Republican Legislature Passes Parents Bill of Rights Assembly Bill 963
Too many public school teachers, administrators and school board members in Wisconsin and around the nation have been using their positions to advance extreme political agendas. These liberal “educators” have decided that every child in a public school should be forced to endure their efforts at political indoctrination with the aim of creating future adults without the ability to critically think, independently make decisions and with a sound belief in traditional American values.
These indoctrination efforts take many forms and have been intertwined in nearly every program or activity within our public schools. These corrosive tenets are often contained in efforts with the following names:
-Critical Race Theory
-White Privilege Training
-Systemic or Structural Racism
-Implicit Bias or Implicit Association
-Social Emotional Learning
Let there be no doubt, these efforts are part of a socialist ideology advocated by liberal organizations in this country to use our public schools to advance their dangerous agenda. The goal of this agenda is to change our country by convincing children to hate America, its culture, traditions and constitutional form of government.
Assembly Bill 963 – The Wisconsin Bill of Rights for Parents
I am a proud cosponsor of AB 963 and voted for this bill both in committee and on the floor of the State Senate. Under the Wisconsin Constitution, parents have a right to “direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.”
AB 963 builds upon the constitutional declaration placing parents in control of the education of their children by enumerating statutory rights for parents.
The following is the summary of the bill prepared by the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau:
-The bill prohibits the state from infringing on the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of their children without demonstrating that the infringement is required by a compelling governmental interest of the highest order as applied to the child, is narrowly tailored, and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.
-The bill reserves all of the following rights to the parent of a child without interference from the state or other government entity:
1. The right to determine the religion of the child.
2. The right to determine the type of school or educational setting the child attends.
3. The right to determine medical care for the child, unless specified otherwise in law or court order.
4. The right to review all medical records related to the child, unless specified otherwise in law or court order.
5. The right to determine the names and pronouns used for the child while at school.
6. The right to review instructional materials and outlines used by the child’s school.
7. The right to access any education-related information regarding the child.
8. The right to advanced notice of any polls or surveys instituted by the child’s classroom.
9. The right to request notice of when certain subjects will be taught or discussed in the child’s classroom.
10. The right to opt out of a class or instructional materials for reasons based on either religion or personal conviction.
11. The right to visit the child at school during school hours, consistent with school policy, unless otherwise specified in law or court order.
12. The right to engage with locally elected school board members of the school district in which the child is a student, including participating at regularly scheduled school board meetings.
13. The right to be notified of the creation of or updates to a security or surveillance system at the child’s school.
14. The right to be informed of any disciplinary action taken against or threatened against the child.
15. The right to be timely informed of any acts of violence or crimes occurring on grounds of the child’s school.
-The bill also provides that a guardian has all of the rights listed in the bill, unless they are limited by law or court order.
-The bill provides that this list does not comprehensively prescribe all inalienable parental rights, and that a child’s guardian may have rights that are more comprehensive than those listed.
-The bill allows a parent or guardian to bring a suit against a governmental body or official based on any violation of these rights or any other action that interferes with or usurps the fundamental right of a parent or guardian to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of a child.
-The bill allows a parent or guardian to raise a violation of these rights in court or before an administrative tribunal of appropriate jurisdiction as a claim or defense. Under the bill, a parent or guardian that successfully asserts such a claim may recover declaratory relief, injunctive relief, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and any other appropriate relief. The bill also authorizes the attorney general to enforce these rights.
-The bill provides that nothing in the bill authorizes a parent or guardian to abuse or neglect a child in violation of state law, and it may not be construed to apply to a parent’s or guardian’s action or decision that would end life. The bill also provides that nothing in the bill prohibits a court from issuing an order that is otherwise permitted by law.
AB 963 passed the State Assembly on February 22nd by a vote 60-34. It passed the State Senate on March 8th by a vote of 19-12. Not surprisingly, every Democrat member of the legislature opposed these bills and many spoke against giving parents powerful educational rights to protect their children.
AB 963 will soon be sent to Governor Tony Evers for his signature into law or a veto. Sadly, Evers is both a Democrat and an unwavering ally of the state’s teachers unions. Evers will certainly veto this bill and prevent parents from having legal authority to challenge the indoctrination occurring in their children’s public schools.
The Good News: the parents and taxpayers of Wisconsin will soon have the power to overturn the Evers’ veto of AB 963. In November 2022, the people of Wisconsin will vote to determine the next state governor with a term starting in January 2023.
If the voters opt to elect a Republican governor and legislature in November 2022, the Parents Bill of Rights will be reintroduced and enacted into law in 2023.