Protecting parental rights
Education | Texas bill forbids public schools to come between children and their parents
by La Shawn Barber
Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, at 2:52 pm
Konni Burton introduced a bill in the Texas state Senate that bars public schools from hiding or withholding information from parents about their children. If passed, her bill would give parents the right to see all written records related to their children’s test scores, grades, disciplinary records, etc., including records related to their physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. A school would face disciplinary action if it hides or withholds this information, or encourages the student to do the same—even if the student asks the school to do so.
Burton, a Republican, wrote an op-ed in May opposing the Fort Worth Independent School District’s new guidelines to allow students who identify as the opposite sex to use restroom and other private facilities of their choice and attend opposite-sex gym classes—with no parental or public comment on the rule. I think it’s safe to say her bill is in response to these new guidelines.
As parents are legally and morally responsible for their minor children, they have a legal and a natural right to know what’s happening with the vulnerable and impressionable young people they’re raising. Members of the homosexual lobby are, of course, opposed to Burton’s bill, saying it will force schools to “out” children who consider themselves homosexual.
“Until kids are not kicked out of their house for being gay or transgender, and until kids are not being beaten by parents for being gay or transgender, we owe it to kids to protect them,” Equality Texas board chairman Steven M. Rudman said.
Burton’s chief of staff, Elliott Griffin, said the homosexual lobby’s interpretation of the bill was “unfortunate,” and that he had “no idea why they would draw that conclusion.”
I don’t advocate parents kicking their kids out of the house or beating them up, but parents need to know whether their children are struggling with sexual confusion. Laws already exist to deal with abuse, and it’s not the government’s place to hide these issues or encourage children to lie to their parents.
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord,” the Apostle Paul wrote to believing parents. Moms and dads have a godly duty to train and admonish, and they must know what’s going on to fulfill their obligation. Just as God loves, protects, instructs, guides, and disciplines His children, Christians parents must do the same. God is slow to anger. He is patient with us and forgiving. His relationship with us serves as a model for all believers.
No matter what leftists fear, parents should reject any attempt by government-controlled schools to hide or withhold information about their children. Fed-up parents can remove and homeschool their kids to limit this kind of government interference. Or they can fight the system from the inside, lobby their lawmakers for disclosure rights, and encourage their children to be open and honest with them about any problems, whether physical, mental, or spiritual.
La Shawn Barber
La Shawn is a former WORLD columnist.