Parental rights bill heads for Senate rewrite

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Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls

A parental rights bill appears headed for a makeover.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted Friday morning to send Rep. Janet Trujillo’s bill to the Senate’s 14th order for amendments. And the bill could get an extensive rewrite, says Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, who has a report from the State Affairs hearing.

As currently written, Trujillo’s House Bill 113 asserts that parents and guardians “have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, education and control of their children.” Supporters have said the House-passed bill will encourage parental engagement. Critics have said the language on education is too broad and vague.

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Sen. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian

Friday’s move means the Senate has two parental rights bills in the hopper. Senate Bill 1096, sponsored by Sen. Lori Den Hartog, focuses on education.

This bill has already been amended on the Senate floor. The bill’s primary focus is unchanged: It asserts that a parent or guardian “is the primary person responsible for the education of the student,” and would enable parents to object to any class or course material “on the basis that it harms the child or impairs the parents’ firmly held beliefs.”


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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