Kavanagh Bill Would Honor Parents’ Rights To Oppose Pronoun Use By Their Children In Schools

teens schools

A bill introduced by Arizona State Senator John Kavanagh, aims to protect children and a parent’s right to know what pronouns are being used to address their child at school. The bill would bar school staff from knowingly referring to a student by a pronoun “that differs from the pronoun that aligns with the student’s biological sex” unless they have the child’s parent’s permission to use the pronouns.

“Concealing information about a child who is not sure what gender they are is dangerous for the child and a violation of the parents’ right to be involved in their child’s upbringing and welfare,” Kavanagh told the Arizona Daily Independent. “Many children who have problems identifying their gender, have anxiety, depression, and some are even suicidal. These children need the support of their families and the professional psychological care that their families can provide for them. By keeping families in the dark, schools are denying children the help that they can get at home and from out-of-school professionals. My bill will make sure that parents are not kept in the dark and the safety of our children is protected.”

The bill also prohibits a school district or charter school from requiring staff or contractors to refer to a person that differs from their biological pronoun if doing so is contrary to that staff member or contractor’s religious or moral convictions.

The prohibition against compelled speech has long been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court and was recently affirmed by a federal appeals court in a case involving a tenured faculty member at a university in Ohio who was disciplined for refusing to comply with the institution’s preferred pronoun policy.

Last year, Kavanagh answered concerned parents’ prayers when he introduced a bill that would have closed a loophole that school districts have found in the state law that requires parental approval before students receive sex education. The bill required that parents consent to their child joining any kind of gender sexuality, or gender identity club before the students could join and the school would also have to send parents information about the club’s bylaws, rules, goals, and purposes.”

Scottsdale Unified Parents Call For Investigation Of Employee Discussing Gender Ideology With Kindergarteners

Kavanagh’s bill, HB2011, specifically prohibited “a school district from allowing any student to participate in any school student group or club involving sexuality, gender or gender identity unless the student’s parent provides written permission for the student to participate in the student group or club.”

That bill did not make it out of committee to the great disappointment of parents in the Scottsdale Unified School District who grew concerned about the divisions and hurt feelings created by the Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSA) clubs. In that case, parents were unaware the club was operating at schools and felt that the presence of the club was being treated as a secret between staff and students.

Kavanagh Steps Up For Parents Concerned About Divisive, Sexualizing School Clubs

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