Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) is introducing legislation on Wednesday requiring elementary schools and secondary schools that receive federal funding to obtain a parent’s consent before they begin facilitating a child’s gender transition.
The Indiana Republican’s legislation, a Republican Study Committee initiative, mirrors a Senate version of the bill introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) in October — ensuring, as Banks said, that “federally funded schools are not laboratories for the Left’s radical agenda.”
“Our schools are a place for math and history education, not gender theory indoctrination,” Banks told The Daily Wire. “No parent should have to worry that their child’s school is enabling, promoting, or facilitating a child’s ‘gender transition’ behind their back.”
The Empower Parents to Protect Their Kids Act of 2022 warns that school districts across the nation are “violating parental and familial rights by encouraging or instructing staff to deceive or withhold information from parents if their child expresses confusion about their gender and is seeking to ‘transition.’”
“Without parental knowledge or consent, schools are facilitating ‘social gender transitions’ by changing the names and pronouns of children in school, or even allowing children to change which sex-segregated facilities they use, such as rest rooms, locker rooms, and dormitories or other housing for overnight field trips,” the legislation states.
But “socially transitioning” a child is not an evidence-based practice or a “neutral or uncontroversial decision,” the legislation says.
“This practice is an experimental social and psychological intervention that has immediate effects on a child’s psychology and a high likelihood of changing the life path of a child,” the bill continues, warning that policies that “circumvent parental authority” are a violation of parents’ constitutional rights to care for their children.
In California, The Daily Wire previously reported in February, a high school’s “transition closet” sparked a backlash as parents protested that students would be allowed to come to school in clothes that their “parents approve of” before changing into clothes that match their stated gender identity.
In Wisconsin, The Daily Wire reported in March, teachers were reportedly instructed to hide students’ gender identity transitions from their parents.
Cotton told The Daily Wire in a Wednesday statement that “schools should never be allowed to impose radical, harmful gender ideology on children—especially without parents’ knowledge and consent.”
“My bill will protect students and ensure parents are in control of their children’s education,” he said. “Schools must remain institutions of education, not indoctrination camps where minors are manipulated and brainwashed.”
The Republican Study Committee had announced a framework of economic and social principles intended to “restore the American family” and to act as the “foundation of a pro-family conservative agenda when Republicans win back the House majority” in early June.
That initiative specifically seeks to protect children from “far-left” ideologies.
“We support the protection of children from far-left ideologies like the transgender movement and racist ideology in their schools, the dangers of Big Tech and the internet, and other influences that cause trauma, endanger children’s health or otherwise blunt their development into functional adult citizens,” the framework reads.