One North Carolina State Senator responds to the discussion on the ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – North Carolina state Republicans have introduced another version of the ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ that the State Senate and House saw last year but ultimately didn’t pass.

Democratic Senator Kandie Smith representing Pitt & Edgecombe Counties says she has and always will advocate for parents having rights in their children’s lives however Smith says this bill doesn’t address any of the real priorities she sees a need for.

“It does not address any of the priorities that we’ve been hearing about since we’ve been here. When we talk about funding and resources for staff, making sure our teachers have what they need as far as pay, making sure we have adequate nurse and counselors to take care of our children.”

The proposed ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ would stop all education and instruction about sexuality and gender identity from kindergarten through fourth grade.

In addition, the bill will require schools to notify parents of any change of name, pronoun, or state of mental health in their children.

The bill would require all schools to make certain reading materials available for parents to view.

Smith attended the discussion of the bill Wednesday and says that she sees the complete opposite of what the bill opposses.

“When I’m hearing that so many people are reaching out and saying that the parents don’t feel like they have rights, I didn’t see any of that represented in that room today except lobbyist that got up and said, I think it was maybe three lobbyists out of the maybe 10 to 15 people that spoke,” Smith says.

One version of the bill passed the State Senate last year but did not get a vote in the House. This year, Republican lawmakers increased their margins in the November elections.

Many of the parents WITN spoke to who did not want to go on camera said they are already prioritizing taking initiative in their children’s lives and do not see a need for a bill to ensure that.