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October 27, 2021 · OPINION

Where Is a Parents’ Bill of Rights for Virginia?

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By Mike Spare
Warrenton

Where Is a Parents’ Bill of Rights for Virginia?

Sometimes, the simplest and certainly one of the best ways for a public official to serve the public is to inform them about things they care about.

It is called the Parents Bill of Rights and is exactly the kind of initiative attorneys general should take to inform citizens of their rights on issues of public importance.

Good luck seeing such an assessment from Virginia’s AG.

Preamble:

It is of utmost importance that parents of young children understand their legal rights to participate in their children’s education. Virginia parents possess certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to overseeing the education of their K-12 students. State and federal law afford certain protections and guarantees under the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to assure children’s fundamental rights are not infringed.

Parental participation in children’s education is the single most essential factor in assuring school accountability under the law. This Parent Bill of Rights provides a roadmap for parental engagement and serves as an educational resource for parental participation in their child’s educational experience.”

The rights listed are clear and executable:

You have the right and expectation to question and address your child’s school officials and school board members at publicly designated meetings with proper notice of the meeting provided.

• You have the right and expectation to question and review the curriculum taught in your child’s school by questioning local school board and school administrators.

• You have the right and expectation that the academic curriculum taught in your child’s school aligns with Indiana and federal law.

• You have the right and expectation to participate in the selection and approval of academic standards for the state.

• You have the right and expectation to obtain educational materials and curriculum taught to your child in the classroom.

• You have the right to run as a candidate for your local school board.

It is as useful for the Board of Education, school boards and superintendents as it is for parents.

In Virginia, it would set expectations on both sides and potentially calm the atmosphere in the famously heated debates.

Everybody would win unless parent participation is not your goal.

The last reason Attorney General Mark Herring wants is parent involvement.

He is quite happy to have government run our public schools without messy public input.

Online “Town Hall” comment boards hardly count. They are set up and then taken down, never to be heard of again. They serve as a public pressure relief valve without consequence.

The AG election is in November.
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