Sep. 20, 2022
HARRISBURG – Surrounded by legislative supporters, parents and students, Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Clinton) officially introduced her Parental Bill of Rights legislation (House Bill 2813
) during a news conference held in the state Capitol rotunda.
“This is a bill to protect our children from gender ideology and sexual orientation—the same indoctrination that is still plastered on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s taxpayer-funded website,” said Borowicz. “In addition to mandating the use of ‘gender neutral pronouns,’ we also continue to receive reports of biological male students being permitted to use designated female restrooms. Many of the mothers joining us here today have discovered sexually explicit content and pornographic images in their children’s textbooks. Clearly, the need to enact a comprehensive and enforceable Parental Bill of Rights has never been more imperative.”
Specifically, Borowicz’s Parental Bill of Right’s legislation would:
• Require all classroom instruction to be age appropriate.
• Prohibit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through fifth grade.
• Require public schools to adopt procedures for notifying parents if there is a change in services regarding a child’s mental, emotional or physical health or well-being.
“The parents should have the last word,” said Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33), who has also prime sponsored parental rights protection legislation (Senate Bill 996
). “That I even have to say this in Pennsylvania in 2022 is a bit hard for me. We’re not talking about a line out of the ‘Catcher in the Rye’ or a line out of any book that has been semi-controversial. We’re talking about very graphic pictures that are certainly not age appropriate.”
“Perhaps most importantly, House Bill 2813 makes it crystal clear that the non-negotiable rights of engaged, responsible and dedicated parents are always superior to government-enforced K-12 indoctrination,” said House Health Committee Majority Chair Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest). “As devoted parents and grandparents, why would we ever willingly surrender our children’s lives or our parental freedoms to faceless and intrusive government institutions?”
Only 15 states currently have provisions in place to protect parental rights. Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania does not have a state statute that specifically defines and recognizes parental rights as fundamental rights.
“As similar legislation is signed into law in other states, it is time to take decisive action in the land of William Penn to ensure that parents, first and foremost, have the right to make decisions regarding the morality and upbringing of their children,” said Borowicz. “Passage of my Parental Bill of Rights legislation will fundamentally guarantee that our children can remain children by allowing parents to vigilantly protect their innocence for as long as possible.”
“Our children need a solid, quality education,” said Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland), a former school board member. “What they do not need is a curriculum that does not align with standards or state parental rights. Nearly 150 years ago, Pennsylvanians made a commitment to quality public education when they adopted a Constitution with an education clause that begins, ‘The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education.’ I am sure this statement does not include lessons and textbooks devoted to sexual orientation and gender ideology in elementary school, or pornographic books in high schools. It’s no wonder more parents are deciding to home school, send their kids to private school or sign them up for online learning - they simply want options and more control over what their children are being taught. The Parental Bill of Rights will give greater peace of mind to parents concerning what instruction their public schools are providing.”
“I was happy to speak out on behalf of the children in the schools of the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Milou Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton). “In particular, the issue of sexually explicit materials that are being made available in school libraries today is very troubling since its patrons are between the ages of five and 18 years old. Parents alone should be allowed to guide and protect the innocence of their children. The taxpayers of the Commonwealth should not have to pay for sexually explicit materials in school libraries, which unbeknownst to them, are contributing to the corruption of the morals of minor children in Pennsylvania.”
Representative Stephanie Borowicz
76th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives