***Update 3/25/22 – House Bill Sponsor Terri Lynn Weaver responds to the legislation not being allowed to be heard by committee. The article as been updated to include her response.
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
After being rolled multiple times without action by the House Health Subcommittee, the Parent Bill of Rights was dealt the killing blow during their March 22nd meeting by failing to receive a second.
Representative David Byrd (R-Waynesboro-District 71) offered a motion to hear the bill but no other subcommittee members gave it a second to be heard.
During Tuesday’s meeting of the subcommittee, bill sponsor Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster-District 40) approached the podium to present the bill.
As per procedure, Chairman of the Health Subcommittee Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville-District 20) called for a motion and a second. The bill received a proper motion but no subcommittee member spoke up to offer a second. Ramsey announced the bill failed due to lack of a second.
Weaver apparently objected and Ramsey told her, “Take it up with the committee members later. I can’t change that.”
In response, Weaver told the Tennessee Conservative “I find it appalling that a bill brought to me by a parent, NOT A LOBBYIST, was never even heard by the committee. Thus the parents across this state were silenced. However the Lobbyists voices rang loud and clear. Parent’s rights, Patient’s Rights, what’s next!?!? From the words of the late great Tom Petty, I WON’T BACK DOWN.”
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About the Legislation:
House Bill 2451 (HB2451), sponsored by Representative Weaver (R-Lancaster-District 40), as introduced, requires LEAs to permit parents to have access to certain information, including the names of instructors, titles available in the school library, teacher manuals, and curriculum; requires parents to provide written consent before a student can participate in any extracurricular activity, family life lesson, field trip, school assembly, or guest speaker event; prohibits certain healthcare practitioners from providing medical treatment to a minor without parental consent or an appropriate court order. If passed, the act would go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year.
If you would like to contact the Republican members of the Subcommittee to ask why they did not offer a motion or speak in favor of the legislation, you can find their contact information below:
House Health Subcommittee:
Bob Ramsey (Chair) – firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-3560
Clark Boyd – email@example.com – (615) 741-7086
David Byrd – firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-2190
Mark Hall – email@example.com – (615) 741-1350
Pat Marsh – firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-6824
Paul Sherell – email@example.com – (615) 741-1963
Bryan Terry – firstname.lastname@example.org – (615) 741-2180
The Senate version of the bill
On the Senate side, the legislation, sponsored by Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16), SB2360 has fared a bit better with the bill passing the Senate Education Committee on March 16th with only Democratic Senator Raumesh Akbari voting against.
The Senate version of the bill was amended to read: Requires parental consent for students under the age of 18 to participate in a mental health screening. Prohibits a healthcare practitioner from providing a minor with a vaccine or injection, except for certain emergencies, without parental consent. Deletes certain provisions allowing healthcare professionals to provide certain medical treatment to minors.
Yesterday, March 23rd, the bill was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee yesterday but the only action was to assign the bill to the General Subcommittee of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
For a bill to pass into law, both the House and Senate versions must pass with a majority vote and then the legislation must (generally) be signed by the Governor.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com