AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
June 13, 2022
SB 996 – Parents Bill of Rights in Senate State Government Committee
SB 996 “Establishing a Parental Bill of Rights” is on the Senate State Government Committee calendar for a vote tomorrow, June 14. It is also called the “Parental Rights Protection Act.”
From Senator Doug Mastriano’s co-sponsorship memo: My legislation will make it clear in statute that the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions may not infringe on the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of his or her minor child without demonstrating that such action is reasonable and necessary to achieve a compelling state interest, narrowly tailored, and not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.
The legislation will also codify a parent’s right to access and review all school records related to their child, a right to review all instructional materials used throughout the school year, and the right to opt out their child from certain curriculum that the parent finds to be objectionable or harmful.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that parental rights are “among those fundamental liberty interests protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.” But, these rights are vague, weak.
Currently, parental rights are protected in PA, but only in court precedent – so another court decision could negate the current court precedent. Nothing in PA statutory law protects parental rights; SB 996 would change all that.
Contact the members of the Senate State Government Committee and tell them to enshrine in state law that parental rights are a fundamental right, thereby protecting the constitutional rights of all PA families.
Senate State Government Committee members:
Senator David Argall, committee chair — (717) 787-2637
Senator Sharif Street, minority chair — (717) 787-6735
Senator Cris Dush –(717) 787-7084
Senator Maria Collett — (717) 787-6599
Senator Jake Corman — (717) 787-1377
Senator Katie Muth — (717) 787-1398
Senator Daniel Laughlin — (717) 787-8927
Senator Anthony H. Williams — (717) 787-5970
Senator Doug Mastriano, (prime sponsor SB 996) — (717) 787-4651 (tell him thanks)
Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (co-sponsor SB 996) — (717) 787-7085 (tell her thanks)
Senator Patrick J. Stefano (717) 787-7175
Other sponsors of the bill, who are not on the committee, include Senators Judy Ward and Michelle Brooks.