The liberty of a parent to the care, custody and control of their child is a fundamental right that resides first in the parent. – Wyoming Statutes § 14-2-206 (a) (2019)
The manufactured divide between parents and their school-age children was on full display at the September school board meeting in the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD). During the nearly 6-hour-long meeting, dozens of parents gave public comments condemning the local teachers union for colluding with the California Teachers Association to spy on them and attack their free speech rights. They questioned the school board why their voluntary grassroots organizing efforts were intentionally smeared as domestic terrorism funded by dark money.
Sadly, the parents’ call for accountability and respect was drowned out by over two hours of public comments from a group of enthusiastic students as young as 12 years old. Wearing rainbow flags and wielding pro-LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) signs, these youngsters called out a school board member to resign on account of his not regulating “transphobic” speech on a social media platform and urged for the adoption of a LGBTQIA+ Affirming resolution.
While these passionate young activists, some of whom haven’t started puberty, read off prepared scripts to demand recognition for a myriad of gender identities or expressions, the adults in the room looked bewildered. What is happening to the kids?
This is certainly beyond teenage rebellion as a normal developmental phase, which is often short-lived self-expression of yearning for more freedom and independence. The coordinated choreography of the student testimonies suggests that they were coached by organized interests. It turned out that the president of a DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) nonprofit named Encinitas 4 Equality had sent out an action alert on behalf of “Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)” student leaders in the school district, days before the school board meeting. The person is also a local union operative for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The action alert called for “restorative action from district leadership” in response to “transphobic online bullying.”
The gulf between concerned parents who want schools to get back to teach their kids basic academic competencies without radical politics on one hand and students who request schools affirm their ever-shifting social justice crusades is exacerbated by nefarious actors. They are far-left culture warriors sold into identity balkanization, race grifters seeking to inject race-based thinking into our public life, DEI snake oil salesmen exploiting the fear of being cancelled, groomers preying on vulnerable minds for over-sexualization and the status quo that have benefited from preferential treatment policies.
Together, these bad-faith actors have driven a wedge between kids and their guardians, and, between individual and family. The social contagion must be exposed and stopped before it plagues more unsuspecting children. What can be done?
First, more parents need to stand up and push back. Don’t accept the unacceptable – it is simply unacceptable for schools to indoctrinate our kids into believing their skin colors inform their central identity. Don’t defend the indefensible – it is criminal to mutilate healthy bodies of young kids in the name of gender-affirming care. Parents need to have the confidence that they are not alone.
83% of Americans support parents’ fundamental rights to make decisions for their children without government interference, unless there is proof of abuse or neglect, according to a May 2022 survey by the Parental Rights Foundation. A September 2022 New York Times poll found that 70% of American parents oppose gender identity instruction in elementary schools, while a 2021 survey by Parents Defending Education found that 74% of Americans oppose race-divisive teaching in K-12 schools.
Second, we, as a society, need to revive the importance of family in a child’s development and well-being. No external institutions, be it public schools, community groups or welfare agencies, can replace family. Parents’ fundamental rights to direct their child’s upbringing should be celebrated, fostered and safeguarded. Family involvement is a crucial contributing factor in higher academic achievements, and social and emotional development. School districts and rogue teachers that hide questionable curricula and healthcare information from parents deserve to be sued all the way up to the Supreme Court.
Last but not least, the chasm between schools and parents needs to be addressed. Parents, especially those who disagree with prevailing political fashion statements, are not enemies of the state. Vilifying parents, as demonstrated in the cases of Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and the National School Boards Association, backfires every single time. Contrary to the conventional belief that teachers exit due to insufficient pay, student behavior is the number one reason explaining the national teacher shortage, according to a July 2022 survey by Chalkboard Review.
Engaged parents and community members can effectively support schools and teachers to improve instruction, classroom management and educational quality. Teachers and parents can work together, not against each other.
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