RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A bill announced on Tuesday by North Carolina Republican leaders would put limitations on the discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity topics in certain state classrooms if signed into law.
The 10-page bill is part of a broader piece of legislation called the Parents’ Bill of Rights and calls for:
- the banning of LGBTQ+ topics in the curriculum for kindergarten-third grade classes
- requiring parental notice when students from kindergarten through high school question their sexual identity in school
- requiring parent notification if a student seeks to use a different pronoun or make use of counseling at the school
- requiring parental consent in writing for a child to receive counseling services or non-emergency healthcare treatment
- allowing parents to review records of what books and other materials their kids borrow from the library
The parent notification, however, does include an exception for “when a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in the child becoming an abused juvenile or neglected juvenile.”
The bill was discussed in a Tuesday press briefing by Republican leaders who are sponsoring the bill, including North Carolina Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger.
“This proposal strengthens the relationship between schools and parents. The bill is about increasing transparency and trust in our public schools. The more open communication school personnel have with the parents about a child’s education and well-being the better,” Berger said.
Berger also pointed to differences in the language from Florida’s bill that became known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In Florida’s bill, it was stated that classroom instruction on these topics may not occur in K-3 classrooms. In this North Carolina bill, the language says the topics “shall not be included in the curriculum” for these grades. The bill further defines that curriculum as the instruction, standard course of study, textbooks and other supplemental materials.
The bill will be delivered by Senator Deanna Ballard (R) to legislative committees on Wednesday in the state’s Republican-controlled General Assembly.
“This also sets standards for age-appropriate instruction for our youngest students. This bill prohibits gender identity and sexual orientation teaching, (which) has no place in the K-3 curriculum,” said Ballard.