Senators Scott, Lankford, Congresswoman Foxx Champion Bill to Restore Parental Rights

WASHINGTON —Today, U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) and House Education and Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) introduced the Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act, which affirms parents have a fundamental right to control the upbringing of their child. Furthermore, it prevents the federal government from infringing on the fundamental rights of parents without first passing the strict scrutiny test. It also allows parents to use the violation of this right in judicial or administration proceedings on the federal and state levels.   

“Parents have a fundamental right to control the upbringing of their child, whether it’s in the classroom or at home,” said Senator Scott. “Yet, far too often, parents are being pushed out of their child’s lives, and kids are paying the price. I’m fighting to put parents back in the driver’s seat and ensure they remain the lead decision maker in their child’s life.”

“Moms and dads have the right – and responsibility – to determine what’s best for their kids. Good parents should not live in fear of their own government every day. Whenever parental rights are threatened by federal government overreach, families deserve a fair hearing before a court. The Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act preserves the rights of parents and restricts government overreach into our homes and families,” said Senator Lankford. 

“In America today, the rights of millions of parents are under siege – this moment calls for a targeted course correction so that these proud men and women can raise their children without government infringement,” said Congresswoman Foxx. “The Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act serves not only as a reinforced bulwark for parental rights, but also as a fundamental check against the government whenever it decides to enforce policies that fail to extend due deference to parental decision-making. I am immensely proud to introduce this legislation alongside Senators Scott and Lankford to further safeguard the rights of parents.”

This legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

The Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act aims to protect parents’ rights to direct their children’s upbringing. Specifically, the Act: 

  1. Affirms parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children;
  2. Prevents the federal government from substantially burdening this fundamental right of parents without first passing the strict scrutiny test; and
  3. Allows parents to raise a violation of the Act as a claim or defense in judicial or administrative proceedings at the federal and state levels.

The full text of the Families’ Rights and Responsibilities Act can be found here.


Senator Scott’s work to support parents includes:  

  1. Leading a group of his Republican colleagues on a letter demanding answers from U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on reports that he played a key role in orchestrating a letter from the National School Board Association (NSBA) that called concerned parents “domestic terrorists”; 
  2. Introducing the Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their (PROTECT) Kids Act to protect parental rights and prevent school administrators from concealing information about students’ sexual identity and gender from their parents;
  3. Hosting a parental involvement panel in Charleston during school choice week; 
  4. Championing the Kids in Classes Act, which pushes back against teacher’s unions who deny parental rights, allowing families with children in Title I schools to put unused federal education funds toward in-person education should their school close due to a teachers’ labor union strike; and 
  5. Penning a letter to the U.S. Department of Education Secretary outlining concerns with the hyper-partisan makeup of the National Parents and Families Engagement Council as its members push anti-parent and anti-school choice policies.