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"Parents Bill of Rights" moving through legislature

Posted at 11:14 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 23:25:14-04

FLORIDA — Following a standing ovation Thursday, the state house of representatives passed bill 241.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Erin Grall, gave this summary of what it hopes to accomplish:

"Who is it to decide what is a bad parent?," she said, "Who doesn't get to decide? The school, the government, the institution that we entrusted our child to."

Nicknamed the "Parents Bill of Rights," it outlines a broad list of guarantees to parents especially when it comes to education and medical care.

They're things like allowing you as the parent, to opt your child out of things like sex-ed or courses on religion and morality in school.

"Some parents believe in having an abstinence conversation with their children and some believe in talking about safe sex," said Grall.

It also asks that schools "require each district school board to develop and adopt a policy to promote parental involvement in the public school system."

So FOX 4 asked a few local districts if this would require any major changes on their part.

"Each and every one of all schools has a PTO or a PTA, parent-teacher association or organization we encourage the parents to come to the meeting," said Michael Riley of Charlotte County Public Schools.

But Charlotte, Lee, and Collier County schools all confirmed that they already do all of those things.

Riley says that if anything, his district may look for new ways to engage parents who have busy schedules and can't be involved.

"We have [parent] volunteers through the years who will be here 40 hours a week, all week, Monday through Friday all day long at carnivals and fundraisers. And then some you know it's hard to get them to come in for a parent-teacher conference," he said.

But above all else, the districts say if passed they'll follow the new law and continue upholding the standards they already have in place.

"Whether we agree or disagree or approve of something that comes down from Tallahassee we are always in compliance with the state law," said Riley.

A similar bill died in the state senate last year. Tuesday, this version of the bill will be heard in a state senate committee.

If passed and signed by Governor DeSantis will go into effect on July 1, 2021.