South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R) introduced legislation that would prevent schools from hiding information about a student’s “gender identity” from their parents.
The Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their (PROTECT) Kids Act would withhold federal funding from any elementary or middle school that allows students to change their “preferred pronouns,” gender markers and sex-based accomodations, such as restrooms and locker rooms.
“The law in the United States has long recognized the importance of parental rights. A parent’s right to oversee the care education of their child is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment,” the bill reads. “Parents have a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right to raise and educate their children in the way they choose.”
“Public schools across the country are violating these fundamental parental and familial rights by deliberately hiding information about gender transitioning from their parents,” it continued.
One example mentioned in the bill is an incident that occurred in Fairfax County, Virginia. I reported for Townhall how teachers in the school district were given mandatory training materials that instructed them to hide students' gender transitions from parents. Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin spoke out against the school district shortly after. Last week, his administration unveiled new model guidance that requires school districts to keep parents involved in conversations with students about their gender identity.
Other examples mentioned in Scott’s bill include a school district in Iowa that allowed students as young as 12 to create “gender support plans” without parents’ knowledge. And, school staff in Montgomery County, Maryland instructed teachers to create “gender transition plans” for students unbeknownst to their parents.
“These schools are sabotaging the parent-child relationship and encouraging children to keep secrets from the adults who are charged with protecting and defending them – their parents,” the bill said. “Children do best when their parents are actively involved in their education.”
The bill is supported by Parents Defending Education Action and Independent Women’s Voice.
“Parents have the right and responsibility to direct their child’s moral upbringing. It’s unconscionable that school officials have sought to usurp this fundamental right,” PDE Action published in a press release. “PDE Action commends Senator Scott’s efforts to hold public officials accountable for undermining American families and applauds his unwavering commitment to parental rights.”
This week, students at several schools in Virginia walked out of class to protest the guidance giving parents a voice when it comes to students’ gender identity and transitioning. In a statement to Townhall, Youngkin said that “students should be treated with compassion” and noted that schools will make accommodations for students at the request of parents.
In a statement, Scott noted that many public schools have been taken over by “activist ideology” aiming to get in between parents and their children.
“Schools exist to educate children — not indoctrinate them. And a quality education requires input from those who know children best: their parents,” Scott said in a press release. “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.”