INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita released Vol. IV of the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” on Tuesday, which answers questions parents may have about how students and educators can express their religious beliefs at school.
The bill as a whole breaks down laws already in place (it does not change any laws on the books). However, there are some provisions explaining how parents can push for additional change.
”They myth of separation of church and state came from some case law a few decades ago, but it is a myth,” AG Rokita said.
Rokita said this latest volume will be the final installment of the bill, but emphasized that does not mean the bill will not be changed at any given point moving forward.
”Even though we don’t have further installments planned, we do intend to update this document every year according to what changes in the General Assembly,” Rokita said.
Parts of Volumes I, II, and III were also updated to reflect new laws passed last session, including HB 1447 (which requires schools to catalogue all library books and to have a formal grievance process in place for parents who wish to challenge certain books), and SEA 480 (which prohibits surgical and hormonal procedures for transgender youth).
”You have the right to be notified if your child requests to be notified if your child requests to be addressed by a name or uses pronouns of the opposite sex,” Rokita said.
Rachel Burke with the Indiana PTA said she’s concerned these provisions giving guidance to parents who may want the laws to change could be an overreach of the Attorney General’s office.
”We broadly and firmly support parents’ rights in the state of Indiana. We do not support them once they start interfering with the rights of children and harming children,” Burke said. ”They give information on bills when they’re asked how bills would change how their actions, whether or not something would be defendable, they do not recommend policy, and recommend changes to law, which this document pretty expressly does.”