Skip to comments.Why The Most Realistic Solution To Schools’ Trans Indoctrination Is Withdrawing Your Kids
Posted on 08/31/2017 9:42:34 AM PDT by joma89
Last week brought news of three troubling incidents entangling children as young as five in the ever-sprawling transgender agenda. First, as The Federalists Joy Pullmann detailed, a California charter school, Rocklin Academy, began the school year with the kindergarten teacher reading students a book about transgenderism.
After story-time ended, a male classmate suffering from gender dysphoria changed clothing and reappeared in a gender reveal as his real selfa girl. Parents only learned of the lesson when their confused and upset five-year-olds returned home that day. The parents showed up in force at their school board meeting to chastise the administrators for failing to inform them of the planned events or offer them the opportunity to opt their children out.
A few days after this news broke, Rod Dreher shared details of a similar experience relayed by parents of a Washington DC charter school first grader. Dreher reprinted an email exchange between the schools principal and students parents. The parents reached out after discovering that, without their knowledge, their daughters teacher had read the class the transgender picture book I Am Jazz, then discussed transgenderism with the young pupils.
I Will Not Exempt Any Child
In the initial email to the principal, one of the parents explained: [Our daughter] was confused by the discussion and book, and it required me to spend 20 minutes just to undo the odd and incorrect conclusions she drew about transgendered individuals from [the teachers] lesson and even the storyline of the book. The parents expressed their disappointment and sought reassurance that they would be informed ahead of time of future lessons so they could opt their first-grader out.
After several back-and-forths and delays, the principal finally responded with a direct denial of their request: I will not exempt any child from classroom discussions or instruction relating to the topics of gender identity, and marital norms. The parents withdrew that child and an older one from the school, but did not want to publicly identify the school or themselves.
The week ended with yet another incident, back at Rocklin Academy: As Todd Starnes reported for Fox News, during the first week of school a first grader came across a classmate on the playground. She called the student by his given name apparently unaware that the boy now identified as a girl.
Karen England, with Capitol Resource Institute, a California-based public policy group assisting several Rocklin Academy parents, told Starnes: This innocent little first grader sees a classmate, calls him by the name she knew him last year and the boy reports it to a teacher. The little girl gets in trouble on the playground and then gets called out of class to the principals office. According to the Washington Times, The little girl was told you cant do that, his name is this name, and you need to call him a her.
After an hour-long investigation, the principal determined the first grader had not bullied the transgender child by calling him by his birth name and she was not punished. But she went home from school crying, telling her mom she got in trouble at school today. The girls mother immediately called the school and was told that whenever there is a pronoun mishap with this biological boy who now claims to be a girlthe school must investigate, according to Starnes article.
What Are Parents Options?
With these stories in the news, parents understandably wonder what, if any, rights they have to protect their children from being taught in school that boys can become girls, or girls can turn into boys; and from being investigated or punished for misgendering a child when using the biologically correct pronoun for a child suffering from gender-dysphoria.
There is much to be written on this topic. The initial issue of import, though, concerns whether parents have the right to opt their child out of school lessons, discussions, or coverage of transgenderism or gender identity. Here are some preliminary thoughts on this question based on my current academic research for a work-in-progress article tentatively titled Parental Rights, Free Speech, and Religious Freedom in K-12 Public Schools in the Transgender Era.
Whether parents will have a right to opt their children out of gender identity lessons depends on the governing provisions of state law. Every state regulates public education, and in most states, parents may opt their children out of sex-education classes. Whether a discussion of gender identity and transgenderism would qualify as sex education depends on the specific statute.
Most States Have No Opt-Out Laws
My initial research indicates that the various statutory definitions of sex education contained in opt-out provisions focus on sexual reproduction and thus would not cover classroom discussions of gender identity. Further, some states, such as California, expressly provide that gender identity is not subject to the statutory opt-out provisions available to parents for comprehensive sex education.
At the other end of the spectrum are laws, such the law in New Hampshire, which allows parents to opt their children out of any specific course material that families find objectionable; parents, though, must pay for other instruction, as necessary, to meet the mandates of state law.
In the middle are states that do not provide for a right to opt-out of class coverage of gender identity, but also do not prohibit local school boards or individual schools from offering parents that choice. However, parents should recognize that if a transgender child attends the school, lawyers representing that child will likely demand that to protect the child from bullying, the school must not offer an opt-out option. Schools are extremely likely to comply with such legal demands.
Closely related is the question of whether a school will notify parents of coverage of gender-identity issues in the classroom. Most states require schools to provide parents notice only for curriculum discussions related to sex education. But schools are generally not prohibited from notifying parents of an upcoming discussion or event that is potentially controversial. A school, thus, may inform parents of an upcoming gender-identity discussion; however, as the examples above illustrate, there is no guarantee that parents will learn of the event before it transpires and if lawyers are involved, they may attempt to prevent the schools from providing notice.
Nonetheless, most states have passed statutes granting parents the right to review curriculum material. Prudent parents should consider asking to review any curriculum involving gender identity or transgenderism.
Legal Precedent Gives Parents No Opt-Out Rights
If the states education code does not provide an opt-out provision for discussions of gender-identity, the question then becomes whether there is a constitutional or other statutory opt-out right. Given the current landscape of the law, the most likely answer is no.
This conclusion may come as a shock to most parents, given the Supreme Courts trilogy of cases establishing the constitutional dimension of parental rights. In Meyer v. Nebraska, the Supreme Court held the liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right of parents to establish a home and bring up children and to control the education of their own.
In Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the Supreme Court reiterated that the liberty of parents and guardians includes the right to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control. Then in Prince v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court proclaimed: It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.
While the Supreme Court has made clear parents possess a constitutional right to guide the upbringing and education of their children, that right has never been extended to provide parents a right to opt children out of public school curriculum. Rather, two federal appellate courts have rejected this argument. In Mozert v. Hawkins County Board of Education, the Sixth Circuit held parents did not have a constitutional right to opt their daughter out of a reading curriculum that required students to read stories about telekinetic and magical powers. And in Brown v. Hot, Sexy and Safer Productions, Inc., the First Circuit held parents did not have a constitutional right to opt their son out of an explicit sex education course conducted at his high school.
In rejecting the parents claimed opt-out right, the court in Brown explained its reasoning, as follows:
The state does not have the power to standardize its children or foster a homogenous people by completely foreclosing the opportunity of individuals and groups to choose a different path of education. We do not think, however, that this freedom encompasses a fundamental constitutional right to dictate the curriculum at the public school to which they have chosen to send their children. We think it is fundamentally different for the state to say to a parent, You cant teach your child German or send him to a parochial school, than for the parent to say to the state, You cant teach my child subjects that are morally offensive to me. The first instance involves the state proscribing parents from educating their children, while the second involves parents prescribing what the state shall teach their children. If all parents had a fundamental constitutional right to dictate individually what the schools teach their children, the schools would be forced to cater a curriculum for each student whose parents had genuine moral disagreements with the schools choice of subject matter. We cannot see that the Constitution imposes such a burden on state educational systems, and accordingly find that the rights of parents do not encompass a broad-based right to restrict the flow of information in the public schools.
Given this precedent, it is unlikely a parent will succeed in arguing for a constitutionally protected parental right to opt children out of gender-identity course work.
Further, while the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens the right to freely exercise their religion, under Supreme Court precedent (in most circumstances), there is no right to be excused from generally applicable laws. Thus, it is unlikely a court would hold that a family has a right to opt-out of gender identity course material based on their religious beliefs and the First Amendments Free Exercise Clause.
Current Religious Freedom Laws Are Too Weak, Also
Finally, while approximately 20 states have adopted statutes protecting religious freedom, to obtain relief under these laws parents would need to prove the schools curriculum imposes a substantial burden on the exercise of their religious beliefs. Courts will be unlikely to find that merely learning about gender identity and transgenderism imposes a substantial burden on religion.
Courts will be unlikely to find that merely learning about gender identity and transgenderism imposes a substantial burden on religion.
The key take-aways, then: There is no constitutional or statutory opt-out right, unless the state education code creates such a right. Only a few states do: New Hampshire, Texas, and Minnesota. However, school boards or individual schools might voluntarily offer parents an opt-out. Schools may also voluntarily inform parents of upcoming coverage of gender identity, but it is not required in the majority of states, and trans students lawyers fight these accomodations. Most states, though, guarantee parents a right to review the schools curriculum, upon request.
At this point, if parents wish to shelter their children from the transgender agenda beginning to permeate the public school system, parents best choice will be to lobby states for a legislative expansion of the sex-education opt-out provisions, or to push the local school board to provide such a right.
However, parents must decide whether to subject their family to the battle-wounds likely to result from challenging the LGBT agenda. Lobbying either politicians or school board members is time-consuming, usually takes years of a childs school career and ultimately fails, and in challenging the orthodoxy of transgender activists, families and their young children will likely face vicious public criticism, name-calling, doxxing, and more.
Opting Out of Public Schools Cant Opt You Out of America
Private education or homeschooling may prove a more attractive alternative. But before making that choice, parents should also keep in mind that if they retreat from this fight, their children will merely face the same dogma laterat college, in the workplace, and in lifeand by then, the population at large will have been socially conditioned to unquestioningly accept the gospel of gender-identity.
While their ignorance does not make it right to thrust gender-identity idolatry on our children, compassion should caution against vitriol.
Parents might instead decide to teach their children the truth at home while they continue to receive their formal education through the public-school system. However, parents who choose this option should craft a plan to avoid confrontations in school, keeping in mind that while a school may teach children gender-identity theory, it cannot require them to believe or profess a belief contrary to their faith, or punish them if they refuse to do so (i.e., if they misgender the transgendered child). This also presents peer-pressure and contradicting authorities difficulties for children, who are psychologically vulnerable by virtue of their immaturity. A follow-up article will discuss these points in more detail.
No matter which option parents choose, they should keep another point in mind: The school and transgender children and their families are not the enemy. Schools must legally protect children in their care and many state laws specifically include gender identity in their anti-discrimination laws. Families with transgendered children often enlist lawyers and LGBT activists to force schools to teach other students to affirm the dysphoric childs gender-identity. And schools often believe they must do so, without allowing any student to opt-out, to comply with state and federal regulations.
Further, while some families may push a transgender agenda on their child, most children truly suffer from gender dysphoria and most parents sole interest is protecting their children. And most parents have doctors who have told them, as if it were settled science, that the proper treatment is gender affirmation. Most parents also do not know that a majority of children presenting as gender-confused or gender-dysphoric grow up to accept their true sex. While their ignorance does not make it right to thrust gender-identity idolatry on our children, compassion should caution against vitriol against the parents and school administrators, and most definitely against the suffering child.
And if private school is not affordable, home schooling is a great option.
Transgender is the new gay.
I think you hit on an important point. Many private schools subscribe to the same leftist ideals as their public school neighbors. Private school guarantees nothing on this front.
Agree 100%. A REAL Catholic school, that is.
Short of that - home school.
By the way, a parent doesn’t have to do all or even most of the teaching. Tutors and retired teachers can be employed on a per diem basis.
I'm actually disappointed that it's 2017 and people are still publishing columns suggesting that it might be a good idea to get your kids out of public schools.
Really, it is the ONLY choice parents can make for the welfare of their kids. Take them out. It will be a huge personal sacrifice for many but I don’t see any other way.
School administrators and teachers that push this crap are the enemy within.
There is another option. It involves paying visits to the sick creeps doing this to small children.
My home-schooled 15-year old was getting all amped up watching Tucker Carlson last night (I think she’s in love with Mark Steyn).
All good parents need to get their daughters and sons into private schools that will stand up against destructive forces.
It is the only sensible solution for educating your children. If your children are merely status symbols- lifestyle accessories as it were, then leave them in Public School. If they are actually humans in development and if you care at all about their future, you will have already removed them from that acid vat.
We chose to home school and there are a multitude of on line classes, textbooks, training aids and everything you could possibly imagine for anyone to homeschool with ease.
There are college which will provide a full DVD course for each year with the same teachers who are on the DVD available for online or telephonic help if the child needs it.
All the way down the price list to youtube videos of classes where you can learn anything if you want.
This ping list is for the other articles of interest to homeschoolers about education and public school. This can occasionally be a fairly high volume list. Articles pinged to the Another Reason to Homeschool List will be given the keyword of ARTH. (If I remember. If I forget, please feel free to add it yourself)
The main Homeschool Ping List handles the homeschool-specific articles. I hold both the Homeschool Ping List and the Another Reason to Homeschool Ping list. Please freepmail me to let me know if you would like to be added to or removed from either list, or both.
My child goes to an independent private Catholic school run by Opus Dei. Most diocesan Catholic schools are garbage-peddling bastions of Common Core & watered down catechesis. There are very few, and I do mean few, “real” Catholic schools remaining in the United States. Please pray for their protection.
If enough parents withdrew their children from public school, changes would be made fast. Less pupils = less loot to the school district.
I’d like to see homeschool cooperatives. Similar to credit unions. Charter schools are in thrall to the state, and getting worse with every turn of the screw, but perhaps a homeschool co-op could avoid state regulation and accreditation standards that few public schools ever live up to (to judge from the test results of the product).
While I’m on the subject — homeschooling does not entail enormous personal sacrifice...unless the building and development of a child’s mind and character are regarded as a form of suffering, in which case one shouldn’t be a parent.
and being Black makes it close to free, Catholic or not.
Suppose you were the parent of a kindergartner or a first grader in a school in which a child is claiming “transgenderism” and the school is forcing every other child to agree that a boy is a girl (or vice versa). Suppose, additionally, that you believe that a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl, and you believe it would be confusing or harmful for your child to be misled over something so scientifically basic and verifiable.
What specific actions would you take today in order to protect your 5- or 6-year-old child from, for example, being removed from class and threatened with punishment for deliberately or accidentally adhering to reality (”misgendering”) in his interaction with classmates?
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