Friday, July 29, 2022

Parental Authority--The New Front Line in the Culture War

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According to Virginia Foxx a U.S. representative for North Carolina's 5th congressional district, and the Republican leader of the Education and Labor Committee, parental authority is the new front line in the battle for the soul of the family. And the child.

She says, "Many school districts across the nation are actively resisting curriculum transparency measures and bending over backward to hide the truth about what students are being taught."

"As parents sound the alarm on critical race theory and gender politics in the classroom," she says,  "school administrators are doing everything in their power to gaslight them—telling them that these topics aren’t being taught and calling parents who question them racist or transphobic."

Be informed, not misled.

Why parents must take a stand.  

In an article written for the Heritage Foundation Foxx says "it's time for parents to take a stand."

She says she is not surprised that a California school board member recently called for a boycott of the Fourth of July, nor is she surprised that dozens of schools named for Founding Fathers like George Washington are facing renaming battles.

Unfortunately, she says, California is not an outlier on these issues.

"Look north to Seattle," she says "and you will find school districts that proposed spending more on 'racial equity' programs than on math and science, despite a steep decline since the pandemic in math and reading scores."

"Additionally," she says, "56% of Seattle students were found not to be competent in science."

In classrooms all across the country, the controversial and historically inaccurate 1619 Project is being utilized to teach that our country's value is not equality, but racism. 

Tricky tactics. 

Instead of lying directly to parents, many of these schools are hiding controversial curricula by giving programs seemingly innocuous names like "culturally responsive teaching," or using so-called social and emotional learning to smuggle in controversial material, Virginia Foxx explains.

She's right. Fox News reports that one of the more egregious ways school districts are hiding curricula from parents is by charging exorbitant fees for public records requests. Nicole Solas, a mother from South Kingstown, Rhode Island, requested the curriculum of her daughter’s kindergarten class. After being denied this request and exhausting every other option, Solas filed a Freedom of Information request for which the district reportedly charged her $74,000. 

This was not an isolated incident. The Oregon Department of Education charges $10 per email, and in one instance, it charged a parent $1,525 for a single document.

Parents are not the only ones facing such high fees: journalists are subject to them, too. A journalist in Iowa who sought information related to “Transgender Week” at Linn-Mar High School in Marion was told that his request would cost $604,000. Using such exorbitant fees to dissuade parents and journalists from accessing public records is an abuse of power and a tactic clearly intended to keep parents in the dark.

These school districts are disregarding parents’ rights to have a say in their children’s education. The belief that the education bureaucracy, not parents, should decide what children learn is a growing and concerning trend. For example, in his race for Virginia governor, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe said parents should not influence what schools teach. Nikole Hannah Jones, 1619 Project founder, seemingly agreed, saying, “K-12 educators, not parents, are the experts in what to teach.”

When parents fight back they become the "bad" guys.

What happens when parents fight back, affirming their right to know what their children are being taught? They become the bad guys. The entire force of the education bureaucracy, including teachers' unions and federal institutions, turns against the parents.

The Rochester, Michigan Community School District was accused of monitoring the social media accounts of 200 parents. In one case, the district was forced to pay $190,000 to a parent who had advocated on social media for a return to in-person learning. The district had contacted her employer, leading to her termination.

Congresswoman Foxx says, "Parents are also being targeted for opposing the Left's gender ideology. Throughout the country, parents who refuse to provide 'gender-affirming care' to their children risk losing custody or being accused of child abuse."

Children are also being targeted.

Just last month Fairfax County School Board in Virginia voted to increase punishments for students who "misgender" or "deadname" their peers---that means calling them by their given name or the pronouns that correspond with their biological sex rather than their newly chosen name and pronouns.

The pressure is so great that in Florida, a 12-year-old girl attempted suicide twice after being given secret gender-transition counseling at school.

Her parents were not told, the school explained, because of their Catholic beliefs.

Public education has allies in its quest. 

Last year Planned Parenthood distributed sex-ed flyers in Stewart Middle School in Tacoma, WA.  telling 11-year-old kids they could have sex, as long as their partner isn't older than 13.

Angry parents contacted the school's administrators after 8th-grade kids brought home the graphic flyer from science class. The flyer also informed the children they could get an abortion at any age without parental consent.

The handout listed other items that children did not need parental consent for such as birth control, as well as HIV and STD testing. The flyer encouraged sexting and advertised that condoms and emergency contraception could be obtained at any age.

Parents were livid. When they contacted the school as well as Tacoma Public Schools, Eric Hogan, assistant director of secondary education at Tacoma Public Schools, explained that the flyers "should not have been sent home."

No apparent apology for the content---just sorry we got caught.


Congresswoman Foxx and a number of other Republicans launched The Parents Bill of Rights last year. You can read more about it here.

Foxx says, "Safeguarding parental rights is the line drawn in the sand. If we lose this battle, the consequences for individual liberty will be wide-ranging and devastating."

This is true. Even more importantly, we may well lose our children.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Bold. Be Prayerful.