Harmful ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ SB 49 Passes NC Senate

Harmful ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ SB 49 Passes NC Senate

In an unsurprising yet still disgusting move, the North Carolina Senate passed SB49, the so-called “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” which will require teachers to “out” LGBTQ students to their parents, WRAL reported. The bill passed with a supermajority along party lines on Tuesday.

Republicans have tried justifying this bill by saying that teachers and students shouldn’t keep secrets from parents, specifically when it comes to a child’s sexuality or mental health. The NCGOP has not provided any actual reason why it’s a teacher’s job to tell a parent about their child’s sexuality.

The simple truth is that this is yet another power grab from right-wing Republicans who are intent on controlling every aspect of our lives – so long as it’s an issue that they can add to their ever-growing culture war list.

North Carolina ranks last in the country in K-12 funding. They could try controlling that aspect of our lives by actually funding the Leandro Plan and providing our public schools with desperately needed money…but they are focused on legislation that will only further exacerbate these issues.

If the NCGOP is as concerned about children’s mental health as they claim, perhaps they should consider funding the Leandro Plan, which would provide schools with one psychologist for every 700 students (currently, that number is one for every 1,900).

Not only is SB49 about a power grab and misplaced priorities, but it is also an actively dangerous bill. The state just released a study showing that more than 1 in 5 high school students have seriously considered attempting suicide – and that number is almost 1 in every 2 for LGBTQ students. This bill will lead to an increase in these numbers.

Democrats have said they want to work with parents, teachers, and students to make schools safer and stronger. They have introduced bills in both chambers with those goals in mind. The bills being passed in the legislature should be about funding schools and providing a welcoming and safe environment for learning, not about targeting LGBTQ youth for ridicule and harm.

The bill has already passed its first reading in the state House and is now in the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk. Republicans are expected to attempt to override his veto but Democrats are united in their opposition to the bill, so there is a good chance that SB49 does not become law.

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Patrick Zarcone

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