The “Parents’ Charter of Rights” takes another step in the House
Members of the Missouri House gave initial approval to one of several “parents’ bills of rights” proposed this legislative session on Wednesday.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, would amend the Missouri Constitution, meaning it would go to a ballot if passed by the General Assembly.
Christofanelli amended his bill to remove some of the more “controversial” pieces because the bill’s passage window was drawing to a close.
The amendment removed a section creating an “academic report card” that would give schools an A-F grade against state standards and allow students in “D” and “F” schools to select an option alternative education. It also removed an open registration section.
What was left was a bill consisting of a “parents’ bill of rights” including the right to see the program, receive communications about their child, and remove their children from content they disagree with, among others.
Rep. Jo Doll, D-St. Louis, proposed an amendment to this amendment that would require parents to provide an alternate location and supervision if they want their child removed from a classroom and exempted from certain content.
But she met resistance from a member of her own party.
Representative Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson, shared that she had admitted in the past that her son was unprepared for sex ed classes at the time, and said the parents knew what was the better for their children.
“We think about the story, but there are other things where children may be developmentally underprepared to hear or encounter a subject and removing them from a setting is the right thing to do for a parent, and I don’t think they should be burdened with having to do extra things when they’ve already paid taxes to a school district to make this development, so unfortunately I can’t support this amendment” , she said.
Doll’s amendment is adopted.
A line in HJR 110 would require a school employee to notify parents if they suspect a crime has been committed against the child.
Rep. Ann Kelley, R-Lamar, said she was concerned about the line because it could require a teacher to notify the parent even if the parent was the alleged perpetrator of that crime, such as in abuse cases.
She proposed an amendment to create an exception if the alleged perpetrator of the crime was a relative.
The amendment passed and the substitute for HJR 110 was finalized by the House.