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Parents' Bill of Rights Act


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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mrs. Hawthorne (for herself, with thanks to Mr. Hawley) introduced the following bill

A BILL

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide for a Parents' Bill of Rights.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act”.

SEC. 2. PARENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS.

(a) In General.—Subpart 2 of part F of title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7901 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 8549D. PARENTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS.

“(a) In General.—No State, its agents, its subdivisions, or the agents of its subdivisions shall deny to the parent or guardian of a minor child any or all of the following rights:

“(1) The right to fully review, in physical or digital optical character recognition format, and make copies of, the curricula, books, and other educational materials used by the school attended by their minor child or local educational agency that serves such school. This right shall be understood to—

“(A) include a right to affirmative disclosure of class syllabi and reading lists to the parent or guardian of a minor child by the school attended by their minor child or local educational agency that serves such school; and

“(B) prohibit a requirement that an individual sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition to viewing or otherwise accessing curricular materials.

“(2) The right to access information on the teachers, guest lecturers, and outside presenters who engage with students at the school attended by their minor child. This right shall be understood to prohibit schools from permitting or requiring the attendance of minor children at school assemblies, field trips, and other extracurricular activities, absent affirmative consent from their parent or guardian.

“(3) The right to access information on all third-party individuals and organizations that receive contracts or other funding through the school attended by their minor child or the local educational agency that serves such school.

“(4) The right to visit their minor child at school during school hours.

“(5) The right to access all records generated by the school attended by their minor child or the local educational agency that serves such school that concerns their minor child.

“(6) The right to access information pertaining to the collection and transmission of data regarding their minor child by the school attended by their minor child or the local educational agency that serves such school. This right shall be understood to—

“(A) include a right to access information on any outside entity, including an accreditor, marketing consultancy, or third-party clearinghouse, to which student data, whether anonymized or not, is transferred;

“(B) prohibit the collection, by the school attended by their minor child or the local educational agency that serves such school, of any biometric data or other sensitive personal information from the minor child, absent affirmative consent by a parent or guardian of the minor child; and

“(C) require that schools and local educational agencies serving such schools make available processes by which the parent or guardian of a minor child can object in writing to, and deny consent to, the use of videographic, photographic, or audio depictions of their minor child by the school or local educational agency serving such school.

“(7) The right to be heard at school board meetings or other governance hearings pertaining to the school attended by their minor child or the local educational agency that serves such school. This right shall be understood to require that school board meetings or other governance hearings pertaining to curricula, safety, and other student issues be conducted publicly and allow for public comments.

“(8) The right to be notified of situations affecting the safety of their minor child at school. This right shall be understood to require, but is not limited to requiring, that schools notify parents or guardians in a timely manner of any or all of the following incidents:

“(A) Physical assaults occurring in or around the school.

“(B) Sexual assaults occurring in or around the school.

“(C) Appearances of weapons in or around the school.

“(D) Drug use or possession in or around the school.

“(E) Police investigations in or around the school.

“(F) Crimes, including misdemeanors, committed by teachers or other school or local educational agency employees, whether such offenses were committed on or off the campus of a school.

“(b) Enforcement.—

“(1) CIVIL ACTION.—Any person who is denied one or more of the rights identified in subsection (a) may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive relief.

“(2) STATE ENFORCEMENT.—In any case in which the attorney general of a State has reason to believe that an interest of the residents of that State has been or is threatened or adversely affected by the engagement of any entity in an act or practice denying one or more of the rights identified in subsection (a), the State, as parens patriae, may bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of the State in a district court of the United States or a State court of appropriate jurisdiction to obtain injunctive relief.

“(3) WITHHOLDING OF FUNDS FOR PERSISTENT VIOLATIONS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—If a State is not in compliance, as described in subparagraph (B), for a fiscal year the Secretary shall withhold from the State 50 percent of the total amount required to be apportioned to the State or any subdivision of the State under this Act on the first day of the following fiscal year.

“(B) NONCOMPLIANCE.—A State shall be deemed noncompliant for a fiscal year for purposes of this paragraph if, within the 5-year period before the date of the determination, there was not less than 3 final judgments (that were not reversed on appeal) in separate suits for injunctive relief filed pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2), or both, in which the plaintiffs prevailed against the State, its agents, its subdivisions, or the agents of its subdivisions, and in which the court granted injunctive relief.”.

(b) Table Of Contents.—The table of contents in section 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 8549C the following:


“Sec. 8549D. Parents’ Bill of Rights.”.

PES

This bill establishes a parents' bill of rights with regard to the education of their minor children, including rights to:

  • review curricula, books, and other educational materials, without required signature of non-disclosure agreements before such review;
  • informed consent for their child's participation in school assemblies, field trips, and extracurricular activities;
  • access information regarding contractors with their child's school;
  • visit their child at school during school hours;
  • informed consent for transmission of data, records, and depictions of their child;
  • be heard at school board meetings;
  • be notified of situations affecting their child's safety, including criminal activity at school; and
  • be notified of crimes committed by school faculty or staff, on or off school grounds.

This bill permits civil action for injunctive relief and state enforcement, and partially withholds federal educational funding from states as penalty for persistent noncompliance.

Senator Holly Hawthorne (R-AK)

@HollyHawthorne | Join the Freedom Caucus!

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