There is no question that comprehensive sexual education in public schools has become increasingly more graphic and political in recent years. Thankfully, parents have had enough, and they are getting involved and working together to defend their children.
One such example is Battle Ground, Washington, a suburb of the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area. Just as the 2016 school year was nearing its end, Washington State education officials released what was considered then to be the most radical comprehensive sex ed standards in the nation.
Parents were outraged, and understandably so. The new “sexual health education outcomes” ensured that kindergarteners would learn about crossdressing as a form of gender expression. By third grade, students would be taught that they could choose their own gender. Fourth graders would be expected to explain the differences between heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual orientations.
Not only were the topics age-inappropriate, but the whole process seemed designed to exclude parents from the conversation surrounding sex and how it would be taught to their children in schools. Astonishingly, state education officials had drafted, approved, and implemented the state standards in secret without informing parents or any public comment period.
This was a step too far for many parents, even in relatively liberal Washington State. It became a cause célèbre of the local news cycle, even making national news for a time, causing a highly contentious showdown between parents, school districts, and state education officials.
Thousands of parents offered their disapproval by means of signing petitions and contacting the state department that oversees public education. Parents turned out en masse to school board meetings, only to be told that school districts believed they were legally responsible for implementing the state education standards.
Unfortunately, it soon became clear that the education bureaucracy had no intention of rescinding the standards. Many parents reluctantly resigned themselves to the latest diktat and moved on.
Not so in Battle Ground, Washington, where concerned community members and churches rallied to protect their children from the indoctrination being mandated from above. After learning that Washington law allows schools to avoid teaching the new standards if schools decide to no longer teach comprehensive sex ed altogether, parents began putting pressure on the school district to drop its comprehensive sex ed requirement.
Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW), a state ally of Family Policy Alliance®, worked with parents to develop the winning strategy. The school board ended up voting 3-2 to stop teaching comprehensive sex ed.
“Family Policy Institute of Washington has been privileged to be involved with the parents of Battle Ground for two years as they have stood firm for parental rights and not sexualizing children,” said Chris Platte, the policy director for FPIW.
The developments in Battle Ground, Washington, should give hope to other parents involved in related disputes in other parts of the country. This includes Austin, Texas, where distraught parents have found themselves in a similar battle.
Earlier this month, the Austin Independent School District (AISD)—the same school district that recently hosted a drag queen for “Pride Week Story Time” in one of its elementary schools—adopted a radical comprehensive sex ed curriculum, containing elements designed by Canadian abortion providers.
According to Texas Values, a state ally of Family Policy Alliance, the curriculum includes lessons teaching students how to engage in anal sex ‘comfortably’ and how to procure birth control, abortions, and other ‘healthcare’ without the knowledge of their parents.
Like in Washington, AISD officials shut parents out of the process and ignored their concerns once the new curriculum came to light. But hundreds of parents have shown up to AISD meetings and over 8,000 people have signed a Texas Values petition against the curriculum.
What does all this tell us? We need to be on notice that radical education bureaucrats want to socially engineer cultural perceptions of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Many in the educational establishment don’t think parents should be trusted to make decisions about when and how to introduce these tremendously sensitive and intimately personal topics to children. Instead, schools keep pushing the envelope, undermining the role of parents and introducing sexual topics at earlier and earlier ages.
But we should also take heart. As the events in Battle Ground, Washington, show us, when parents get involved to defend the values they hold dear, real change can happen.
It’s worth it, after all. Our children are worth fighting for. And Family Policy Alliance, along with our network for over 40 state-based allies, will be standing with you side-by-side.
Director of Advocacy – Idaho