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Parents’ Bill of Rights passes GOP-led House, triggering fear of book bans and LGBTQ restrictions in schools

The GOP-led house voted Friday to advance controversial legislation aimed at giving parents more information and control over what is taught in public school classrooms.

The Parents’ Bill of Rights acts strictly approved in a vote of 213-208, with just five Republicans, most of them members of the House Freedom Caucus, voting against it. The legislation heads to the Senate for consideration, though it is unlikely to pass the Democratic-led chamber.

Critics of the bill fear it will politicize classrooms and further promote the far-right movement, which in recent months has triggered bans and restrictions on books targeting transgender students in several schools across the country. It would require schools to post syllabuses in advance and provide a list of the books they keep in their libraries.

The legislation also affirms the rights of parents to address school boards, on anything from budgets to lesson plans, and to receive information about violent activity at their children’s school.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., also successfully pushed through an amendment that would require schools to report when transgender girls join girls’ athletic teams and disclose whether transgender girls can use girls’ bathrooms or locker rooms. It would also require elementary and secondary school officials to obtain parental consent before changing a student’s gender designation, pronouns, or name.

FILE - Rep. Virginia Foxx, RN.C., chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, testifies before the House Rules Committee as Republicans advance on the "Parents Bill of Rights Act," on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., vowed the bill would hit “a dead end,” declaring it an example of the GOP being overrun by “MAGA ideologues from extreme right”.

Democrats in all houses echoed the sentiment, calling the legislation the “Parenting Policy Act.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., touted Friday’s vote as a victory, calling it evidence that the Republican Party is “keeping our promise, our commitment to America, that the Parents will have a voice in their children’s education. ”

FILE - House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, thumps out a meeting as Republicans advance on the "Parents Bill of Rights Act," on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

Parents’ desire for more control in public school classrooms was highlighted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when they opposed remote learning and then mask and vaccine mandates after students returned home. their classes.

Republicans have since tapped into some of those frustrations, many of them making parental rights in schools a key part of their platforms during the midterm elections.

with cable news services