Pittsboro, NC – During the September 8, Chatham County school board will vote on a resolution on clarification of North Carolina’s Senate Bill 49 “Parents’ Bill of Rights”
From the meeting agenda –
Senate Bill 49, Parent’s Bill of Rights was approved on August 16, 2023 by the North Carolina General Assembly. This new bill contains 4 major parts, including parents’ rights, parents guides and notifications, health care of minors, and effective dates. The bill includes both current requirements that are already law and new requirements. Chatham has many things already in place that meet the vast majority of the requirements. There are, however, some elements that will require actions from DPI before we can fully comply.
The purpose of the attached resolution is to clearly state that while required to follow the laws of the state, the Board has concerns about the potential negative impacts this legislation could have on students and employees in our school system and families in our community.
To approve as presented and forward to the Chatham County Board of Commissioners and our local elected delegation.
I move that the Chatham County Board of Education approve the Resolution Clarifying the Position of the Chatham County Board of Education on Senate Bill 49 “Parents’ Bill of Rights” as presented.
Resolution by the Chatham County Board of Education Clarifying the Position on Senate Bill 49 “Parents’ Bill of Rights”
WHEREAS, the Chatham County Board of Education recognizes the importance of honoring, respecting, and protecting the rights of all students, parents and guardians; and
WHEREAS, the Chatham County Board of Education is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environment for all students; and
WHEREAS, the Chatham County Board of Education has consistently supported policies and procedures respectful of parent engagement and involvement; and
WHEREAS, the Chatham County Board of Education strives to consistently provide, through policies and practices, opportunities for students and parents to voice concerns, creatively problem-solve, and effectively resolve disputes amicably; and
WHEREAS, many of the provisions outlined in Senate Bill 49 are already available to parents in our district in one form or another through policies, practices, or procedures; and
WHEREAS, the Chatham County Board of Education believes that Senate Bill 49, the NC Parents’ Bill of Rights, includes provisions and language that are highly likely to create confusion for school personnel in the execution of their official roles; and
WHEREAS, the Chatham County Board of Education is concerned that Senate Bill 49, the NC Parents’ Bill of Rights, could negatively impact certain students and staff.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chatham County Board of Education:
Affirms its commitment to protecting and supporting the rights of all students, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious belief, disability, race, or national origin;
Affirms that it will not support any practices or policies that discriminate against any student, staff member, and family;
Affirms its commitment to collaborating with the community to create a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students;
Affirms its commitment and responsibility as elected officials to follow all applicable laws and regulations, including those set forth in Senate Bill 49 not covered in existing policy or under the purview of other agencies;
Affirms its concern that many provisions in Senate Bill 49, the NC Parents’ Bill of Rights, could have potential negative effects on the well-being of some students;
Directs the administration to collaborate with legal counsel to develop new and update existing policies, practices, and procedures to ensure that the concerns and interest of all parents and guardians are honored, as well as the dignity and rights of all students in our school system; and
Encourages ongoing communication and collaboration with parents, guardians, students, and community members to foster a supportive and inclusive educational environment for all.
ADOPTED by the Chatham County Board of Education this day of ,2023.
Mr. Gary Leonard, Chairman
Ms. Del Turner, Vice Chair
Mrs. Julie Bridenstine
Mr. David Hamm
Mrs. Jane Allen Wilson