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‘Tired Of The Secrets’: Defense Bill Gives Parents Greater Oversight Of Pentagon Schools

Military parents would be guaranteed deeper involvement in their children’s education at Pentagon-run schools under Congress’ compromise defense bill revealed late Wednesday.

The provision allows parents to review curriculum at military schools, access the school’s library catalogue, visit with school boards and advisory committees and have a say in medical examinations performed at the schools, according to the report for the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Military parents have grown alarmed at poor educational quality at Pentagon schools amid fears the Pentagon is foisting gender ideology on military kids.

Rep. Elise Stefanik sought to include her bill in the 2023 defense budget, but the provision was stripped before Congress voted on the final bill. Now, it appears the bill, dubbed the Servicemember Parents Bill of Rights, will become law.

“Servicemember parents have a right to know if radical gender ideology is being taught in their children’s schools,” Stefanik said in a 2022 social media statement.

“After seeing the Equity and Access Summit DoDEA teacher training in 2021 and the way gender identity ideology and oppressor vs. oppressed narratives, which are hallmarks of critical race theory, have infiltrated these schools, this parents bill of rights couldn’t come at a better time,” Amy Haywood, a military parent whose child went to school at an overseas Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) school, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Haywood said she sought to get information about a class introduced in 2021, called Challenge and Empower, but was denied text and instructional materials .

“I was given a 30,000-foot view with no specifics, and even my FOIA request for information about the class was denied. Parents should always be able to view what’s being taught to their children, and this amendment makes that crystal clear,” she told the DCNF. “Parents are tired of the secrets.”

The Equity and Access Summit in 2021 included presentations on anti-racism and taught military educators how to instruct children on gender identity using the “gender-bread person.”

DODEA school boards have to give parents the opportunity to address them at least four times a year, according to the bill, as well as hold individual meetings between parents and teachers.

The bill also ensures parents must be notified and given written consent if their children are subject to medical screenings at school and to look at the documentation produced from those exams.

DODEA operates prekindergarten through 12th grade schools across the globe for 69,688 children of U.S. military and DOD civilian parents, according to the organization’s website.

DODEA placed a top administrator for the Americas region on leave after Georgia law enforcement arrested him in November during a larger human trafficking sting, the DCNF previously learned.

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