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Defense bill expands parental rights after Pentagon schools allegedly pushed 'Marxist,' woke agenda
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Defense bill expands parental rights after Pentagon schools allegedly pushed 'Marxist,' woke agenda

A compromise defense bill revealed Wednesday will expand parental rights for military parents with children attending Department of Defense-operated schools.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-New York) introduced a parental bill of rights amendment, called the Servicemember Parents Bill of Rights, to the National Defense Authorization Act to require the Department of Defense Education Activity schools to inform and involve parents in their children's education.

In 2022, Stefanik posted on X, "Servicemember parents have a right to know if radical gender ideology is being taught in their children's schools. My Servicemember Parents' Bill of Rights will provide transparency."

The bill includes three provisions, including providing a list of rights for parents of children who attended Pentagon-run schools, requiring the school board to provide parents with the ability to address the board regarding curriculum and requiring DODEA schools to "follow a specific list of actions" that promote transparency.

"This Parents' Bill of Rights for servicemembers will not only encourage parental involvement in their kid's education, but it will also provide transparency so parents can see for themselves what their children are being taught in schools. Parents absolutely have the right to determine if what their child is being taught is developmentally appropriate and aligned with high academic standards. As our men and women in uniform are constantly looking out for our own safety, I will continue to stand up for them and ensure that servicemember parents have the right to be involved in their child's education," Stefanik stated in June.

Military parents would have the right to review the curriculum, the school's budget, and all instructional materials. DODEA schools must inform parents about changes to academic standards or gifted and talent programs. Also, schools would be required to notify parents of medical examinations and receive written consent before conducting examinations. Any medical information collected about a child must also be provided to the parents. The bill gives parents the right to "inspect a list of the books and other reading materials contained in the library of the school."

Amy Haywood, a military parent whose child attended a DODEA school, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that she was unable to obtain information about a new class introduced in 2021 titled Challenge and Empower.

"I was given a 30,000-foot view with no specifics, and even my FOIA request for information about the class was denied. Parents should always be able to view what's being taught to their children, and this amendment makes that crystal clear," Haywood told the news outlet. "Parents are tired of the secrets."

Earlier this year, two teachers with the DODEA spoke to Fox News Digital about the school system's curriculum. The teachers claimed that the "biggest problem" facing the military is the "culture called Wokeism." One of the educators stated that he calls it "a social Marxist direction."

He explained that his school was decorated with political propaganda while former President Donald Trump was in office.

"There were things all over the hallways, Black Lives Matter, putting [up political] posters, things like that, dealing with LGBTQ+ kind of narratives, transgender narratives, all those kinds of things that in all honesty don't necessarily have a place around minor children, blatantly, with no backlash or repercussions," he stated.

At the time, a DOD spokesperson told Fox News Digital, "The Department of Defense Education Activity is committed to educating, engaging, and empowering military-connected students to succeed in a dynamic world. Our focus remains on ensuring our students, their families, and employees have equitable access to opportunities and resources that support student achievement and readiness for college and careers."

In March, the DOD quietly disbanded the DODEA's diversity, equity, and inclusion unit. DEI specialists were dispersed to other departments within the agency. DODEA Director Tom Brady called the move a "reconfiguration of talent," Fox News Digital reported. The department reaffirmed its commitment to DEI initiatives.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →