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Parental Rights Bill Passes Kansas Senate

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) — Kansas lawmakers have advanced a bill that allows parents to remove their child from any classroom lesson or activity the parents view as inappropriate. The Kansas Senate voted 23-17 to pass the bill, which is a weaker version of the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” measure the governor vetoed last year. That bill would have allowed parents to challenge content in a course and stop it from being taught altogether rather than simply removing their own child from the class.

Supporters say this year’s version is not a bill of rights, but it outlines in state law that parents have a right to direct the education of their children. Opponents say parents can already ask for their child to be pulled from an assignment they disagree with.

Democratic Senator Dinah Sykes says the proposed law would put more pressure on overworked teachers and staff. “It’s an unnecessary burden on our teachers, administrators,” Sykes said. “All of our education advocates oppose mandates for bureaucratic tasks that take time and effort from the classroom.”

The bill now heads to a conference committee, where members of both chambers will work out differences in their versions of the measure.

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