SB 158
Creates provisions regarding parental rights and transparency in public schools
LR Number:
Last Action:
1/26/2023 - Second Read and Referred S Education and Workforce Development Committee
Journal Page:
Effective Date:
Emergency Clause

Current Bill Summary

SB 158 - This act establishes provisions relating to procedures for public schools and school districts. The act contains an emergency clause and is substantially similar to HCS/HBs 1995 and 1474 (2022).

PARENTS' BILL OF RIGHTS (Section 161.851)

This act establishes "The Parents' Bill of Rights for Student Well-Being", which lists rights for parents relating to education, health care, and mental health. The act prohibits public schools and school districts from infringing on the rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, or mental health of such parent's minor child without first demonstrating that the infringement is narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest and such interest cannot be otherwise served by a less restrictive means. The act lists a number of specific related rights.

The act requires school districts to adopt a policy to promote parental involvement, including procedures to object to instructional materials and to withdraw a student from health education courses relating to human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop forms for school districts to use that allow a parent to object to, and opt out of, instructional materials. School districts may provide any information that a parent is entitled to access by publishing such information electronically in a reasonably accessible format. Further, the act establishes a formal request process with specific time periods for a superintendent to comply with such request, as well as an appeal process to the school board if a request is denied.

Nondisclosure agreements shall not be required in order for a parent to review curricula, and parents may make copies of curriculum documents. Each school board meeting pertaining to curricula shall be open to the public and allow for public comment.

Public schools and school districts are required to notify parents in a timely manner of all reported incidents pertaining to student safety as outlined in the act.

No employee of a public school or school district shall coerce or encourage a minor child to withhold information from the child's parent, with exceptions for suspected abuse or neglect.

This provision is similar to a provision in SB 810 (2023).


The act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop a tool, as described in the act, within the Department's comprehensive data system to give access to every school district's curriculum and professional development materials. The Department shall establish forms for school districts to complete. School districts are required to submit updates to any required information every six months and the Department shall update the tool monthly.

This provision is identical to a provision in HB 482 (2023) and is similar to provisions in SS#2/SCS/SBs 4, 42 & 89, in SB 42 (2023), in SB 89 (2023), and in SB 645 (2022).

PENALTIES (Section 161.853)

The Attorney General or any parent of a minor child enrolled in a public school may bring legal action against the school district in which the child is enrolled for violations of this act. If a school district or an employee is found liable, then such district or employee shall be fined $1,000 for each violation. The penalty for a knowing or purposeful violation shall be $10,000 for each violation. The proceeds of the fine shall be divided so that 20% will be awarded to the parent who brought the action and 80% will be awarded to the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Fund. School district employees who disclose violations of the act shall be protected from any retaliation.


No school or school employee shall compel a teacher or student to discuss public policy issues without consent. No school or school employee shall compel a teacher or student to adopt, affirm, adhere to, or profess ideas in violation of federal civil rights laws including: that individuals of any race, ethnicity, color, or national origin are inherently superior or inferior and that individuals, by virtue of their race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, bear collective guilt and are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. In addition to remedies brought under federal law, any school or school employee found to be in violation of this provision may have a private cause of action brought against them. This provision is similar to provisions in HCS/HB 482 (2023), in HCS/SS#2/SB 761 (2022), in HCS/HB 1858 (2022), and in HCS/HBs 1995 & 1474 (2022), and to HCS/HB 2428 (2022).



No Amendments Found.