research conducted worldwide has consistently concluded that parental involvement in a child’s education and development is paramount.”
The document would force parents to ask, in writing, for schools to see their child’s chosen transgender identity it forced teachers only to make use of the name in the official records for the student; students are forced to make use of the locker rooms and bathrooms and take part in sports that go along with their biological sex; and “[n]o policy, guidance, training, or other written material issued by the [School Division] may encourage or instruct teachers to conceal material information about a student from the student’s parent.”