Missouri Considering Bill to Protect Parental Educational Rights

The Missouri state House of Representatives has moved a new bill forward that will set out a “parental bill of rights.” The law would restrict the exposure of the state’s schoolchildren to objectionable material and parental rights would be enforceable through private civil lawsuits and actions to remove public funding from schools that violate the law.

The proposed law is designed to provide parents with the legal right to “review curricula, books, and instructional materials” that are used in schools. Parents will be allowed to visit schools when they are open with some restrictions. The bill also guarantees parents will have “sufficient accountability and transparency” when dealing with school boards.

School districts will also be restricted from entering nondisclosure agreements on curriculum reviews and from many types of data collection.

Education officials across the state will be required to post school curricula online for open access by the public. The bill will require every school district to use a defined “internet-based tool” to allow access to educational source materials as well as “professional development materials.”

The law will prohibit compulsory discussions by teachers and students about “public policy issues” without parental consent. Educational materials or discussions will not be allowed that compel students to “adopt, affirm, or profess” any concepts involving “race, ethnicity, color, or national origin” as superior or inferior or that any individual bears collective guilt for any actions in the past.

The initial approval came from the state House on April 12. If the bill receives a favorable vote before the entire House in a floor vote it will go to the state Senate for further consideration.

Patrick Ishmael is director of the conservative Show-Me Institute and said that the bill reflects a “bit of a mash-up of reforms.” He said eight amendments have been added to the bill from various state House members, all relating to educational transparency and parental rights. Ishmael added that the total package is something parents, reformers, and the Republican-led state legislature can get behind.

The new Missouri bill is similar to several other laws that have recently been proposed or enacted around the country by Republicans. The heightened public scrutiny of teachers’ unions and leftist politicians who are using taxpayer money to indoctrinate children in critical race theory and transgender sexual ideology is moving mainstream Americans to take steps to protect kids in our schools.