Parent involvement in education has gone too far

We have all most likely gotten annoyed with our parents at some point in our lives. It could even have to do with the saying that I hear the most from my parents whenever they are trying to prove to me why they are right: “I know what is best for you.”

However, there is a difference between a parent knowing what is best for their child and controlling them. It is crucial for parents to be involved in education as they can provide support by helping their children continue their learning outside of the classroom. However, while it has always been important for a parent to be involved in education, it has gone too far in some states.

In light of Missouri proposing its own version of the Parental Rights in Education bill, better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the term “parental rights” has recently become a hot topic.

According to NBC News, a well-known American broadcasting television network, “K-12 public school teachers and counselors would be largely outlawed from talking about LGBTQ people under a Missouri proposal more restrictive than what critics call Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.”

The “Don’t Say Gay” law entails, according to a New York Times article, “Instruction on gender and sexuality would be constrained in all grades. But its language is vague and subject to interpretation. The language highlights the youngest students, but the ‘age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate’ provision affects all ages. Those terms are highly subjective, and parents, school staff and students are likely to clash over the ambiguities.”

It is also known as the Parental Rights in Education law, and with the law, parents can withhold their children from ideas and values that do not align with their beliefs. While anyone can believe what they want, it should not be because they lack education on the subject but because the child makes an informed decision based on what they have learned and want to do with that knowledge.

I understand that parents want what is best for their children, but restricting the discussion of gender and sexuality is very one-sided and discriminatory. For example, a straight teacher talking about their spouse would be fine, but relationships that are not heterosexual would be deemed inappropriate by this law.

There is a value in knowledge, and children today are and will always be the future, and because of that, there needs to be unity in education. While parents should play an active role in their children’s education, pressuring them and becoming over-engaged can be harmful and counterproductive.