Chairwoman Foxx Delivers Opening Remarks at Markup to Defend Parental Rights and Women's Sports
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 8, 2023
Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) delivered the following statement, as prepared for delivery, at the Committee’s markup to consider H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights, and H.R. 734, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act:
"Today, we are considering two bills included in the Republicans’ Commitment to America. Passage of both will send a strong message: We are making good on our promises.
"In 1972, I was an educator at Appalachian State University. I was there when Title IX passed. Recently, I’ve watched as it has been perverted to achieve the opposite of its intentions.
"It’s now a tool used by the education bureaucracy to enforce inequality and unfairness.
"As a mother and past educator, I abhor the increasing prevalence of biological men competing in women’s sports enabled by the current interpretation of Title IX. The Biden administration’s radical rewrite now denies equal opportunity to women, a group for whom Title IX was originally drafted.
"The science behind the issue is decided, it’s uncontroversial, and frankly, it is a sad reflection on society that the federal government must step in to protect our nation’s young women.
"Progressivism and the lies it espouses have devastated our public education system. The following should never be a radical statement. Men are not women. Women are not men. They certainly shouldn’t compete against each other in any publicly funded arena.
"The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023 strengthens the law’s existing protections for women, ensures a level playing field for female athletes, and protects the law from the Biden administration’s radical regulatory scheme.
"Therefore, I encourage passage of H.R. 734.
"H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act, is the second measure before us today.
"The right to speak freely and publicly without threat of government retaliation is one of the most fundamental liberties enshrined in our Constitution. Our Founding Fathers enumerated in the First Amendment, definitively pronouncing that it shall not be abridged.
"For the greatest stakeholders in our country’s future, parents, that right is under attack.
"The education bureaucracy should no longer be allowed to censor mom’s and dad’s important voices. We heard their calls to reopen schools and make their children’s well-being a priority during the lockdown. The government should have listened. Students experienced the largest average decline in reading since 1990 and the first ever decline in math. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 percent of students experienced poor mental health during the pandemic.
"Perhaps the only silver lining of these past three years is that America now realizes that parents will always put their children’s interests first. And the teachers unions that fought to prolong the lockdowns will not.
"Parents nurture our future engineers, pilots, electricians, full time parents and, even, public-school employees. Unfortunately, their God-given right to make decisions for their children has been ignored, and at times, attacked. So, Republicans are taking a stand and advancing H.R. 5.
"Parents have the right to know what schools are teaching. Parents have the right to protect their child’s privacy. Parents have a right to be heard. Parents have the right to see the school budget and spending. Parents have the right to be updated on any violent activity at school.
"The Parent’s Bill of Rights Act secures these constitutional rights for our parents, and I look forward to its passage."