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Ga. lawmakers discuss new Parents’ Bill Of Rights signed into law

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Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:44 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -With the new Parents’ Bill of Rights in effect, many may be left wondering how this may affect the rest of the school year moving forward.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the law aims to make it easier for parents to see what goes on in classrooms.

Gov. Kemp recently signed the Parent's Bill of Rights into law. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the law...

Posted by Gabrielle Taite WALB on Thursday, April 28, 2022

The bill also allows parents to determine whether their child can appear in any photos, videos, or audio recordings for the school. An exception is for security recordings.

Parents can also opt their children out of sex education.

Representative Bill Yearta serves District 152 at the State Capitol. That includes Lee and Worth Counties.

Rep. Bill Yearta
Rep. Bill Yearta (Source: walb)

“There is a concern, you know I think in a lot of areas that things are being taught you know without the parent’s consent to that,” Yearta said. “You know mainly sex education or teaching about sex education at a young age. I think that concerns a lot of people and rightly so.”

He says this issue goes beyond just Georgia schools.

“I think there’s a concern all over the country. For example about what’s being taught in schools, and you know just giving parents the inherent right to know what’s being taught and to review what’s being taught. Parents are responsible for raising their kids ultimately,” he said.

Opponents of the law call it an invasive and unnecessary demand on a teacher’s time.

Senator Freddie Powell Sims serves District 151 on the state level. That includes Terrell, Randolph, and other nearby counties. She believes this issue is being greatly politicized due to election season. She feels parents have always had many rights when it comes to the school system.

Sen. Freddie Powell Sims says that schools have always been open to parents being involved, and...
Sen. Freddie Powell Sims says that schools have always been open to parents being involved, and does not believe that things will change tremendously.(WALB)

“Schools are very much open systems. They’ve always been. Those individuals that parent that have concerns about the curriculum, what their children are being taught,” she said. “It is always their right to go in and ask permission or follow the protocol because there’s always a process in our schools in the state of Georgia.”

She says although the protocol may be a bit stricter, she hopes that it will not disrupt the children’s learning.

“It’s very difficult to run a successful school without parental involvement,” Sims said. “Now, how far do you want that involvement to go? That’s always the question. Hopefully, the bill will not disturb the day and the instructional time that is devoted to their children because instructional time is so important, so you don’t wanna take away from that day. There will be individuals that will not like it at all. Um, so there will be a process in place to debate or to question what is being taught in the school.”

She believes there will always be an ongoing battle of how much to teach children in school versus providing them with age-appropriate materials.

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