The rollercoaster ride of school closures and remote learning in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has put an extra bright spotlight on the classroom.
At the same time, pandemic or not, we regularly hear from parents who are concerned about their child’s education. It’s often about what their instructors are teaching. Other times it’s what they’re not being taught.
Lately, we’ve heard from moms and dads who feel like people of faith are increasingly unwelcome in public schools or that their deeply held convictions are incompatible with the curriculum.
In an effort to respond to these concerns and needs, Focus on the Family has partnered with our friends at the Family Policy Alliance to create a new downloadable book.
It’s called, BACK TO SCHOOL – FOR PARENTS.
It’s full of practical and useful information – and it’s completely free. It offers guidance on your child’s first freedoms, of faith and speech – and what you can do to help them navigate the layered and challenging environment of today’s public schools.
I’m pleased by the rave reviews that are beginning to roll in.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians, has said, “I can authoritatively say that Back to School – for Parents … is the most important book a parent will ever read.”
Other endorsers include the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Concerned Women for America, and Save Women’s Sports.
My colleague Jeff Johnston, who writes for The Daily Citizen, contributed to the publication. I thought it would be helpful for him to more thoroughly frame what you’re about to read. Please download the book and share it with your family and friends!
‘Back to School – For Parents’ – New Resource from Focus on the Family and the Family Policy Alliance
By Jeff Johnston
In Philadelphia, public school teachers expressed worries on Twitter about parents seeing their children’s online lessons about homosexuality, transgenderism and racism. An English teacher wrote, “If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?”
In Washington state, voters just approved a measure mandating the teaching of “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” (CSE) in public schools. Parents have discovered that state-approved curriculums teach children as young as kindergarten about controversial, age-inappropriate topics like “gender identity” and “gender expression.”
In 2019, The New York Times released The 1619 Project, which aims to place the year slaves were first brought to North America at “the very center of our national narrative” – rather than our country’s real beginning in 1776. The historically inaccurate, widely debunked lessons have already been taught in over 4,500 schools.
While many teachers and schools do terrific work, troubling examples abound of what’s happening in public schools. School clinics taking pregnant girls for abortions – without their parents’ knowledge and consent. Offensive and sexually graphic books in school libraries. Boys who think they are girls on girls sports teams and in girls restrooms and locker rooms.
That’s why Family Policy Alliance and Focus on the Family have partnered together to launch a new education resource: Back to School – for Parents. The 124-page, downloadable PDF offers guidance on nine different areas, helping parents protect their children in the classroom; in school clinics and counseling offices; in restrooms and locker rooms; in school libraries; and on school-owned computers and research databases.
Back to School – for Parents also gives guidance for parents about exercising school choice and protecting children’s free speech and religious liberty. Each section explains what’s happening in schools with a specific issue, why parents are concerned, and what you can do to protect your child.
The resource helps parents understand their rights and their children’s rights and explains important state and federal laws. Back to School – for Parents offers suggestions about how to respectfully advocate on behalf of your child, gives guidance for talking with children about sensitive and difficult subjects, and provides links to helpful articles and resources.
In a joint press release from the two organizations, Stephanie Curry, Esq., Policy Manager for Family Policy Alliance, said, “Families today face unprecedented challenges at school—from highly sexualized curriculum, to men in their daughters’ locker rooms, to counselors encouraging children that abortion or cross-sex hormones are the right choice, without ever talking to a child’s parent.”
She continued, “We receive questions every week from parents about what their rights are, how to navigate the bureaucracies responsible for passing these harmful policies, and how to talk about these issues with children at home. We’ve created Back to School – for Parents to answer these questions, because we firmly believe that parents—not any government entity – are truly best at parenting.”
For full disclosure, I helped write the resource. And even though I’ve been tracking these issues for years, it was gloomy to read example after example of schools overstepping their boundaries and intruding on parents’ and children’s rights.
As a former high school English teacher, and with three sons who attended a public charter school, I know that many educators have deep faith, are hardworking, and remain dedicated to their profession.
At the same time, I’m also aware that many legislators and education professionals have a social and political agenda that is antagonistic toward Christianity and biblical values. Their agenda negatively affects school curriculums, textbooks, and resources. Many parents are outraged and appalled when they discover what their children are actually being taught in school.
Back to School – for Parents helps parents know what to watch out for and gives valuable guidance for protecting children.
Download Back to School – for Parents
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