What rights should parents have concerning the education of their children and the environment they are forced to live in when they leave home? If you are involved in the current new theories about sexual identity, race, and learning, you know that parental rights and input have been shoved aside as schools struggle with pressure from special interest groups. This is especially true if parents want to give their children spiritual instruction at home that is not opposed by secular learning at school.
ParentalRights.org reports that 39 states have no statutes that expressly define and protect parental rights. In the late 1900s, I was head of the science department at Riley High School in South Bend, Indiana. At that time, we were required to have a parent participate in evaluating the textbooks we would use. The Goldwater Institute (January 2020) reports that 47 states do not grant parents the right to review the learning materials and activities before their use. The Heritage Foundation (May 2019) says that 12 states do not allow parents to be involved in their schools’ sex ed curriculum. As a result, schools are forcing many things on very young children without their parent’s consent or knowledge. That is the state of parental rights in education today.
The transgender movement in America has become a fad, with many children being pressured by school officials encouraging kids to change their gender identity. This is called “affirmative care” and can even involve the use of drugs to catalyze a child’s movement away from their birth sex. The long-term effect of this kind of counseling, especially the drugs and surgical procedures used, is destructive. We have had personal contact with situations where the parents were unaware that their child was being pushed to change.
The introduction of critical race theory to young children without the knowledge or consent of their parents is another issue of concern. Children are being taught that all white parents are racist or that all black parents feel that no matter how hard they work, their success will be limited by their skin color. That is simply not true. The terrible history of race relations in this country, neglected in the past, must be presented in history class. A first grader of any race should receive a positive picture of the American dream and that all humans are of equal value.
As a public school teacher with 41 years of experience, I know the challenges American schools face today. However, if public education is to survive, it must acknowledge parental rights, allowing parents to determine their children’s moral, sexual, and racial training. Parents must not be excluded from the process of making public schools neutral on these issues. Parents must have the right to raise their children in what they feel is best for them. As it is right now, America is becoming a police state where parents have no rights and children are forced into a framework that violates what public education is all about.
— John N. Clayton © 2022