Public support for a Parents’ Bill of Rights in North Carolina remains strong

By David N. Bass

Raleigh, NC – Even as a Parents’ Bill of Rights appears to be dead for the short session of the General Assembly, polling indicates widespread support among the North Carolina public for the provisions contained in the bill.

A new poll from WRAL/SurveyUSA shows that 58% of North Carolina adults support legislation that would ban instruction in sexual orientation or gender identity issues for students in kindergarten through third grade, with 45% strongly in favor. That provision is one of several contained in House Bill 755.

A recent Civitas poll put support for the Parents’ Bill of Rights as a whole at 57%, with 24% opposed.

Republicans say the bill is needed to protect children and ensure that parents know what their kids are being taught in public schools. Democrats, on the other hand, say the bill would discriminate against LBGTQ youth.

H.B. 755 only prohibits K-3 curriculum from containing instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity issues and still provides leeway for discussions if the topics come up naturally.

“We don’t need a poll to know that North Carolinians want our children to focus on the basics in the classroom,” said Republican Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, in a statement. “What this poll confirms is that people understand that the subjects of gender identity and sexual orientation are not appropriate for our youngest and most impressionable students. The Parents’ Bill of Rights has broad public support and should become law.”

In addition to those more controversial provisions, the bill would affirm a set of parental rights, including the right to direct the education of their child and access to healthcare records. The measure also establishes a parent’s right to request information about what their child is learning in school, including lessons, textbooks, tutoring services, and other details about how their child and their school are operating.

Parents would additionally be informed of any health-care services their child receives, including any changes to their child’s physical or mental health, and whether their child requests a change in their name or pronouns.

H.B. 755 passed the Senate in a 28-18 vote June 1. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, has said Republicans likely don’t have enough support in the House to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. But Moore added he is “very bullish” about obtaining a supermajority in the mid-term election and take up the issue again in next year’s session.

Bass is a journalist and communications professional with nearly two decades of experience in the world of PR, marketing, and publications.