South Dakota epitomizes the rapid growth of homeschooling in America. Guided by the principle that parents, not the government, have the right to determine what and how their kids are taught, homeschooling families have overturned existing rules and batted down attempts over the last decade to impose new ones in many states, including South Dakota.
What’s left in much of the United States today is essentially an honor system in which parents are expected to do a good job without much input or oversight. The rollback of regulations, coupled with the â€¯ill effects of remote learning during the pandemic, have boosted the number of families opting out of public schools in favor of educating their kids at home.
Ana Goni-Lessan, a Florida education reporter with the Gannett owned Tallahassee Democrat, has adopted the “Don’t Say Gay” moniker when referencing the Parental Rights in Education bill which is working its way through the Florida Legislature.
A federal study asks underage boys to report their sexual behavior to a mobile app in exchange for up to $275 all without requiring permission from their parents, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Researchers at Columbia University funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have spent more than eight million dollars of taxpayer money on a study that pays gay and transgender minors as young as 13 to track their sexual behavior on an app called MyPEEPS without parental permission, the Free Beacon reported. Questions such as whether or not they have “condomless anal sex” are asked as part of the study.
January Littlejohn knew there was a problem when she picked up her daughter at Deer Lake Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida one September afternoon last year. Her daughter revealed she was interviewed by school officials about gender preference issues. She was asked by officials about changing her name and also about which restroom she preferred to use.
Littlejohn, who is a mother of three children and a licensed mental health counselor, was shocked. Shocked at the fact that the meeting took place without her knowledge.
She had previously informed school officials about the family situation. Her daughter was experiencing stress about her gender at the height of the pandemic and the family was completely caught by surprise. The family found a counselor and began researching the issue.
And now school officials had intervened between her and her daughter over a very personal issue.
She would later explain in a speech to the Florida Family Policy Council how “gender ideology almost destroyed my family.”
California’s largest teacher’s union instructed members at a meeting in October about the best ways to undermine parents and conservative communities regarding gender identity and sexual orientation issues, according to leaked documents and audio obtained by Abigail Shrier.
The California Teachers Association (CTA) held a conference on Oct. 29-31 in Palm Springs, California. During workshops, teachers said they surveilled students’ Google searches, online chats and hallway conversations to identify and personally invite sixth grade students to join LGBTQ school clubs, according to the leaked documents and audio reviewed by Abigail Shrier, which were authenticated by three conference attendees.
It is not a novel concept that family engagement is one of the strongest predictors of children’s school success. Studies over the past 50 years demonstrate a positive relationship between family engagement and student achievement for students of all backgrounds. Children are most successful when supported by families and schools working together collaboratively. As a parent, I understand the unique needs and learning behaviors of my children more than anyone. Through my respective roles as an educator and a federal K-12 policy professional, I also understand the nuances of balancing parental input with a safe and effective education for all students.
For years, parental involvement in education has been supported by Republican and Democratic leaders as integral to student success and as a guiding principle for federal and state education policy. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the bipartisan K-12 federal education law, explicitly requires that parents be meaningfully involved and consulted in the development of state and school district education plans. These plans provide the framework for how states and school districts will deliver education to elementary and high school students. Additionally, the law requires that parents be involved in the creation of “state report cards,” providing information on how schools in each state are performing – including student achievement levels. The report cards must be written and in an accessible way so that parents can take action to engage with their child’s school.