When a turncoat politician jumps ship from the Democratic party to aid and abet the anti-progress Republican party you know things are going to end badly.

Not surprisingly, that’s just what is happening.

Former Democrat Tricia Cotham’s defection from the party of progress to the dark side handed North Carolina’s Republican party a super majority and complete control over North Carolina government.

Considering Republican officials in the state were elected through gerrymandering that allowed a minority party to take charge in a Democratic majority state, Cotham couldn’t have presented Republicans with a more desirable gift.

Now in control of both legislative branches of North Carolina government, radical Republicans have set their sites on the state’s public education system. Have no doubt, they plan to remake it over in the way you’d expect them to see fit.

In a predictable flex of political muscle, Republicans recently attempted to shove through three very anti-LGBTQ+ bills: House Bill 574, also known as the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act;” Senate Bill 49, alternately identified as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” and House Bill 808, which bans gender healthcare for anyone under the age of 18.

In another predictable but logical move, North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper vetoed all three, as he had indicated he would.

Initially, the bills were set for review and probable veto overturn by Republicans on July 12.

That has yet to happen as of this writing. However, another new piece of legislation has been introduced, in what seems like a retaliatory move towards Governor Cooper.

A bill that was initially introduced and continues to sit in committee known as Senate Bill 90 (a particularly Orwellian piece of legislation that dictates proper search procedures for students accused of violating school policy) remains there still.

The new bill, which is referred to as a “Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 90,” (CSSB90) reads like a dark super bill of sorts that contains aspects from much of the previously vetoed legislation.

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CSSB90 is chock-full of grand ideas and plans highly favored by the radical far right. Not just homegrown Carolina ideas, mind you. It includes poisonous toxins gathered from the most conservative reaches of the land that have often been considered but never enacted. If the bill is in fact approved by the legislative chambers and goes through the veto and override veto process, which will make it to the law of the land, here is what we can expect:

  • The bill will strictly prohibit schools from teaching students about such topics as sexuality, gender identity and sexual activity. Although instruction about puberty and how the reproductive systems function is permissible, parents will be allowed to opt their children out if they so desire.
  • If a student is believed to be at risk of suicide or has begun to identify as a gender different from their biological sex, a licensed school representative is required to notify parents.
  • The bill will firmly establish that recognizing and raising any individual under the age of 18 in a manner consistent with their gender designation at birth, regardless of any mental health or medical decisions, would not be considered abuse or neglect.
  • If parents believe their fundamental right to raise their child as they choose has been violated by school officials, they will have the right to appeal to Superior Court and can potentially be awarded $5,000 and the cost of any legal fees.
  • School superintendents who violate parents rights to raise their children as they see fit can be fired or lose pay after five claims.
  • If a student is to be given a health screening or well-being questionnaire, parents will be required to give consent prior to participation.
  • Legislators will establish the standard course of study advisory commission for recommendations to the state board of education. Twelve members of the 19 will be General Assembly appointees.
  • Abolish library record confidentiality and allow parents to access the book reading records of their children. Libraries will be required to keep books and other content designated as potentially dangerous to minors in an age restricted area of the library.

At press time, all potential overrides of vetoes have been delayed because House Republicans did not have enough votes to achieve their desired goals. It is uncertain when and if that process will move forward. CSSB90, if successfully approved by both chambers, will likely be headed for Governor Cooper’s desk as quickly as possible, although the previous scenario is likely to repeat.

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of Qnotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently the senior content editor and a regularly contributing writer for Qnotes. Moore is a native of North...

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