Parental rights; right to review & obtain educational materials, etc. (The Parents Bill of Rights). (HB1126)

Introduced By

Del. John Avoli (R-Staunton) with support from co-patron Del. Chris Runion (R-Bridgewater)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Public education; parental rights; access to certain facilities and accommodations; instructional content; bullying. Declares that the parent of any student enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth has the right to (i) obtain and review any educational material and curriculum utilized in any class or course in which the student is enrolled; (ii) opt his child out of any class or course activity, lesson, or reading assignment or the use of any audiovisual material or library book to which the parent objects; (iii) easily access a list of the title and author of each book in each classroom and each library in the school in which the student is enrolled; (iv) receive notice of and attend any public meeting of the school board governing the local school division in which the student is enrolled; (v) review the annual school division budget and expenditures; (vi) send his child to attend school in a safe environment; and (vii) be updated by the school principal on any violent activity in the school in which the student is enrolled. The bill requires each school board to adopt policies to require each student and school board employee to have access to restrooms, locker rooms, and other changing facilities in public school buildings that are shared only by members of the same biological sex; lodging accommodations during school-sponsored trips that are shared only by members of the same biological sex; and a single-user restroom, locker room, or other changing facility in a public school building, upon request, if the school can reasonably accommodate such a request. The bill also prohibits any school board employee or individual who provides any school-sponsored program from teaching or promoting to any student or school board employee the concept that (a) any race is inherently superior or inferior; (b) any individual is racist, privileged, oppressive, biased, or responsible for actions committed by others of the same race or skin color by virtue of the individual's race or skin color; (c) the United States is fundamentally racist; or (d) market-based economics is inherently racist. The bill finally requires each school board to implement policies and procedures to educate school board employees about bullying and the need to create a school environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect and any incident of bullying is taken seriously and handled in a robust manner. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/12/2022Committee
01/12/2022Presented and ordered printed 22103450D
01/12/2022Referred to Committee on Education
01/21/2022Impact statement from DPB (HB1126)
02/15/2022Left in Education

Comments

Yvonne Surette writes:

Dear Del. Avoli,

I thought Republicans stood for smaller government? What the hell happened? You want parents (most of whom are NOT educators) to set curriculum. As a long time public school English teacher, I must protest! Only those who are trained in a. their subjects, or b. have an M.Ed. should be allowed to set curriculum. Would you go to the doctor's office and say, "Hey, let's let the patients in the lobby decide medical practice." This bill is so insulting to educators! It does not take into consideration ANY of their expertise. I do NOT want Joe the plumber to decide whether or not certain books are allowed!!

I am appalled by this, AND by your anti-trans stance. What they hell is so scary to Republicans about trans kids?

I thought you guys like freedom Hah. No so.

Yvonne Surette, MA in English; MA in Creative Writing

Tom writes:

Wow, what an impossible burden this bill places on teachers and librarians. So if a teacher brings in books (or a student brings in an essay or opinion article that questions, say the fairness of trial by jury, some sort of easily obtained list has to be updated online, I suppose. What if a parent objects to material used to teach a SOL…or even objects to the SOL itself? There may be aspects of this bill that are somewhat reasonable, but most of this will make instruction almost impossible and place unreasonable burdens on educators. It will enable parents to harass teachers based on misinformation and lies. This bill infringes on academic freedom and will drive teachers from the classroom. Maybe that is the intent?

Ingrid Blanton writes:

While aspects of this bill are unobjectionable (of course, we all want our children to attend school in a safe environment), the heart of it is highly questionable. In addition to seconding the points made in other comments here (i.e. the impossible burden placed on teachers and librarians, and replacing the judgement of trained professionals with, largely, fears of poorly informed or, more often now, misinformed individuals), I am concerned about the extent to which we chip away at the kind of experiences that build community and create well-defined societies. While one may have different opinions about material that is presented, the fact that there is a common experience shared by all who hear, read, and discuss that same material is valuable in itself. Allowing parents to have their children opt out is a slippery slope. Better to teach students critical thinking and speaking so that they can engage in rigorous debate. The alternative of pulling them out to shield them just serves to fragment our society and country further.

N. Nitch Narduzzi writes:

What a hypocrite! You have visited a Black-led nonprofit in your district and championed their efforts to build a library of all Black authors and praised their programs to provide summer school and after school support services for children in order to give voice to our Black community and yet you patron a bill like this? A bill that is so racist in its objectives that you would have your district return to policies equivalent to segregationist tactics to oppress our Black children and hinder the Truth from being taught in our schools? How about the transphobic aspects of this bill? You have the nerve to show up in our community professing to love our children and yet you work to undermine the protections that they need in order to have equitable treatment under the law? You are a disgrace to your community and you are a danger to our children. This bill needs to die in committee and you need to resign!

Ian Springer-Woods writes:

As mentioned by previous commenters, this bill is obviously shaped by emotionally immature people who have absolutely no understanding of the fields of education, psychology, human sexuality, sociology, or even law. People spend years studying their respective fields and even more years gaining experience turning pedagogy into practice, and then refining both, only to have all of that work undercut by a few vindictive legislators awash in logical fallacies. This bill will hurt education, and it needs to die. No part of it ever needs to see the light of day in any other bill in the legislature ever. These legislators need to stop creating legislation like this that will hurt kids and instead let the experts do their jobs.

Ron Quasebarth writes:

This bill is an attempt to counter the wave of CRT type educational practices and materials and the like. For those against this as a parental right, then take the initiative to have them removed yourselves. Most school boards are extremely good, but some have used their position and power to introduce such "learning materials" in the dead of night so to speak and have divided the state in doing so in ways I've not seen it divided in decades.

Barbara Lee writes:

I have known you for years and I find it appalling that I am seeing a side of you to be so racist. All the years you have spent in education you know very well CRT is not being teached in our schools. And for you to come down on trans students is RACIST.I will be contacting some of the people who you worked with in the school system and see how they feel about you and you know I know a lot of them.You attened a Black Library in Waynesboro and I hope they are proud of you.Go tell them to get rid of the books .

Waldo Jaquith writes:

This bill requires that schools determine every student's "biological sex." It would be better if this bill just came out and said it: Del. John Avoli wants to require that teachers inspect our children's genitals.

Carolyn Dull writes:

This is a really awful "word salad" bill, incorporating unfunded mandates on our teachers and other school employees, as well as an inordinate amount of bigotry and racism. In addition, most of it would be subjective opinion, without anyone being assigned to decide, for example, the biological sex of a student. Will someone be required to have each student strip and examine them? How will they decide what biological sex a student is if they possess both characteristics? Do you see how stupide this is? I don't see how anyone can take this as a serious piece of legislation.

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