Members of the Georgia Senate debate the so-called "parents bill of rights" bill which was passed by the chamber on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. 

Credit: GPB Lawmakers

The Georgia Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would expand parents’ involvement in K-12 schools. Senate Bill 449 would create a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” that would outline parents’ ability to direct their child’s education. It would allow parents to review curriculum in their child’s school, and object to instructional materials.

The bill also explicitly allows for parents to opt their children of sex education units. Parents would also have to sign written consent for their child to be photographed or videotaped while at school. Some of these rights already exist. 

Sen. Clint Dixon (R-Gwinnett), who presented the bill, said, “It’s time to reaffirm the rights of parents to direct education of their children.” He said the bill codified “inalienable” rights that parents had to be involved in their children’s education.  

Critics of the bill said that it puts unnecessary burden on school teachers and school boards. “After over a decade of underfunding our schools…now we are funding them but we’re adding expensive curriculum complaints and reviews processes,” Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) said.  

She also said that the bill could promote censorship in classrooms. Parents can write to school boards to complain about curriculum now or run for school board themselves if they disagree with curriculum, Parent said. 

The bill passed 33 to 21 in a party line vote. It now moves to the House for further debate. 

WATCH: GPB’s Lawmakers for more on this bill and all the other news from the Capitol.