First-of-Its-Kind School Board Proclamation Passes in Florida

On June 10, 2024, the Indian River Public School board in Florida passed a first-of-its-kind proclamation designating this October as Parental Rights and Appreciation Month.

“This initiative, which highlights the vital role of parents and families, is a testament to the strength and unity of our community,” says a post on Parental Rights Florida’s Facebook page. 

The page also congratulates school board member Jackie Rosario, who proposed the proclamation featuring wording and ideas from Florida’s Parents’ Bill of Rights (passed in 2021). You can witness the board taking turns reading the proclamation and then passing it unanimously in this six-minute YouTube video.

Our own state coordinator and board member Patti Sullivan, who lives in Indian River County, played a significant role in bringing this idea to Rosario and helping her to carry it out.

“Patti Sullivan was instrumental in this process,” Rosario is quoted as saying in an article of The Sunshine Journal. “Together we agreed this kind of proclamation was long overdue. I can’t thank her enough for persevering to protect parental rights at every turn.”

The appreciation was mutual. “I applaud Jackie Rosario for building on this as an elected local official,” the article quotes Sullivan as saying.

Patti has been at the forefront of parental rights efforts in Florida since 2012, and she and her husband, Jim, joined the Parental Rights Foundation’s board of directors in 2022.

Patti and Parental Rights Florida’s declared goal is to see a similar proclamation in all 67 Florida localities.

What’s more, Patti and I would like to invite you to join them!

Most of the content and the entire aim of the proclamation are easily transferable from one school district to another.

(The proclamation adopted in Indian River specifically refers to Florida’s “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” which will need to be edited out for use in another state. Parental Rights Foundation can provide assistance with this edit.)

I realize that, as this is the end of June, it is already too late for many districts to act by this October. I would encourage people in those districts to start working toward next year.

But for many of you, this year is still a possibility.

If you are on a school board, or friends with a school board member, and especially if you live in a family-friendly county, I urge you to download the Florida model as a starting point for crafting your own proclamation.

What’s more, similar proclamations can be adopted by city councils, county boards of supervisors, and so on. An entire municipality, not just a school board, can declare October “Parental Rights and Appreciation month.”

Such a declaration, Rosario told The Sunshine Sentinel, “celebrates and appreciates a parent’s [or] guardian’s fundamental rights to direct the education, well-being, and emotional and physical health of their children.” 

And that is a vital role worth celebrating!

Thank you, Patti Sulivan, Jackie Rosario, and the entire Indian River County school board, for bringing this proclamation to fruition in Florida. And thank you, reader, for continuing to support our efforts in every state to bring attention to the vital parent-child role.