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Wisconsin Senate approves Parental Bill of Rights; veto expected

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(The Center Square) – The latest attempt to codify who makes the decisions for children in Wisconsin is headed for an almost certain veto after the Wisconsin Senate approved AB 510, also known as the Parental Bill of Rights.

“Of course, parents should have the right to determine the name and religion of their child and see their medical records. Unfortunately, some school districts and health care providers think differently, making this bill necessary,” Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, said after the vote.

The proposal spells out 16 specific rights reserved for parents, including the right to make medical decisions and the right to decide what name their child uses in school.

The legislation also gives parents the right to see what their children are taught in school and the right to opt out of any class they object to.

“I’ve always said you shouldn’t have to legislate common sense, but apparently we have to here,” Wanggaard said.

Critics have slammed the legislation as anti-LGBTQ.

The ACLU of Wisconsin on Tuesday said the plan would out gay children and allow for censorship in the state’s schools.

“Assembly Bill 510, also known as the ‘parental bill of rights,’ has nothing to do with these protected parental rights. This bill disguises classroom censorship as parental rights, enabling politicians to require the forced outing, misgendering and deadnaming of trans and nonbinary students. It also inhibits educational instruction on race, gender, sexual orientation and other important topics that impact all of us,” ACLU Advocacy Director Amanda Merkwae said in a statement. “Students should have the freedom to explore their identities, and they also deserve the right to receive an equitable education where they can freely learn and talk about the history, experiences, and viewpoints of marginalized communities in this country.”

Wanggaard said the idea is to make sure that the law recognizes Wisconsin parents are in charge of their own children.

“Parents, not schools and not health care providers, are best able to make decisions about their children,” Wanggaard said. “Parents shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or obstacles to raise their kids. This bill ensures parents are in charge of their children, and no one else.”

Gov. Tony Evers has promised to veto the plan once it reaches his desk.

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