Republican Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require schools to obtain parental permission for sexual education classes or any discussion regarding gender identity, according to a press release.
The “Parental Rights in Education” bill would require that parents give their written permission before a student’s name or pronouns can be changed at school, according to a press release from Dunleavy’s office. The bill would also mandate that students use locker rooms and bathrooms on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity.
“There should never be a case where a parent sends their kid to school, and the child comes back having discussions about things they learned in school that may be a sensitive issue or an affront to a parent’s values,” Dunleavy said at a press conference, according to Anchorage Daily News.
The bill requires that no information regarding a student’s mental or physical health be withheld from parents. Opponents of the legislation argued that it aims at transgender students, but Dunleavy said the bill is about giving parents more of a say in their children’s education, according to KTOO.
“This isn’t targeting anybody,” Dunleavy told the outlet. “This is really reaffirming parental rights, and that the parents of these children have the right to know what their children are doing in school.”
Red state lawmakers across the country are pushing for transparency within the classroom by increasing parental rights; House Republicans under the leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy introduced the “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act” which would require school districts to give parents access to curriculums, see budget spending and be notified of violence within the school district.
“The House Coalition views the Governor’s gender identity bill as a distraction that will do nothing to fix overcrowded classrooms while removing local control and adding another layer of bureaucracy,” the Alaska House Coalition, a group of Democratic and independent state representatives, said in a press release.
Dunleavy also introduced a piece of legislation focused on recruiting and retaining more educators that would give full-time teachers an additional annual payment of either $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000.
“The labor market for teachers is tight across the country, but this bill will help Alaska school districts recruit and retain qualified teachers for years to come,” Dunleavy said in a press release.
Dunleavy’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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