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A nonprofit group led by former Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller launched a toolkit Wednesday aimed at helping parents assert their rights in reviewing their child’s school curriculum.
The new guide provided by America First Legal (AFL) highlights provisions in the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment of 1978 (PPRA) that gives parents the right to inspect all learning materials at schools that receive federal funding.
In this Oct. 30, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump’s White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller follows President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
“Part of the problem is that people don’t know about this law,” Miller told Fox News Digital in an interview. “They don’t know about their rights enshrined in federal statute, and that’s because teachers unions, the schools, the administrators and teachers themselves don’t want parents to know their rights. And so that’s where we come in.”
“The purpose of this endeavor from America First Legal is to let parents know what their current rights are under federal law – the kind of thing that groups like the ACLU should be doing but aren’t doing because they have fallen prey to a political agenda. They’re no longer in the business of defending civil rights and civil liberties,” he said.
According to AFL, the PPRA gives parents the right to inspect “any instructional material” used as part of a school’s education curriculum for the student and the school is not obliged to provide access to the information unless it is requested. It also said that under the PPRA, parents have the right to review and opt out of certain surveys and studies that ask students for personal information like religious and political leanings.
“Quite frankly, there has been a complete lack of use of this federal tool that makes certain information available to parents,” Gene Hamilton, AFL vice president and general counsel, told Fox News Digital.
Amy Jahr sings the Star Spangled Banner after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S. June 22, 2021.
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo)
The law applies to all schools that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education, including any private schools that receive federal funding by participating in federal programs, AFL said.
The group has provided a form letter to help parents request learning materials and other documents from their child’s school.
According to AFL, parents can file a complaint with the Department of Education if a school does not fulfill their request, and the department can terminate that school’s funding if it refuses to comply. If no action is taken and a parent is still not granted access, AFL said it will represent parents who have an actionable legal case.
Amy Carney speaks on behalf of parents during a protest against critical race theory being taught at Scottsdale Unified School District before a digital school board meeting at Coronado High Schoo in Scottsdale on May 24, 2021.
There is a “radical lack of transparency” in U.S. public schools, Miller said, and the more the PPRA is utilized, “it’ll become more and more unsustainable for the education system in America to engage in unethical and blatantly political conduct.”
“We are using this toolkit, this education initiative, to create a veritable army of patriotic parents around the country, using the legal system to advocate for their children, using the legal system to advocate for their rights and for transparency,” Miller said.
AFL launched a similar endeavor last month providing information and resources for federal employees impacted by President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
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