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Attorney general proposes Parents’ Bill of Rights in Missouri

Parents’ rights have been at the forefront of the battle over critical race theory and school closings during the pandemic. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is encouraging lawmakers to pass a Parents’ Bill of Rights during the 2022 legislative session.

If his proposal were passed, schools would be required to enact policies guaranteeing parents the right to view the schools’ curriculum, information on extracurricular activities and scholarship programs, and offer information on individual education plans.

“Parents have every right to play a central role in their children’s education, are entitled to critical information about what is being taught and must have the tools necessary to take action when they feel that the quality and content of how their children are being educated does not align with the values and expectations they expect and deserve,” Schmitt said. “The Parents’ Bill of Rights empowers parents and increases transparency in school curricula and materials. It is my hope that the legislature will pass this crucial legislation to improve education for millions of children across the state.”

Parents’ Rights Bill increases input on decisions

Schmitt said his proposal would give parents increased input over their students’ health-care decisions, require them to consent to scans and recordings and allow access to their children’s medical and mental health records. Parents also would be alerted to investigations involving their children.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would be tasked with developing a transparency portal for parents to provide information on curriculum, source materials, teacher training requirements and speakers and guest lecturers visiting the school. Parents also would have the legal right to file a lawsuit against districts violating the proposal, while the attorney general’s office would enforce the law through its own legal challenges.

School choice and curriculum have been contentious topics in Missouri this year as lawmakers, officials and parents sounded off on CRT. The Missouri School Boards’ Association withdrew from its national counterpart last month after it likened those participating in contentious school board meetings over CRT and mask mandates “domestic terrorists.”

–Alan Goforth | www.metrovoicenews.com

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