Editorial: Parental Rights Bills in Frankfort Give Clarity to Parents and Educators

Several bills have been introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly to prevent school officials from engaging in indoctrination on issues of gender and sexuality, and groups who have made it their chief business to confuse children about their gender are upset about this.

But it isn’t only gender and sexuality they want to confuse people about, but the issue itself.

Unsurprisingly, the first tactic groups like the Fairness Alliance and their allies in the media have deployed is mischaracterization. Using the same strategy similar groups used unsuccessfully in Florida, they immediately labeled the bills “Don’t Say Gay” bills.

Accuracy has never been the strong suit of these groups, but it says something about their concern for accuracy that the first assertion out of their mouths was a literal falsehood. There is very little anywhere in any of these bills that prevents anyone from saying anything, much less saying “gay.”

Several bills have been targeted in this misinformation campaign: House Bill 177, House Bill 173, and Senate Bill 150.

Not only do these bills have very little that limits what can be said, they actually require schools to say more —specifically to parents — about their child. For example, House Bill 177 provides parents the ability to review all educational materials, medical records, and consent to mental healthcare decisions. It also ensures elementary children are protected from age-inappropriate human sexuality curriculum, while requiring parents to consent in grades six and above.

What is the argument against informing and involving parents of these things? These are things we should expect from schools as a matter of course.

If the LGBTQ lobby groups and activists are opposed to parental rights, then they should just say so, and explain why it is that they think there is something wrong with parents being the ones to decide important things about their children.

And House Bill 177 not only requires more information, not less, but also protects against the Kentucky Education Department and individual school districts from making policies that force local schools to keeps parents in the dark and require teachers to use pronouns for students that don’t align with a student’s biological sex. It doesn’t require any teacher to do anything. All it requires is that teachers are not required to do this.

In other words, far from placing new mandates on teachers, it would result in fewer mandates and the freedom of teachers not to have to bow the knee to the woke prerogatives of state education leadership.

According to a recent editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader, one of the bills, HB 173, “takes every invented right wing education controversy— drag shows, pronouns, dirty library books, bathroom bills, CRT, COVID vaccinations — and sautés them in the roux known as “parents rights.”

“Invented right-wing education controversy?” The political left takes a position and then after being pilloried by rational people for saying it, denies saying it. And then the next day says it again.

If you want examples of invention, you need to check to see if there are any letters left in the alphabet that the LGBTQ movement has not co-opted to designate some new gender designation they made up last week. Even most special keyboard characters have now been pressed into service in the effort to go where no ideologue has gone before.

If people want to exercise their speculative imaginations in this way, that’s their business. The problem starts when you have state education leaders facilitating the sexual confusion of children, even young children, many times in direct contradiction to the wishes of parents.

No one, particularly parents, has any obligation to submit to an agenda like this.

By Martin Cothran – Spokesperson and Senior Policy Analyst for The Family Foundation. This editorial was also published in the Lexington Herald-Leader.