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Parental rights bill emerges in the House, awaits committee hearing

Courtesy Idaho Statesman
BOISE ( — A bill codifying parental rights in public education cleared its first hurdle Friday morning.
The bill outlines the responsibilities of districts and charters in keeping parents informed about their child’s education. It requires school districts to develop policies and processes that promote parental engagement, and improve communication between districts and parents or guardians.
The bill would require public schools to:

Develop processes for parents to review curricular materials, and withdraw their child from courses with teaching materials they find objectionable.
Notify parents of changes in their child’s mental, emotional or physical health, and facilitate conversations between students and families when appropriate.
Seek permission from parents before administering any survey related to a student’s sexuality, sex, religion, political beliefs, mental or psychological health, personal family information or financial information.
Notify parents when a student has been questioned by law enforcement (unless the questioning is related to suspicions of child abuse).
Allow parents to observe classes and other school activities, unless visitation interferes with teaching.
Maintain open communication with parents about student health and wellness, or changes in related services (unless otherwise prohibited by law or the courts).

If a parent’s rights are violated, the legislation allows them to file an official complaint with their school. Districts and charters would be required to implement procedures to handle such complaints. If a complaint is not remedied, the legislation gives parents the option to seek legal relief.
State superintendent Debbie Critchfield presented the bill before the House Education Committee Friday.
Most districts and charters already have these policies and procedures in place, she said. But codifying them would ensure parents have the tools readily available to seek information and hold schools accountable. This was one of the biggest asks from both parents and educators on the campaign trail, and from her transition team after the election, Critchfield said.
Legislators voted unanimously to send the bill to print. It now awaits a committee hearing.
This article was originally posted on on Feb. 17, 2023
The post Parental rights bill emerges in the House, awaits committee hearing appeared first on East Idaho News.

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