". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act Protects Parental Rights in Tennessee

May 30, 2024

The Volunteer State is officially defending the right of parents in the classroom, as the LGBT agenda continues to run rampant in schools across the country. On Tuesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) signed into law Senate Bill 2749, known as the Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act. “The liberty of a parent to the care, custody, and control of the parent’s child, including the right to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of the child, is a fundamental right,” the new law declares. “All parental rights are exclusively reserved to a parent of a child without obstruction by or interference from a government entity…”

The law enumerates a host of rights and responsibilities reserved to parents, including directing the upbringing, “moral or religious training” of the child, and “the education of the child, including the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for the education of the child;” having the child “excused from school attendance for religious purposes;” making all physical and mental healthcare decisions for the child; among others. The law also clarifies that collection, storage, sharing, or replication of a child’s blood, DNA, “individual biometric data, data relative to analysis of facial expressions, electroencephalogram brain wave patterns, skin conductance, galvanic skin response, heart-rate variability, pulse, blood volume, posture, [or] eye-tracking” requires a parent’s consent.

“The fact that parental rights laws are being passed is both positive and negative. Since the laws are now necessary, it’s wonderful to see lawmakers stepping up to protect increasingly endangered parental rights. But the fact that these laws are necessary is deeply concerning,” said Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, in comments to The Washington Stand. “I’m grateful to the lawmakers in Tennessee for passing this legislation and to the governor for signing it. We can all pray that we will see more efforts like this one and that the need for these bills will soon be over.”

All Democrats but one in both chambers of Tennessee’s state legislature voted against the bill; they were joined by one Republican in the Senate and seven in the House. Across the nation, Democrats have been leading the charge to keep parents out of the school system but pack classrooms with LGBT ideology.

In California, Democrats are pushing legislation to hide schools’ gender transition efforts from targeted students’ parents, strip parents of custody if they don’t “affirm” their child’s gender identity, and permit children as young as 12 to check themselves into gender transition facilities without parental approval. Parents in Maryland have been embattled against the left-wing Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) system and the courts defending its agenda. Both a federal district court and a federal appeals court have allowed MCPS to conduct LGBT-themed lessons with children as young as three years of age, without notifying parents or allowing them to opt their children out of the lessons. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to intervene in the case of MCPS hiding children’s gender identities from parents.

In the nearby Garden State, school districts have been blocked from enacting or implementing parental notification policies regarding students’ gender identities, despite widespread support in the state for such policies, including from a majority of Democrats. A New Jersey father earlier this year sued a high school for hiding his daughter’s gender transition from him, but a federal court ruled against the father’s request for a preliminary injunction, claiming that he likely has no constitutional right to know his daughter’s gender identity. Similarly, a New York mom sued a school district for secretly socially transitioning her daughter; the district has requested that the case be dismissed.

A report last year published by Parents Defending Education found that 1,040 different school districts had policies in place requiring teachers keep students’ gender identities and social transition efforts a secret from parents. The latest edition of that report, published at the beginning of the month, shows that 1,062 school districts — comprising 18,658 schools and nearly 11 million students — hold such policies.

“Parents need to understand that they are parenting children in a world that is very different from the world they grew up in,” Kilgannon stated. “We need strong churches and strong families to counter this subversive pressure from sexualized ideologies now entrenched in most of our schools and institutions.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.