On Feb. 27, at the urging of Equality N.C., the Durham County Board of Commissioners passed a “Resolution in Solidarity with Durham’s LGBTQ+ and Support of Student’s Right to Informational Privacy.” The commissioners outlined 10 “whereas” statements justifying the need for the resolution. But these were vague largely generalizations unconnected with the content of H.B. 43 and S.B. 49.
“Hate is hate, and hate is ugly,” said Chair Brenda Howerton. “And we don’t need that in any of our communities.”
Neither the Parents’ Bill of Rights (S.B. 49) nor Prohibition of Certain Hormone/Surgery/Minors (H.B. 43) should be politically divisive, and the intention of the Durham County Commissioners resolution can only be construed as a disingenuous political move to support a radical left agenda.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights is 11 pages. It addresses very relevant concerns surfaced during school closures and remote learning. The bill reiterates parents’ rights to raise children with ownership of education, health care, and mental-health decisions.
Parents have the responsibility to determine and instill values and beliefs in their children without government infringement. Parents are made aware of concerns relating to physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The Parents’ Bill of Rights protects student privacy and encourages transparent partnerships between parents and schools. It says that, “Instruction on gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality shall not be included in the curriculum provided in grades kindergarten through fourth grade regardless of whether the information is provided by school personnel or third parties.” Policies that ensure parents are given opportunities to learn about their schools are stated and outlined.
The Durham County Commissioners did not share any section of the bill, reference phrases or point to specific terms to illustrate objections. Instead, the commissioners perpetuated misconceptions and misled the public using a government, tax-paid forum. Commissioner Carter called efforts to protect minors and support parent rights, “schemes,” discounting very real concerns of parents.
Commissioner Jacobs closed out the discussion calling the bills, “a diversion and distraction” from “the real atrocity.” Her instinct to focus on the “real” problem is laudable, but for Durham parents, that problem is more likely the fact that almost 60% of students in Durham Public Schools did not finish the 2021-2022 school year proficient in reading and math.
In a time when parents are labeled domestic terrorists, mischaracterized for simply standing firm on the right to parent, the Parents’ Bill of Rights might be one of the most important pieces of legislation. Not only does it reinforce parents as the decision makers, but it protects both parents and children from radical left elected officials and special interest groups who intend to further marginalize parents and politicize public schools.
Sen. Amy Galey, R-Alamance, a primary sponsor of the Parents’ Bill of Rights (SB49), said it well when she introduced the bill, “I cannot understand why it would be controversial to say that children ages 5 to 9 years old should not be taught about sexuality or sexual activity in a public-school classroom. That blows my mind.”
The Durham County commissioners, with their flimsy, illogical opposition to a Parents’ Bill of Rights, did not clear up the confusion.
The Feb. 27, Durham County Commissioners meeting may be viewed here.