WASHINGTON (TND) — Republicans in the House of Representatives passed legislation called the "Parents Bill of Rights" on Friday with a 213-208 vote.
The bill focuses on parental rights in the classroom, a hot political topic that has recently gained national attention.
It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, the zip code you live in, or the wealth you have. As a parent, you should have a right to know what's going on inside your child's classroom," Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a tweet.
The legislation would require that schools publish curriculum publicly, provide information to parents when violence occurs on school grounds and allow parents to meet with teachers upon request.
Schools would also be forced to provide parents with opportunities for input when crafting new policies, and would have to provide a list of books available in school libraries.
No Democratic Party members in the House voted to approve the measure, and a few Republican Party House members also voted no.
It is clear today that the Republican Party is the party of parents. Not a single Democrat crossed, the aisle to vote on behalf of parents and kids across this country," Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. said after the bill was passed, according to @HouseGOP.
Today was an important victory for parents who deserve to have a say in their kids’ education," House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said after the bill passed.
Critics of the bill label it a burdensome proposal that only seeks to fuel a right-wing culture war set on banning books, rewriting history, and threatening school officials for not bowing to conservative wishes.
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., called the bill the "Politics over Parents Act," arguing it will only divide parents and teachers. House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said "We’ll fight against this legislation. We’ll fight against the banning of books, fight against the bullying of children from any community, and certainly from the LGBTQ+ community."
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., called the bill "disgraceful." Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., called it a "MAGA federal power grab."
The bill's passing comes just a day after outraged parents shared frustrations at a Capitol Hill hearing that the FBI was allegedly targeting them for their appearances at school board meetings, labeling them potential "threats."
Attorney General Merrick Garland's October 2021 memorandum directed federal law enforcement to begin working with local law enforcement to root out "a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators" stemming from contentious school board meetings.
An interim report from the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government contested that there was "no legitimate basis" for Garland's memorandum.
It is apparent that the Biden Administration misused federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources for political purposes," the Judiciary Committee's interim report argues.
This weaponization of law-enforcement powers against American parents exercising their First Amendment rights is dangerous," the report goes on. "The Justice Department subjected moms and dads to the opening of an FBI investigation about them, the establishment of an FBI case file that includes their political views, and the application of a 'threat tag' to their names as a direct result of their exercise of their fundamental constitutional right to speak and advocate for their children."
Garland has been asked to "rescind" his October 2021 memo, but has not done so yet according to the interim report.
We are not 'domestic terrorists' and we will not be silenced," one parent could be heard saying at the Thursday hearing.
The bill must now face a majority Democratic Party Senate, where it is expected to die a legislative "dead end" death.