Stefanik Promotes Parental Educational Rights for Overseas Service Members

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act this week that will protect parents’ rights regarding their children’s education in Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools.

The amendment reinforces the rights of service members with children in DoDEA schools to be involved in their education, while “increasing transparency and accountability.”

Stefanik said that she decided to propose the bill as a bipartisan amendment after she learned that DoDEA educator training materials include “radical gender ideologies.” She said one training program instructs teachers to “keep gender transitioning students a secret” from their service member parents.

The Daily Caller reported on multimedia training materials which had the DoDEA logo on a presentation called “The Genderbread Person” that instructs teachers on how to discuss LGBT ideology with kindergarten students.

The slide describes elementary school as “actually the ideal time” to talk about LGBTQ+ with “kids as young as 4 years old.” It goes on to say that children that young are “already starting to develop a stable understanding of their gender identity” and describes gender and race as “social constructs.” The training material also promotes the normalization of “they/them/their” pronoun usage.

The amendment proposed by Stefanik gives DoDEA parents the right to review all instructional materials, books and reading materials in school libraries, and teachers’ professional development materials.

DoDEA will also be required to post the course curriculum for each grade level on school websites and make all materials used in “any survey, analysis, or evaluation” available to parents for their inspection.

The amendment will also require that parents be notified in advance of any medical examinations or screenings administered at school. Written parental consent will be required before any examination or screening, and parents must be provided with the information obtained.

The amendment was supported during discussions on the House floor by Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), who said it gives parents “a right to be able to give input and have a say in their children’s education.” He added that service members overseas should have the same rights as parents in his neighborhood’s schools.

The amendment was approved by the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday by a bipartisan vote of 39-19.