Republican state lawmakers took to the Capitol rotunda Tuesday to tout newly introduced legislation they call the “Parental Bill of Rights” that could change what is and isn’t taught in Pennsylvania classrooms.
The bill may seem familiar as it shares similarities to Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education Bill,” also termed by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
According to the proposed legislation, House Bill 2813 would focus specifically on teaching what’s considered age appropriate material in the classroom and notifying parents about changes in their child’s health.
“Madness has set in our state here. We need to restore order and restore common sense,”
On Tuesday morning, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Senator Doug Mastriano joined Republican Representative Stephanie Borowicz, and other Pennsylvania parents, as House Bill 2813 was officially introduced during a Pennsylvania parental rights rally.
According to the general assembly, HB 2813 is, “an act providing for classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity and for parental notification of student health care services; and establishing cause of action for violation.”
“This is a bill to protect our children from gender ideology and sexual orientation being taught in our schools,”
“This is a bill to protect our children from gender ideology and sexual orientation being taught in our schools,” said Rep. Stephanie Borowicz.
Borowicz says the bill would also require schools to notify parents about changes in their child’s mental health or wellbeing.
She says she created the bill because she and other Pennsylvania parents believes the public school system is violating parental rights and believes teaching sexual orientation should be prohibited in kindergarten through 5th grade.
Borowicz referenced several books she says are available in some school libraries.
“As parents, we protect our kids from seeing the images that are found in these books. Personally, I couldn’t even look at the images that were being sent to some of us and Representative Gleim. It was so repulsive. It’s so horrific that our children could have their hands on these kinds of images.”
A Democratic Johnstown man who says he’s part of the LGBTQ community says he doesn’t disagree with some points made in House Bill 2813 but finds issue with the bill overall.
“At the end of the day, the TV has a worse influence on children learning about sexual identity than a book would,”
Bayush says although some books may contain more graphic pictures or detail than others, books can teach important lifelong lessons.
“I mean knowledge is power and once we stomp that knowledge, we are losing power, whether that be an eight-year-old or an 80-year-old, knowledge is power and the more you know the better you’ll do in the future.”
The bill has been referred to the state’s House Education Committee.