‘Scare Teachers Into Silence’: Dem Gov Vetoes Bill To Require Teachers Inform Parents Of Students’ Pronouns

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Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have required teachers to notify parents if their child requested to change their pronouns or name at school.

Under Senate Bill 49, vetoed by Cooper, lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation would have been prohibited in K-4 classrooms. The bill passed both the state Senate and House in June, where Republican lawmakers hold the majority. (RELATED: New York Transgender Guidance Suggests Teachers Keep Students’ Gender Transitions Private)

“Parents are the most essential educators for their children and their involvement must be encouraged, but this bill will scare teachers into silence by injecting fear and uncertainty into classrooms,” Cooper said in the press release. “This ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill also hampers the important and sometimes lifesaving role of educators as trusted advisers when students have nowhere else to turn. The rights of parents are well established in state law, so instead of burdening schools with their political culture wars, legislators should help them with better teacher pay and more investments in students.”

In 2022, a similar measure dubbed the “parental bill of rights” nearly made it to Cooper’s desk, though it was expected to be vetoed, The Associated Press reported. Republican lawmakers have the super-majority in both chambers, giving them the potential to override Cooper’s veto.

Cooper also vetoed House Bill 574, or the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which would have prohibited biological males from joining female sports teams in K-12 public schools, according to the press release. He also vetoed House Bill 808, which would have banned medical professionals from conducting sex-change procedures and providing puberty blockers or hormone treatments to minors.

[YouTube | Screenshot: NBC News]

[YouTube | Screenshot: NBC News]

“We don’t need politicians inflaming their political culture wars by making broad, uninformed decisions about an extremely small number of vulnerable children that are already handled by a robust system that relies on parents, schools and sports organizations,” Cooper said in the press release about HB 574. “Republican governors in other states have vetoed similar bills because they hurt their states’ reputation and economy and because they are neither fair nor needed.”

Critics have called similar legislation seen in Florida that prohibits lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation through certain grade levels, such as SB 49, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Throughout the country, lawmakers are pushing to give parents a say in their child’s education; in March, a U.S. lawmaker introduced a piece of legislation to Congress that would require schools to get parental permission before a student changes their gender.

Virginia parents are demanding Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin enact policies that would require school districts to alert parents if their child has requested a change in pronouns.

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