RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The controversial 'Parents' Bill of Rights' is advancing in the State Senate after it passed in the chamber's education committee Wednesday. The bill would ban content about sexuality and gender identity from school curriculums from kindergarten to the fourth grade.
If signed into law, the bill would require a curriculum that's been deemed "age-appropriate" by lawmakers for K-4 students. It would also require schools to make learning materials visible to parents, who then would be allowed to withhold consent from engaging in surveys referencing political beliefs and sexual behavior. They could also supervise the books their children are checking out of the school library. Plus, it would require that parents be notified before a student's name or pronoun is changed in school records.
At the committee hearing, supporters said the bill upholds parents' rights to oversee their children's education and well-being.
"We believe Senate Bill 49 ensures these policy goals. We are encouraged by the Senate's efforts in this bill to address multiple elements of instructional and administrative transparency," said André Béliveau of the John Locke Foundation.
However, opponents say the bill is harmful and unnecessary, proposing rights that parents already have while discriminating against children and families from diverse backgrounds. Cary mom Renee Sekel pointed out how obscuring stories of people of the LGBTQ+ community from the classroom could make some students feel alienated.
"So a kid who might have two moms or two dads sees no representation of themselves...they will eventually learn that that's because the law says their family is unspeakable. And a kid who is gay themselves or trans sees that the law treats their existence as unspeakable," she said. "That's where the harm really lies."
The bill will next be reviewed by the State Senate's health care committee.