North Carolina lawmakers followed in Florida’s footsteps on Tuesday by introducing a bill which would create a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” and bar instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from curriculums for students in Kindergarten through third grade.
Lawmakers introduced an updated version of House Bill 755, which was originally created to encourage “academic transparency” by requiring K-12 schools to make information about instructional materials available to the public, The Hill reported. The bill was introduced last year and sponsored by Rep. High Blackwell (R), though it stalled in a Senate Committee by May 2021. The new version of the bill would require public schools to tell parents any information about the health and privacy and education of their child, “including a choice to use a different name or pronoun,” the report states.
“Public school units could not adopt forms or procedures that prohibited employees from notifying parents about a child’s health or well-being or a change in services or monitoring, or that encouraged a child to withhold health or well-being information or changes in services or monitoring from the parent,” the bill reads in part. “Instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity would not be permitted in the curriculum provided in kindergarten through third grade.”
The law is similar to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, which was falsely labeled by leftists critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law despite the fact that the word “gay” is nowhere in the bill.
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However, North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R) said the law would differ slightly from the Florida bill. Florida’s law says “a school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
“There’s no attempt to squelch folks from talking about things,” Berger said, according to WRAL-TV. “There is a specific prohibition on it being part of a curriculum in kindergarten through third grade.”
Berger said parents have started taking extra notice of what their children are learning after schools went remote during the pandemic.
“This is an issue that parents all across the state have been concerned about,” he said. “They are worried about things that they have seen.”