Public school administrators and liberal academics think you’re too stupid and dangerous to be trusted with your own children’s upbringing.
Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program at Harvard University, says exactly that in her arguments for presumptively banning homeschool education: “Do we think that parents should have 24/7, essentially authoritarian control over their children from ages zero to 18? … I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.”
Dr. Bartholet wants the government to drop the hammer on parents teaching their children. E.g., she advocates authoritarianism in order to prevent potential authoritarianism. So, she’s not actually concerned with countering oppression, but with making sure she approves of the oppressor. Got it.
Bartholet’s unsupported, often factually inaccurate, opinion-based pablum aside, her attitude captures the zeitgeist pervasive in today’s public education environs.
In February 2019 I attended a working group session at Arlington (VA) Public Schools’ board meeting in which transgender student policy was up for discussion. The dozen or so faculty, students, and parent-members of the local activist group Arlington Gender Identity Allies agreed that parents (who question gender theory) are a threat to their children, and those around the table sought ways to prevent parents from finding out about their children’s sexuality and/or gender. I was gobsmacked to hear the district supervisor of counseling say, “[The school must] help parents who are unsupportive or who aren’t quite there yet… help to move the parents along.”
In other words, the school arrogantly (and in this case erroneously) thinks it knows better than parents what’s best for children, and therefore the school must guide parents into enlightenment, or keep parents out of the loop altogether if they don’t kowtow to the school’s pop-culture ideology on sex and gender.
This opinion feeds the misguided hubris of activist teachers like one I spoke with after a school board meeting. “I shouldn’t tell you this,” the teacher confided, “because we’re not supposed to do this. But if I find out that a kid doesn’t feel safe at home” (translation: his parents didn’t jump on board and celebrate his new sexual or gender identity proclamation) “I help him find another place to live and money to get by on.”
In other words, this teacher (who is unmarried and without children, by the way) helps kids become runaways.
The Arlington Parent Coalition, when it learned that school employees are prohibited from discussing school policies, offered school staff nationwide the chance to speak out, with whatever level of anonymity they preferred. Here’s what one school counselor said:
Why do [schools] feel that we can appropriate the role of parents by teaching students our prescribed values in place of those taught in their homes? Do we unconsciously believe that we know better than parents? It’s an important question we have to ask ourselves.
Public schools in the United States are actively working to sever the parent-child relationship and gain our children’s obedience to the schools’ agenda on social reform. No longer content to serve in loco parentis during the hours students are at school, they want to secure full authority over children both by maintaining public school’s monopoly over education and by undermining parents’ rights to protect and make decisions for their own children.
Case in point: a number of states have tried to prevent children from being withdrawn from public school during the recent Coronavirus quarantine, despite the fact that in many school districts no coherent distance learning plan has been put in place after more than a month, and many districts and unions have instructed teachers to provide no new instruction for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. Why do these administrators want to prevent parents from arranging for their children’s ongoing education if the public school can’t do its job?
Money, of course, is frequently at the root of unsavory decisions. Public schools are funded in part based on enrollment.
But the financial incentives for indoctrinating our kids with sex and gender ideologies get even more personal.
Rebecca Friedrichs, a 28-year veteran teacher, describes teacher conferences where the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in America, promotes Planned Parenthood, Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) clubs, and LGB/TQ advocacy. “If you agreed to start a [GSA]… you could get big money,” said Friedrichs. “You could also get money to push LGBT activism in the classroom.”
Gone are the days when public schools were partners to parents toward the academic and intellectual development of children. Today’s public school system is first and foremost a social engineering institution.
But whether or not you agree with its politics on sex, gender, and social justice, every parent should be horrified and outraged that schools would presume to take away from parents authority over their own children. Because if the school is not only permitted but encouraged to take away from parents any aspect of authority over their children, the logical conclusion is that the school will eventually take away from parents all aspects of authority over their children. Because why wouldn’t they?
In fact, they’re well on their way to doing just that already.
In the GLSEN (formerly Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) Model District Policy on Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Students, schools give themselves the authority to hide a child’s self-perception of sexuality or gender from parents:
School staff shall not disclose any information that may reveal a student’s transgender status to others, including parents or guardians and other school staff, unless legally required to do so or unless the student has authorized such disclosure. (p. 4)
The Arlington Parent Coalition fought in 2019 to keep this clause out of the Arlington Public Schools policy, and eventually succeeded based upon the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, which protects parents’ authority over their children’s educational records. Yet, GLSEN has not removed or revised this policy from their guidelines, and organizations such as the American School Counselors Association continue to support this undermining of parents’ authority:
“When contacting the parent/guardian of a transgender or gender-nonconforming student, school staff should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s assigned sex at birth, unless the student or parent/guardian has specified otherwise.” (p. 85)
One wonders how parents could ever “specify otherwise” if information about their child’s sexuality and gender expression at school was never shared with them in the first place?
The writing has long been on the wall: “WHO’S YOUR DADDY? THE PUBLIC SCHOOL IS.”
As Maya Angelou so succinctly warned us, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Public schools have shown parents time and time and time again that they are no longer a friend to families. If you’re not sure you believe it, try telling your school principal that you do not want your thirteen-year-old autistic daughter in the school restroom with people of the opposite sex.
One parent in Arlington, VA, did. The principal responded, “That’s our policy.”
If that’s not a middle finger to parental authority, I don’t know what would be.