ATLANTA – State Representative John Carson (R-Marietta) recently introduced House Bill 1158, or the Georgia “Parents’ Bill of Rights.”
Through this legislation, Rep. Carson seeks to establish and protect parental rights regarding education, health information and upbringing, as well as enable transparency between schools/school systems and parents.
He also seeks to curb special interest groups from promoting teaching materials in public school classrooms without parental consent.
“This initiative is all about transparency and parental involvement in their children’s education as parents have the right to direct the education and upbringing of their children,” said Rep. Carson. “As radicals sacrifice academics and achievement and instead focus on demographics and racial differences, parents need transparency in the school curriculum and the ability to file complaints that lead to resolution. Parents are better than the government when it comes to raising children.”
This bill would affirm that parents have exclusive rights to know what their minor children are being taught in public school, voice their concerns about teaching materials, protect their child’s identity and ensure the safety of their child in school.
This legislation would also streamline the current parental rights statutes in an effort to eliminate confusion and provide specific guidelines for government agencies.
HB 1158 would require public school districts to adopt transparency requirements and establish procedures that would allow parents to have greater access to their child’s education, school records, health records and well-being.
Under this bill, parents would be able to review their child’s primary curriculum and any supplementary instructional materials.
Parents would also be able to object to such curriculum and materials, as well as withdrawal their child from sex education courses.
This bill would also ensure greater transparency regarding records for grades, attendance and behavior. Finally, HB 1158 would allow a parent to oversee any health care provided to their child in school unless otherwise prohibited by law.
Parents would have to consent in writing to a biometric scan of their child and before any record retention of blood or DNA.
Rep. Carson’s initiative is inspired by parents and advocacy groups from all over Georgia. This legislation is also modeled after Florida House Bill 241, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” law that was signed into law this past summer.
During his 2022 State of the State address, Governor Brian Kemp stated his support for a parental bill of rights for Georgia’s education system.