On Wednesday, the Heritage Foundation the Washington, DC, hosted a virtual summit, "Protecting Children in Education." Several experts joined this panel with one goal: To expose, inform, and encourage anyone interested in children and education—from parents to policymakers—about the subtle way schools promote abortion, the sexualization of children through laws and policies that allow sexuality in education to be mainstream, and how sexual orientation and gender identity has made its way into curriculum for children as early as kindergarten.
While the current controversy surrounding education relates to how to reopen schools in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel of experts revealed there is a more insidious issue to be concerned about if and when public schools go back to teaching students at full capacity. Many school curriculums around the nation are teaching things to children of which parents are unaware and would not approve of if they were, or simply don't think it’s a school's job to do. It's imperative that parents who value ethics, morality, the role of sexuality in their children's mature lives, become aware of the way these concepts are infiltrating schools in a progressive manner. Here are four ways to do that, according to the panel.
Understand the state acts as if children are its property
First, in order to protect their kids, parents must understand that the state often acts as if they, too, have an interest in children, a right even, to education and inform them. This is not the case. Parents may opt to utilize the public school system for many different reasons, but this does not give the system a monopoly on the kids they teach.
Michael Farris, CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the partners in the coalition, joined the panel to speak on this briefly. In his comments, Farris, underscored how much the state often acts as if it owns the children it teaches. He read from a Supreme Court ruling that explained how false this notion remains, in that parents have a right and a duty to raise their children, to be the arbiter of their education, and their experiences that inform them. Most parents act in the best interest of their children, not the bureaucratic state. "Parents do what’s good for children far more often than governments do," he said.
Children are not protected by bureaucracy, they are protected by parents. It's imperative parents know this and refuse to give up any of their parental rights.
Schools are teaching kids graphic, often age-inappropriate sexual material, to children
Andrew Beckwith joined the panel to describe his experiences as President of the Massachusetts Family Institute, with information on what he knows some public schools are teaching children.
He said he observed one 7th grade curriculua that teaches kids how to use saran wrap for sexual acts (Realizing there may be children around since this panel was virtual, Beckwith did not use the word "sex" but implied it.) There is no need for a public school system, or any school system, to offer children tips and tricks to sexual activity, particularly in such graphic detail. This should be reserved for parents to discuss as they see fit.
"There are things Planned Parenthood wants to teach our children I had never heard of" Beckwith explained, in terms of graphic, sexual material he has seen that he believes was inappropriate for children.
Schools use SOGI laws to sneak in progressive agendas
Ryan Anderson, William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy, DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, The Heritage Foundation, joined the panel to explain how schools have and will continue to teach overtly sexual curriculum under the guise of "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" laws, particularly if a more progressive person were President and Congress were to shift in composition.
Last year, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act. If signed into law, this could affect multiple civil rights laws because it would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, applying to Title II, Title IV, Title VI, and Title IX. It wouldn't directly change any schools' curriculum, but it might affect how it is interpreted: "It could say that your current curriculum violates civil rights because it has bias against LGBT-identified people… You need to have more transgender... people. You need to have curriculum for Pride month."
One of the most important things Anderson said that parents need to understand is that these changes could occur because of a deadly combination of people who influence education. First there are the "True believers" who think the "gender unicorn" (the concept that gender is fluid) is real and not believing it is a violation of human rights and civil rights laws.
Then there are complacent or opportunistic politicians who don't care or know anything about this but want to win elections and must appear woke to do so. Often these two combine to create a force that influences education and parents must be aware of this. "What happens in the White House could impact what happens at your local school,” Anderson said.
Parents can make change
Despite these things, all is not lost. The panel was vocal and confident that parents can and should remain informed and that change could be made if parents were vigilant. The biggest key to making change in hyper-sexual school curriculum was first to find out what curriculum is being taught, and what policies infringe on parents' rights. Talk to your kids! Parents can't speak up about necessary changes if they don’t know what is being taught and fail to communicate with their children.
Sharon Slater, of the Family Watch International, joined the panel to speak about how parents can make change. She said she has worked with several parents who have created change just through approaching their principal or school administration—often with several other concerned parents—and showing them what their children are learning that they believe is inappropriate.
Both she and Beckwith underscored the importance of communicating first with your children, then with the local school board, and state and local officials, to try to implement positive changes in school curriculum. It's overwhelming, and at times might seem impossible, but it can be done.