Abbott introduces Parent Bill of Rights
By: Michaela Dennis
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Jan. 20 would include Parental Bill of Rights in his bid for re-election.
According to WFAA, Abbott wants to amend the Texas Constitution to include parents as the primary decision maker for their children’s education. This includes parents having access to students’ curriculum and parents being the decider if their child repeats a grade level.
“Parents will be restored to their rightful place as the preeminent decision-maker for their children,” Abbott said.
Education supporters believe that the Texas Education Code has already outlined the parental rights that Greg Abbott proposed in his bill.
Shannon Holmes, the executive director of Texas Professional Educators, does not think Abbott’s proposal will improve their children’s education or parental rights.
She encourages voters to think about their personal experience in the education system before voting on the matter.
“The so-called ‘Parental Bill of Rights’ wouldn’t give Texas parents any new rights,” Holmes said. “Every ‘issue’ is already addressed in existing state law and local policies. Instead, Governor Abbott’s pledge to ‘bolster’ parent rights would only serve to place additional governmental mandates on school districts and teachers already stretched to their limits due to staffing shortages.”
The Tarleton State University Director of Student Involvement and Family Relations, Lathes Towns, is a mother of two. She says she would vote for Abbott because of his Parental Bill of Rights proposal.
She wants school boards more involved with teaching; however, she does believe that some teachers can judge based on their personal opinions.
Towns says many people try to control our children today especially because, from K-12, their minds are so fragile.
“I see the school as an extension of my home,” Towns said. “I feel like you gotta give your children the power to be who they want to be. If they can’t practice in the safe walls that you gave them, when they get out here, people are pulling them apart.”
Zemoni Hopkins, a sophomore at Tarleton, does not believe that parents should be given the opportunity to vote on their children’s education. She fears some parents will not be able to vote without being biased.
“I would personally have to do more research on my own time about the new things he is promoting,” Hopkins said. “I feel that it would be difficult for parents to vote without doing so by solely voting based on their opinion.”