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Opinion — In support of the Parents Bill of Rights Act
Rick Allen Web
Congressman Rick W. Allen

It’s that time of year again. Summer break has come to an end, families have stocked up on school supplies, and the school year is getting underway for students across the state of Georgia. It’s undoubtedly an exciting time as our nation’s youth embark on yet another academic year filled with possibilities. As the father of four and a grandfather of 14, I am well-aware of the consistent effort and preparation it takes from parents to ensure children have a successful school year. From carpool lines to homework assignments and extra-curricular activities — a parent's job is never done.

However, in certain places across our nation, over the past several years, we’ve seen parents being silenced and denied the right to make decisions about their child’s education. Parents are being sidelined while their children are being taught divisive curriculum; vilified by those who want to protect special interests over student success. While Georgia has taken steps to protect educational freedom, many families across the nation are not as fortunate.

The Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) even went so far as to label concerned parents “domestic terrorists” just because they wanted a say in their children’s education. This is not the way our education system is intended to operate. Parents know what’s best for their children. Parents should be viewed as partners, not pariahs. As the son of two educators, I can tell you that the best schools know how to work with parents, not around them. 

Democrats’ efforts to radically reshape education and deny parents a voice has led our nation to a crossroads when it comes to K-12 education. However, my Republican colleagues and I have a different vision: H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act, which ensures parents have every right to be actively engaged in their child’s education. As a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I was proud to co-introduce this critical legislation that puts parents back in the driver’s seat. 

The Parents Bill of Rights Act would amend several existing laws to improve transparency and accountability within the public school system by guaranteeing: 1) parents have the right to know what is being taught; 2) parents have the right to be heard; 3) parents have the right to see the school budget and spending; 4) parents have the right to protect their child’s privacy; and, 5) parents have the right to be updated on any violent activity in school. H.R. 5 would enshrine these fundamental rights into law, ensuring they can no longer be infringed upon by those seeking to suppress a parent's basic right to be informed. 

Earlier this year, House Republicans passed the Parents Bill of Rights Act, with 203 Democrats voting against empowering families to have a say in their child’s education. One Democrat even said protecting parental rights amounted to “fascism” during the House floor debate on the bill. Allowing families to play an active role in their child’s education should not be a controversial issue, but in today’s political climate, even the most sensible of ideas can be disparaged due to the partisan divide in Washington.

House Republicans are fulfilling our commitment to a future that’s built on freedom — a future where parents’ rights are protected, and families are given a seat at the table. 

The Parents Bill of Rights Act would return power to the parents — where it has always belonged.

Rick W. Allen represents the 12th District of Georgia and is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. 

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