MORRIS COUNTY — Assemblyman Christian Barranco (R- Morris, Essex, Passaic) has prime sponsored legislation to give parents a greater say in what and how their children are taught in public schools and access to more information about the operations of public school districts.
Titled the “Parents Bill of Rights Act”, the legislation (A3800) prohibits school districts from interfering with or denying the rights of parents and guardians the right to review copies of school curricula, books, and other educational materials.
The legislation comes on the heels of the recent disclosure that the State Board of Education is embarking on a plan to have school districts teach children as young as six and seven a sex education curriculum – including lessons on gender identity — that many parents find objectionable or not in the best interest of children
“This legislation will put the operation of school districts where it belongs, in the hands of parents and taxpayers,” said Barranco, the father of three school-age children. “It is not the province of educational elites or the special interests that they align with to determine what our children learn.”
Among its many provisions, the Parents Bill of Rights Act forbids school districts from denying parents or guardians copies of curricula, books, and education materials used in the classroom as well as the names and professional qualifications of teachers and guest lecturers; and the names of third-party individuals or organizations that receive contracts or funding through the school district.
Districts also must provide parents – prior to the start of the new school year – with copies of the syllabi and books for each class the student is enrolled in. And districts must allow parents to be heard at school board meetings. Districts must obtain from parents or guardians written permission for the school district to collect biometric data – such as fingerprints, palm prints, DNA, and retina scans — from students.
Parents who are denied the rights under the proposed legislation can file a civil action against the district. According to the legislation, the state Attorney General’s office may also seek an injunction against the school districts that fail to uphold the rights of parents.
“It is sad that in the 21st Century the classroom has become the battlefield of the culture wars brought on by the progressive left, whose sole aim is to undermine America and the American family,” said Barranco.
“I wish this legislation was not necessary. But I cannot sit on the sideline and allow school officials to dictate to parents what their children learn, nor can I sit by quietly and allow political indoctrination to replace skill development in our children,” added Barranco.