On Monday, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) will announce a new plan that aims to “defend America’s children, empower parents, and protect kids online.”
Scott intends to announce his proposal, first shared with Fox News, when he meets with parents, homeschool students and advocates, and other voters during a campaign stop in his home state of South Carolina, a crucial early voting state that holds the first southern primary in the GOP presidential nominating calendar.
“Teachers’ unions, Big Tech, and [President] Joe Biden are on a mission to make parents less important,” Scott said in a statement. “I have a bold agenda to support and empower parents — from the classroom to the locker room to the smartphone. We must empower parents and give them a choice, so that every child has a chance.”
Scott’s proposal will be the latest in a trend for Republicans, who have increasingly pushed to elevate the role of parental control in public schools in recent years.
The first component of Scott’s “Empower Parents Plan” is defending children with a “family first culture.”
Scott, a rising star in the GOP and the only black Republican in the Senate, calls for restoring “American childhood and let girls and boys be girls and boys, not guinea pigs” and “Save Title IX and women’s sports — if God made you a man, you play sports against other men.”
He also spotlights that he will “stand with crisis pregnancy centers,” and he pledges to stop the Department of Justice, which he says is “turning a blind eye to far-left threats and vandalism.”
Scott vows to empower parents by giving them greater ability to know what their children are being taught in schools and seeks to “empower every family the right to opt out of propaganda that attacks their values and religious liberty.”
Scott also pledges to “break the back of the teachers’ unions and enact nationwide school choice,” both of which are staples of the conservative movement. The South Carolina senator seeks to give parents a greater ability to decide whether to send their children to public, private, charter, STEM schools or homeschool and promised to “replace indoctrination with education. ABC, not C.R.T.”
Scott will then turn his attention to other factors outside of the school system, saying he’ll aim to “stop Big Tech from stealing kids’ attention spans, China from stealing their privacy, and predators from stealing their future.”
He will call to mandate country-of-origin labeling on every app, so parents are fully informed, as well as force Big Tech to do more to keep kids safe online.
Republicans have been pushing to defend parental rights in recent years, following the coronavirus pandemic during which schools were closed and families were upended and schools were placed squarely in the spotlight.
When Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin claimed victory over former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, using a strategy revolving around parents’ rights in education, many Republicans began pushing for similar policies, seeing widespread success. Just earlier this year, the “Parents Bill of Rights” passed the House, aiming to boost the information parents receive regarding their children’s education and fulfilling a pledge made during last year’s midterms.
Democrats argue that the widespread push by Republicans is a mission by the GOP to take aim at what they consider an anti-woke agenda and weaken public education.
“Tim Scott has spent his career working to defund public education and gut programs that millions of students across the country rely on, all to divert taxpayer dollars to wealthy private schools,” DNC spokesperson Ammar Moussa charged in a statement.”
Moussa argued that “our students, teachers, and parents deserve better than Scott and MAGA Republicans’ extreme agendas that would devastate public education and harm education across the country.”
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