Elementary school lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation are occurring in various districts throughout the country — including in Pennsylvania — often happening without parental consent. A new bill proposed in Pennsylvania would empower parents and help protect young students against this type of inappropriate curriculum.   

It is the right of parents alone to decide if, when, and how their children will be exposed to this type of content. Because they are intrinsically tied to metaphysical beliefs, ideas about gender and sexuality are best addressed in the home. These conversations need to be approached tactfully, as children can easily be coerced, and they should never occur behind parents’ backs. 

There is no academic justification for a teacher to engage in classroom instruction about sexual orientation with young children. 

Additionally, the bill would stop the practice of government schools endorsement and promotion of sexual orientation and gender identity ideology in the same way it forbids schools from endorsing relgious ideologies.  For older students in middle or high school, these topics could still be discussed in the same way religion can be discussed by school employees – in a neutral manner. But the bill prevents the coercion and indoctrination on topics of sexual orientation and gender ideology that has been occuring in many school districts across Pennsylvania.  

“Some of these discussions that concerned parents have brought to our attention are formal and led by the teacher, while others are organic and initiated by students,” said Sens. Scott Martin and Ryan Aument. “But many of these discussions are occurring without the knowledge or consent of the parents, and we believe this is wrong. Parents have a fundamental right to decide the educational, moral, ideological, and religious upbringing of their children without unreasonable government interference in the classroom undermining that right.”

Thankfully, Senators Martin and Aument have introduced a bill to combat this growing issue. The Empowering Families in Education Act, or SB 1287, seeks to protect the right of parents to determine how their children will learn about gender identity. 

It also aims to de-sexualize school curriculums by prohibiting lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. However, if a student is personally struggling with gender identity, he or she will still be able to discuss it with school staff. 

Ultimately, the bill will improve transparency and strengthen the trust between schools and families by requiring schools to implement a policy for informing parents “when there is a change to a student’s services or monitoring.”

It also prohibits schools from keeping information from parents and allows parents to take legal action against a school that fails to do so. 

Lastly, it requires schools to inform parents of any health care related services being offered at the school, including opportunities for parents to opt their child out of those services.

“At the end of the day, we all have a vested interest in making sure our children are safe and grow to be happy and healthy,” said Sens. Martin and Aument. “Therefore, we must all work together to find fair solutions that accommodate the needs of parents and children from different backgrounds.”

This bill is necessary not only for the protection of parent’s rights, but the protection of children’s safety. We need to do everything we can to prevent activist teachers from indoctrinating, grooming, and sexualizing students. 

Please contact your State Senator and urge them to support this bill.