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Geoff Diehl announces ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ which includes library rules

Republican Geoff Diehl’s campaign for governor has announced a “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” which includes plans for parental consent requirements before students use school libraries and elimination of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

“We are focused on the rights, needs and priorities that parents across our state have these days. Some of those desires are common to everyone, such as a need for good-paying jobs, quality education and for public safety. But when it comes to parents and kids, even more is required,” Diehl said.

If Diehl beats Attorney General Maura Healey in the general election in November, his administration will direct state agencies under its control “to appropriately factor the wishes of parents whenever important education and medical decisions are made,” according to his campaign.

Diehl’s running mate, former state Rep. Leah Cole Allen, would serve as the administration’s “point person” on parental rights and children’s issues in addition to her other duties as lieutenant governor, the campaign said.

“Leah Allen’s experience as not only a mother, but also as a registered nurse, makes her the perfect person to coordinate matters affecting parents and their kids statewide,” Diehl said.

Diehl’s plan, according to the campaign, would eliminate the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students and teachers, expand school choice, improve school safety and security, guarantee parental access to student medical records, adjust the state’s open meetings law to allow more parental input before school boards, and establish a “curriculum oversight office” within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“The goal of the Diehl/Allen administration’s proposal is to ensure that schools are focusing on academics and catching up our children from COVID academic backlog, and not spending our time on social issues that largely belong in the province of the home, particularly in the elementary grades,” Diehl’s campaign manager, Amanda Orlando, told the Herald.

The plan also calls for “parental informed consent” before students are exposed to certain curricula and before “usage of the school library and media.”

She said this is not about banning books.

“There is no suggestion of censorship in any way; rather, it’s about parents agreeing to what their children are being exposed to, rather than our government or schools making the decisions,” she said.

Healey’s campaign did not return a request for comment.

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