Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), and Rick Scott (R-Florida) have introduced the Empower Parents to Protect Their Kids Act, legislation that would prevent K-12 schools from performing a “gender transition” on children behind their parents’ backs. Congressman Jim Banks (Indiana-03) introduced companion legislation in the House.
This bill would also empower parents to sue schools that violate this Act by hiding or withholding information about their child’s “transition.”
“Schools should never be allowed to impose radical, harmful ideologies on children—especially without parents’ knowledge and consent. My bill will protect students and ensure that parents are in control of their children’s education. Schools must remain institutions of education, not indoctrination camps where minors are manipulated and brainwashed,” said Senator Cotton.
“School is where children go to learn math, history and science, not to learn about woke gender ideology. No parent should have to worry about a school teacher or administrator coaching their child to ‘gender transition.’ My bill protects parental rights and ensures federally funded schools are not laboratories for the Left’s radical agenda,” said Congressman Banks.
Bill text may be found here.
The Empower Parents to Protect Their Kids Act would:
- Make sure schools receive parental consent before facilitating a student’s gender transition in any way.
- Ensure schools do not withhold information from parents or coerce students to withhold information from their parents about their purported gender identity.
- Ensure that schools do not pressure parents or students to proceed with a gender transition.
- Bar federal funds to K-12 schools that fail to comply with these requirements. It would also establish a private right of action to empower parents to enforce these policies in court, with attorney’s fees granted to the prevailing plaintiff. The bill also requires schools to report to the Secretaries dispersing federal funds (e.g. Secretary of Education) how they are complying with this Act, provide a copy of its policies to parents, and post those policies on school websites.