Believe it or not, it’s not the subject that most find objectionable. It’s not about denying a person’s right to exist, denying that a lifestyle has existed throughout history or even denying that that lifestyle has been accepted in a large or small degree. It’s not about someone learning more about their history and lifestyle or even about learning about others who think like you. It’s not about that at all.
In 1978, the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, otherwise known as the Hatch Amendment, was passed after parents were shocked and outraged to learn that trusted teachers were using the classroom for therapy instead of education. The teachers pried into the private lives of their students and their families by asking sensitive information about political, religious and personal beliefs. Little did parents realize that teachers would overstep their bounds once again by asking questions of a sexual nature in the decades to follow. Because of these violations, parents were forced to sue these teachers and could back it up with the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment.
The amendment, contained in 20 U.S. Code 1232, states as follows:
§ 1232h. Protection of pupil rights
(a) Inspection of instructional materials by parents or guardians
All instructional materials, including teacher’s manuals, films, tapes or other supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis or evaluation as part of any applicable program shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the children.
(b) Limits on survey, analysis or evaluations
No student shall be required, as part of any applicable program, to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning —
(1) political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
(2) mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
(3) sex behavior or attitudes;
(4) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating or demeaning behavior;
(5) critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
(6) legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians and ministers;
(7) religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
(8) income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program),
without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent.
Could it be any more clear? The purpose of teachers is to educate, not indoctrinate. And most teachers believe that. In fact, often teachers are forced against their will to do something that the administration and the National Education Association forces upon them that violates their conscience. But thanks to this amendment, they also have a legal standing to say “no.”
There have been way too many cases locally where students are bullied into accepting something they don’t agree with on any level. Many have left the public school system already and opted for homeschool or private school. It’s a shame that they had to go at all.
Liberty Counsel (www.lc.org) is one organization that might be able to help you if you encounter such situations.
So, what is this about?
This is about freedom and denial of constitutional rights.
This is about favoritism.
This is about parental rights.
This is about child protection.
This is about resisting totalitarianism.
This is about decency.
It is inappropriate to sexualize children under the guise of “English language arts” or “history” or anything else. I read some of the material. Somehow, the school district curriculum committee thought that it was OK for your child to read about sex described in detail or prayers to Satan. Would you let your child read porn? Nor would I. How about filthy language? One book had the F-bomb six times in the first 600 words. I was done.
Page 122 of the English Language Arts draft curriculum will give you the list of books. You can find it here: https://bit.ly/2S4FW0s.
“It’s just an elective,” doesn’t matter. It’s our money being wasted yet again on ideological brainwashing. If all the other classes fill up, then latecomers or procrastinators will get stuck with that class. Thankfully, the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment gives all parents and students an out.
Christine Robbins lives in Fairbanks.