Education

Bills in Congress empowers parents to sue over curriculum non-disclosure

By Guy Page

A “Parents’ Bill of Rights” bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) would allow parents to sue school districts for failing to disclose information about curriculum and instructors.

Hawley introduced the Parents’ Bill of Rights Act Nov. 16 to defend parents’ fundamental rights against efforts to shut them out of their children’s education. Senator Hawley’s bill would empower parents to sue federally-funded schools that do not protect certain basic rights, such as the right to know what their child is being taught and the right to know what outside groups are receiving school contracts.

Federal law already requires public schools to make all materials and curriculum available on demand. Hawley’s bill would give that requirement the enforcement power of a private lawsuit – a tactic until now employed mostly by Climate Change and “systemic racial injustice” activists. 

In Vermont, for example, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2019 provides that private parties may sue the State of Vermont if it fails to meet stringent carbon reduction goals. Also, legislation has been introduced (but not yet passed) to make it easier to successfully sue police officers for using too much force. 

Critics of private-citizen lawsuits of government call it an act of self-surrender of necessary, appropriate immunity against retaliation for unpopular acts. 

It is uncertain if Hawley’s bill could clear the Senate, much less the Democrat-controlled House which draws strong support from professional educators’ organizations such as the National Education Association. 

“America has long recognized the right of parents to direct their children’s education but we are now seeing a concerted effort by the Left to shut parents out,” Hawley said. “Whether it’s Joe Biden’s Justice Department attempting to classify parents as ‘domestic terrorists’ or activists funded by dark money who seek to quietly introduce critical race theory into school curricula, education has taken a back seat to radical politics in many schools and parents are taking notice. It’s time to give control back to parents, not woke bureaucrats, and empower them to start a new era of openness in education.”

News of Hawley’s Parents Bill of Rights surfaced on the Vermont FAIR (Freedom Against Intolerance and Racism) community forum on Messenger. The forum is moderated by Ben Morley, Co-Leader Northeast for FAIR. There are four FAIR chapters in Vermont. At present, the Chittenden County and Springfield chapters show activity on their public social media pages. 

Full disclosure of public school instruction has become a matter of concern to many Vermont parents with the rise of Marxist-based Critical Race Theory-informed ‘Diversity, and Equity Inclusion” programming in public schools. In some school districts, co-operation with parents has been less than forthcoming. For example, now-former Northeast Kingdom school superintendent John Castle at a public meeting accused Morley and Sen. Russ Ingalls of “McCarthyism” for citing the Marxist roots of DEI. 

Morley had disclosed in August that individuals affiliated with NEK school DEI contractors had a published history of defending violence against police, including family members.

Earlier this month, a crowd of parents at Lowell Graded School demanded Castle resign for forcing two parents Nov. 4 to remove their mask-less child from school under threat of imminent arrest of loss of child custody. Just a few days later Castle announced he would not return for the final year of his school contract. He has been hired to lead the Vermont Rural Education Cooperative, an NEK-based educational group that provides teacher instruction and funding for (among other topics) DEI training and instruction. 

An Essex/Westford school board member told Superintendent Beth Cobb Nov. 9 that parents want more access to teachers’ curriculum and materials. Cobb answered: “The curriculum is a difficult thing when somebody says please show me your social and learning curriculum. It can’t be done; it’s an ongoing process.” Cobb later informed Vermont Daily Chronicle, “We do need to make instructional materials available for parents when requested….What I was explaining in the meeting was that it isn’t as easy as handing over a curriculum. It’s not a book.”

A U.S. House Parents’ Bill of Rights for disclosure of school materials has also been introduced by Republicans. To date, there is no similar legislation in the Vermont Legislature.

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8 replies »

  1. So do we need audio/video recorders in classrooms to keep an eye the political spin being imparted on children by their teachers ?

    • Sure. Why not? But then the door is open for a complete loss of privacy.

      As I’ve opined several times in the past, most recently, for example, in the article on Common Core as cause for declining test scores – having access to various class plans and curricula used in a given school (audio recorded or video recorded or written) does nothing to empower a parent who may disagree with what is being taught.

      After all, not only do many parents disagree with the indoctrination (‘mass psychosis’) perpetrated in the public-school monopoly, they may disagree with the programs their neighbors choose for their children too.

      No two people, let alone an entire community, will ever agree 100% on what should be taught in school.

      The only governance that empowers parents is one in which the parents are able to choose the education program they believe best meets the needs of their children… whatever that happens to be.

      • Common Core was invented in soviet Russia. It was dumped by Russia because it made their kids stupid. It is a marxist ploy to eliminate all forms of creativity and expression. It’s easy to see that communist countries have to steal technology because they have dumbed down their populations so they can be more easily controlled by tyrants. Get your kids out of public school. And businesses should consider only hiring home-schooled young people.

      • I assume, Kathleen, that you addressed the comment that ‘Common Core was invented in soviet Russia’ to me.

        This is, at best, an urban myth emanating from a remark Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, made 8 years ago when he ‘compared Common Core to centralized planning in Russia’. He was addressing the concept of ‘centralized planning’, not the pedagogy in Common Core itself.

        I raise this point because correcting the actual problem in our schools relies on accurately identifying the problem in the first place. Be it Common Core, Whole Language, New Math, or non-merit based academic awards, the problem rests with a one-size-fits-all public education monopoly. It has nothing to do with Russia and making that assertion (as with past Russian hoaxes) diminishes the standing of any legitimate complaint you may have.

        Furthermore, as an employer, I will hire the person who best exemplifies the qualifications a specific position requires, even if they aren’t homeschooled. In fact, I’d consider hiring them even if they’re from Russia, as long as they’re qualified and here legally.

        In the final analysis, you are correct – if a parent disagrees with current public school pedagogy, they should consider an independent school or homeschool.

    • The best way to do that is with a student surreptitiously recording the indoctrination…whether it is legal or not. That way the teacher wont realize they are being recorded and they will let it all hang out.

  2. It’s not going anywhere’s…The Dems will vote it down…Another Republican feel good bill without a snowballs chance in that really hot place down-under…(No, not Australia…The other hot place further down)…Our do nothing Rino’s trying to be seen saying “Look what I can do”. when in fact, while they had the house, senate and presidency, could have built a wall but didn’t and so much more….Screwed Trump over at every opportunity!

  3. Government should NEVER be in Education, Health Care, Economy. It should only be for the defense of our Country. The Problem is that Government is NOW the Enemy of We The People and is using Our Money against us from all fronts, Education, Health Care and the Economy.

    We The People need to dissolve the entire Government Education Tyranny (among many others) by first taking our kids Out of Public Schools. Collapse the Education “System”. We The People should even demand that our Towns’ refund each of us our Education Tax portion on our Property Tax Bills.

    Liberty is from God not man.

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