Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch cosponsored the Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their (PROTECT) Kids Act, introduced by Senator Tim Scott from North Carolina, in Washington D.C. on Feb. 1.
The bill prioritizes the rights of parents in their child’s education by preventing schools from concealing information about students’ gender from their parents. Proponents of the bill expressed concerns about policies allowing students of any age to change their names, pronouns, gender markers or other sex-based accommodations without parental consent or awareness.
The PROTECT Kids Act would restrict federal funding for any elementary or middle school that allows students to change their pronouns, gender markers or sex-based accommodations (including locker rooms and bathrooms) without the consent of their parents.
“Parents have every right to be involved in their children’s life and education, but they cannot do so if a school is withholding important information about their child’s well-being,” Risch said. “Schools shouldn’t promote harmful ideologies, and they certainly shouldn’t empower young kids to make lifelong decisions without parent involvement. The PROTECT Kids Act would ensure schools cannot deny parents access to critical information.”
According to the 2023 Idaho Public Policy Survey, policy changes like these ranked fourth among priorities for K-12 schools in Idaho with Idahoans calling for increased parental rights and requests to keep politics out of the classroom.
Idaho’s senators share desires for such policy changes and seek to address the concerns of their constituents. Crapo said this bill would benefit parents and students.
“Making it possible for parents to be actively engaged in their children’s education provides the best outcome for students,” Crapo said. “The fundamental importance of parental involvement in children’s lives must be supported rather than eroded by unreasonable heavy-handed government policies.”
Read the full text of the bill here.