Empowering Families in Education Act, SB 1278, would protect children from coercion in the classroom; SB 1277 would enhance parental notifications. 

(HARRISBURG, PA) The Pennsylvania Senate voted Wednesday to empower parents by passing bills that would help increase transparency, prevent coercion and ensure parents have more opportunity to participate in making decisions about their child’s education. 

“We thank each State Senator who voted to support the involvement of moms and dads in the education of their children,” says Michael Geer, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Family Institute. “These important bills will help make sure that in Pennsylvania public school classrooms, children are protected from inappropriate materials and coercive indoctrination. Parents deserve every opportunity to be actively engaged in the education of their child, especially on sensitive issues involving human sexuality and gender.”

Senate Bill 1278, the Empowering Families in Education Act sponsored by Sen. Scott Martin (R – Lancaster) and Sen. Ryan Aument (R – Lancaster), would respect parental rights by preventing coercion and inappropriate advocacy in the classroom on issues involving sexual orientation and gender identity. “Our bill ensures that parents have a stronger role to play in the education of their children when it comes to sensitive topics,” wrote Sen. Martin and Sen. Aument in an op-ed this week.

The PA Senate voted 29-21 to pass the Empowering Families in Education Act.

Senate Bill 1277 would help increase transparency by requiring parental notification regarding sexually explicit materials in schools. This is a win-win for parents and children “by allowing parents to opt their own kids out of having access to certain sexually explicit materials, while at the same time ensuring suitable alternatives are available for children to explore different worldviews and broaden their educational horizons,” as put by bill sponsors Sen. Martin and Sen. Aument. 

The roll call on SB 1277 in the PA Senate was 30 yes votes to 20 no votes. 

Both bills now head to the PA House of Representatives for consideration.

“Our children should not be exposed to the kinds of graphic sexual content that would be understood to be inappropriate in a work context,” said Alexis Sneller, Communications and Policy Officer with PA Family Institute. “The Empowering Families in Education Act and the parental notification bill will better serve both parents and students.”