Parents asked, we listened: Training changemakers in our schools

FPF to launch nation’s first biblically based school board training

It’s not hard to see that our public schools need help.

From pandemic shutdowns that allowed parents to see concerning curriculum and ideology in their children’s classrooms, to the “new normal” of boys playing on girls’ sports teams, to students being encouraged to “socially transition” their gender without parental knowledge (much less consent), we all know our schools need better leadership.

We’ve heard from anguished parents and grandparents from across the country—and even school board members themselves—all asking for help. And we’ve listened!

That’s why Family Policy Foundation is launching the School Board Academy this December – the first national training program for pro-family school board members that will be taught from a biblical worldview. The virtual program will include training in:

We have a relevant and readily applicable curriculum, plus a highly capable faculty of veteran school board members and national policy experts, but we need your help to fill the seats of our first class. The inaugural School Board Academy will meet online Dec. 13-15, 2022, from 7-9:30 p.m. ET. All pro-family school board members and candidates are welcome to apply, however, space is limited.

If you know a school board member or candidate, or if you meet that criteria yourself, please invite them to apply here. The cost of $179 per student covers 7.5 hours of training as well as membership to the School Board Exchange, which provides ongoing community and resources to those who have graduated from the School Board Academy.

If you don’t know a school board member personally, you can still get involved and help turn our schools around by providing scholarships for those who need assistance to attend. To sponsor a school board member or support the School Board Academy in another way, visit here.

Please help us spread the word by sharing the School Board Academy webpage with your family, friends, church, and neighbors. With your support, we will equip and empower school board members to honor God, protect children, and preserve parents’ rights through their service.

Thank you for partnering with us!

Amanda Banks
Vice President, Education
Family Policy Foundation

As of this week, one in three states now have laws to #SaveGirlsSports. That’s more than double the number of states with similar laws last summer!

But now, the Biden Administration plans to propose a rule that would redefine “sex” in a federal law known as Title IX. This proposed rule will likely:

It’s part of a broader effort to push woke ideology in our children’s schools, from school policies to curriculum and beyond.

Americans are not on board with this agenda – and key leaders agree. Earlier this spring we sat down with someone who helped safeguard Title IX: former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Now, as we anticipate the coming Biden rule, we wanted to share that conversation with you NEXT WEEK!

YOU’RE INVITED

Fighting for Our Children’s Futures
A Conversation with Secretary Betsy DeVos

Tuesday, May 31

1 pm ET / 12 pm CT / 11 am MT / 10 am PT

Join us on Facebook or YouTube

Secretary DeVos served as the 11th Secretary of Education under President Trump. She has been active in politics for over 35 years, having served in many leadership roles. In education policy in particular, she has been involved for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. She is especially passionate about reforms that help underserved children gain access to a quality education.

Join us to hear about all things education reform, from educational freedom (school choice) to combatting woke ideology in schools. Whether you are a parent or grandparent, or just someone concerned about our children’s future, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

See you next week on Facebook and YouTube!

Meridian Baldacci
Director of Strategy

P.S. Be sure to pass this invitation along to a friend who should attend, too! You can forward this invite or tag them on Facebook!

As of last week, one in three states now have laws to #SaveGirlsSports. That’s more than double the number of states with similar laws last summer!

But now, the Biden Administration plans to propose a rule that would redefine “sex” in a federal law known as Title IX. This proposed rule will likely:

It’s part of a broader effort to push woke ideology in our children’s schools, from school policies to curriculum and beyond.

Americans are not on board with this agenda – and key leaders agree. Earlier this spring we sat down with someone who helped safeguard Title IX: former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Now, as we anticipate the coming Biden rule, we wanted to share that conversation with you today!

YOU’RE INVITED

Fighting for Our Children’s Futures
A Conversation with Secretary Betsy DeVos

TODAY – Tuesday, May 31

1 pm ET / 12 pm CT / 11 am MT / 10 am PT

Join us on Facebook or YouTube

Secretary DeVos served as the 11th Secretary of Education under President Trump. She has been active in politics for over 35 years, having served in many leadership roles. In education policy in particular, she has been involved for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. She is especially passionate about reforms that help underserved children gain access to a quality education.

Join us to hear about all things education reform, from educational freedom (school choice) to combatting woke ideology in schools. Whether you are a parent or grandparent, or just someone concerned about our children’s future, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

See you today on Facebook and YouTube! (If you are seeing this message late or miss joining us today, you can always watch the videos at these links any time.)


Meridian Baldacci
Director of Strategy

P.S. Be sure to pass this invitation along to a friend who should attend, too! You can forward this invite or tag them on Facebook!

Dear Friends,

This week, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) announced their new and revised Social Studies Standards as a rule for all public schools and state charters in New Mexico. The controversy over this new curriculum is that there is heavy concern about the presence of Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ+ agenda elements that begin in the kindergarten classroom and grow from one grade level to the next.

Many letters and voices flooded the PED during the public comment period that expressed concern over the proposed standards as “divisive, biased, or negative,” as well as concern that the new standards “embody critical race theory.”  Concern was also voiced regarding the topic of “identity” within the standard.

Unfortunately, while many concerns were noted, the PED revisions, released this week, have been ineffective in removing elements of CRT and introducing the LGBTQ+ agenda into the education standard as early as Kindergarten.

New Mexico families are under attack as this Woke agenda takes position to fill the classroom and threatens to hijack our children’s education.

So, what can we do?

The legislative process still exists! Although the PED would make parents and teachers believe that there is no other option, we can stand strong!

Some good news…

Here at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we are working on a Transparency in Education Act that will allow parents rights to be protected in the classroom. We will share more information in the months to come regarding this bill and the sponsors who have agreed to introduce it in the next legislative session.

It’s time to take action!

My husband and I have four children. We do not wish them to be ignorant to the things that are happening in our world, but we absolutely expect to be able to teach them in our own time and on our own terms. Every parent has the right to do the same. Will you stand with us to protect New Mexico families?

Standing for our families,

Jodi Hendricks
Executive Director


A school district in Virginia has been making national news since this summer when a teacher was suspended for refusing to use opposite-sex pronouns to refer to his students. The Loudoun County School District has continued to make headlines over Critical Race Theory debates, passage of a new “transgender and gender fluid student rights policy,”* and more.

Most recently – and most disturbingly –the district is under fire for transferring a male student charged with sexual assault (forcible sodomy) from one high school to another, and attempting to cover up the incident. The boy is accused of rape in both schools. He allegedly assaulted one girl in a classroom and one in the girls’ restroom, where he was allowed to enter under the district’s transgender policy.

While news like this can evoke discouragement and even hopelessness, a group of engaged parents in Loudoun County is giving us all reason to hope.

Fight for Schools is comprised of caring parents who are locking arms and collectively saying “enough is enough” in their school district. They are making waves—and making a difference—as they fight for truth and safety in their schools. One way they are doing so is through recall campaigns for five out of nine school board members. As they pursue accountability in Loudoun County, they’ve also called for the resignation of Superintendent Scott Ziegler. The latest good news is in the form of a resignation: Loudoun County school board member Beth Barts issued her resignation one week ago—and even the liberal media is giving credit to these parents.

If Loudoun County is front and center in the battle for our schools, the backdrop is liberal politicians and political appointees advocating against parental involvement in schools.

A few weeks ago, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe unbelievably said in a campaign debate, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach” and then doubled down on his view in media interviews following. The same week, President Biden’s Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona refused to agree with the premise that parents are the primary stakeholders in their children’s education during a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. If that wasn’t enough, the Biden Administration has taken shocking action to “show parents who’s boss” by directing the FBI to investigate parents who speak up in their local school districts!

These events are disillusioning (to say the least), but they also underscore why the actions of parents – like those who comprise Fight for Schools in Loudoun County – have never been more important.

As a parent myself, I’ve come to realize that it is not enough to complain and despair about the battles being waged against our children in school. If I am not willing to engage, voice my opinion, and advocate for my kids’ safety and for truth taught in our schools, who will?

If you agree but feel uncertain about what to do or how to do it, let me encourage you to download a copy of FPA’s Back to School for Parents guide. I’ll draw your attention to pages 5-9 which explains in simple terms who has educational authority in our schools and how parents can effectively advocate for their children in public schools.

If you are a parent with children in public school, I hope you will consider making your voice heard. We at FPA stand ready and willing to help you do so, and we’re thankful for those of you who partner with us to make resources like the Back to School for Parents guide possible.

For our kids,

Amanda Banks
Vice President, Education

 

 

*According to the Loudoun Times, “Loudoun’s Policy 8040 allows students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their consistently asserted gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record. The policy also allows for access to a number of student activities and facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms. Further, the policy states that all school mental health professionals shall complete training on topics relating to LGBTQ+ students, including procedures for preventing and responding to bullying, harassment and discrimination based on gender identity and expression.”

In 1943, as war raged around the globe, C.S. Lewis delivered a series of lectures that were later turned into an extraordinary book entitled, The Abolition of Man. As the world reached the height of its deadliest conflict in history, Lewis warned of a very different lethal threat emerging in his day. In the very first line of the book, Lewis writes, “I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary text-books.”

Lewis explains his case by carefully dissecting a school textbook he calls, “The Green Book.” This book, based upon a real book (which we now know to be, “The Control of Language: A Critical Approach to Reading and Writing”) expresses “disgust” at the idea that a poem can declare a waterfall to be “sublime” or “pretty.” The reason for the teachers’ disgust is the claim that the poet can only speak of how he felt about a waterfall rather than state as a truth that a waterfall is “pretty.” Lewis’ concern was that the teachers were saying that things cannot be objectively true, that all value statements only explain the emotional state of the speaker and are therefore unimportant.

As I read Lewis’ work I could identify with his concerns, expressed nearly 80 years ago. He was uncanny in his prediction that the subjection of truth to feelings would lead to a future where a small cabal of people manipulate humanity through psychology. He relayed that the idea of relativism is patently absurd and that a deep thinker would never allow it. Then, he warns that the only way such an idea could sway minds is through the indoctrination of the young. He states:

“The very power of (the authors) depends on the fact that they are dealing with a boy: a boy who thinks he is ‘doing’ his ‘English prep’ and has no notion that ethics, theology, and politics are all at stake. It is not a theory they put into his mind, but an assumption, which ten years hence, its origin forgotten and its presence unconscious, will condition him to take one side in a controversy which he has never recognized as a controversy at all.” Lewis, C. S. (2019-09-29T23:58:59). The Abolition of Man.

Today, his prophecy has come true. Pop psychology insists that you are who you are based upon feelings rather than objective facts. Our nation starts to buckle under the question of which truth to follow or whether there is truth at all.

It is into this intersection, this junction of truth and culture that Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming stands tall and says, “Waterfalls can be sublime, truth is knowable, and mankind cannot be abolished in a sea of made-up feelings!”

I am asking you to stand with us. You can stand for truth. Please donate to this great cause by giving to Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming today.

Advancing Biblical Citizenship,

Nathan Winterws
Executive Director

 

 

 

With students returning to the classroom this fall, the battle for the minds of the emerging generation is escalating. Parents have amplified their voices at local school board hearings and through grassroots advocacy efforts, yet what has become more apparent than ever is the need for greater involvement in the education of our children.

Parents are the primary educators of their children. Though they may choose to entrust their child to a government school, parents are ultimately responsible for overseeing their children’s education. So, what can parents do when they see some within the government schools try to educate children away from the self-evident truth of God’s Word?

First, understand these controversial lessons are only supporting the larger cultural narrative that children are being swept up into. Social media influencers on Tik Tok and Instagram have more influence over your child than a teacher. We regularly encourage parents to request lesson plans and review curriculum even to the point of recently having to pursue legal action in Cheyenne to help parents. However, if you take these actions, but never check what phone apps your child spends hours engaged in, you might have overlooked the most dangerous tool being used against your family.

Second, talk to your children appropriately about sex and gender. Ask questions and listen to their answers. Use our Gender Resource Guide as a conversation starter. Prepare yourself with biblical answers presented intellectually and compassionately. Our friends at Focus on the Family have many Sex Education resources. Don’t just have this conversation once. It must be an ongoing dialogue as your beliefs can be intentionally undermined at school multiple times throughout K-12 primary education.

Third, spend time with your family. Yes, it’s that simple. Experts agree that a child’s development is influenced predominantly by their family because it is the primary social group they belong to. Family movie nights and taco Tuesdays are beneficial to building familial bonds that are not easily broken. Most importantly, bring them to church each week and have them participate in youth ministry or a small group Bible study.

These suggestions might sound basic, but the reality is most of us need to improve in all three areas. I pray you stay encouraged and optimistic that you can make a difference in your child or grandchild’s life.

Standing with you in protecting your family,

Nathan Winters
Executive Director

Rachel Levine, President Biden’s pick for Deputy Secretary at the Health and Human Services Department, has a message for transgender-identifying students. Levine is a biological male who identifies as a woman.

 

“Back to school” is a driving force for most American families this month. Even the Biden Administration, bringing to bear the weight of three major departments—the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice—is joining in with a message for students. Specifically, students who identify as transgender.

These three departments released a video this month welcoming transgender-identifying students back to school. Their message? Transgender-identifying students have a “right” to access harmful and experimental hormones to “transition” their bodies, and girls no longer have a right to fair competition in sports.

It’s a bit of an ironic message. Children struggling with how they feel in their God-given bodies have an invented right to harm and even sterilize themselves before they reach the age of 18—yet they can’t even purchase cough syrup over-the-counter.

Meanwhile, young female athletes, who actually do have a legal right under Title IX to fair competition reserved only for girls, no longer have that right. That’s because a boy who identifies as a girl—at any time, for any reason—must be allowed to compete on girls’ teams and access girls’ championship and scholarship opportunities.

It’s also disturbing that the role of parents in raising and caring for their children —and in major decisions about physically altering their bodies to look more like the opposite sex—was missing from the video.

And the video didn’t stop there. The Biden officials also took direct shots at states whose lawmakers are boldly fighting to protect children. They criticized West Virginia for saving girls’ sports for only girls—among seven other states. And they called out Arkansas for being the first state in the nation to pass a law prohibiting harmful and experimental “gender transition” on children.

Family Policy Alliance’s message to these states: Keep up the good work! Our mission is to help as many other states as possible follow your lead in protecting children and pushing back against the Biden Administration’s harmful LGBT agenda.

Family Policy Alliance also has a very different Back-to-School message than the Biden Administration. We partnered with our friends at Focus on the Family to release the first-ever, parent-focused back-to-school guide:  Back to School—for Parents.

The Guide includes practical help on how to protect your child at school, as well as loving help for parents on how to talk with children about these difficult issues. The Guide addresses concerns parents may have for their children:

Download your free copy of Back to School—for Parents here!

Our friends at the American College of Pediatricians said: “Back to School—for Parents is the most important book a parent will ever read.”

The Biden Administration has made their position clear. They want access to our children to advance their agenda, and parents who disagree should be side-stepped.

It is more important for today’s children, perhaps more than any other generation, for parents to be both informed and equipped to protect their children. That is the heart behind Back to School—for Parents.

So, to the parents sending their children back to school—we stand with you as you protect your young ones, raise them according to biblical values, and safeguard their futures!

To the states and state lawmakers passing good legislation that protects children from harmful political agendas—we stand with you as you face political criticism and backlash from Big Business, Big Tech and Woke DC!

For families and for His glory,Autumn Stroup.jpg
autumn signature
Autumn Leva
Vice President for Strategy

 

P.S. Family Policy Alliance is making it a top priority to equip parents, help parents engage in the political process when they need to protect their families, and train and equip lawmakers to boldly advance family values. The needs are growing, and we need your generous support! Please consider a gift today!

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You have heard about it all over the media. It has really come to a head now that it is infiltrating our schools. Many parents are upset, even those who typically support more “progressive” educational approaches.

What is Critical Race Theory? (CRT) That is actually a more difficult question than you might first think, and frankly creates some of the problems surrounding it. As the American Bar Association states, “Crenshaw—who coined the term ‘CRT’—notes that CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice.” It’s pretty hard to have an intelligent discussion about such a controversial issue if you can’t even define it or use the term correctly (I have yet to hear anyone on either side of the argument use it as a verb).

That said, the most consistent explanation I’ve seen is that CRT focuses on the idea that racism is embedded in the nation’s institutions and that these institutions seek to maintain the dominance of white people in society. It asserts that unequal outcomes are the result of subtle societal and institutional biases, and that historical patterns of racism are ingrained in law and other modern institutions, rather than racism of individuals per se. I think I am safe assuming that the theory would posit that if institutions, law, etc. in general have racist biases, they had to come from somewhere, and that “somewhere” are the racists in the past and present who set up and perpetuate these elements of society. So fundamentally, I would assert that it actually is individual racism at its core. This assertion is affirmed in a statement by Ibrim X. Kendi “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only Remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” How to be an AntiRacist pg.19

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s ask ourselves a question: Are our nation’s institutions, laws, and other societal elements racist? I think we would all agree that racism persists in some of these places – to what extent would depend on the particular institution or element of society. The nexus of racism and our country’s history cannot be denied, particularly towards those who are black.

So then, where is the problem and why all the controversy? There are two reasons for it, I believe.

First, those who currently are using CRT to advance their causes want the American public to view everything through the lens of racism. In other words, everything in our society is suspect. Seemingly neutral concepts almost always are imputed with deep racial significance. Frankly, this is ridiculous.

Let me give you an example. If you are Norwegian, then you can view everything through racism towards Norwegians, whether correct or not. You didn’t get that car loan – racism in banking institutions. Your daughter didn’t get into that elite college – educational racism. The police pull you over more often than other drivers – law enforcement racism. You see where this is going don’t you? Never mind that you’re buried in credit card debt from Amazon purchases, your daughter typically gets average grades, or that you’ve recently been speeding when you drive. “They’re all out to get me. I’m always a victim because I’m Norwegian.” As they say, people see what they want to see, and if you want to see racism everywhere, you will.

The second reason CRT has sprung to the forefront is that it now involves our children. It’s one thing if something adversely affects us as adults, but it’s entirely different if it affects our kids, particularly when it comes to what they are being taught. My wife refers to this as the “mama bear effect”, although I would maintain that we dads can also turn into bears when appropriate.

That is why you are seeing such pushback. You have educators saying that there is no CRT being taught in their schools, based on the teachers’ definition of CRT. Parents on the other hand are up in arms that the school is blatantly teaching CRT to their children, based on the parents’ definition. Take the following examples.

Sources: The Daily Caller and Washington Examiner

The list of examples is startlingly long, but I’m here to tell you the good news that parents are pushing back and pushing back hard. This past legislative session, five states passed anti-CRT schooling bills and another 17 introduced such bills into their state legislatures.

Parents are ousting school board members who want to embed CRT into curriculum. In liberal Loudoun County, Va., there was strong opposition to the district’s plans to adopt new diversity initiatives. As a result, there was an attempt to recall board members. In a Connecticut school district, three incumbent school board members that supported CRT were voted out and replaced by parents opposed to the curriculum being taught to their children.

In a recent poll, 58 percent of Americans had an “unfavorable view” of critical race theory, compared to only 38 percent of Americans with a “favorable view”. Most telling however was that 71 percent of independents had a “very unfavorable view”. Keep in mind, this issue will very likely have ramifications for the next election cycle too.

What can you do to make sure CRT does not infiltrate our Wyoming Schools?

First, get involved at the school board level. The Wyoming Department of Public Instruction is not going to determine whether CRT is taught in your particular district, but the school board will. Make sure you have the right people on your local school board who will not allow CRT theory or curriculum.

Let me assure you that our organization will continue to fight to keep CRT out of Wyoming schools. We want an accurate portrayal of our county’s history and current situation to be taught to our children, even if we have to go all “mama bear” to make it happen.

For truth,

Nathan Winters
Executive Director

If you lived in the 80’s, you might remember the public service announcement that came on TV each night after watching the safe sitcoms of a distant era of prime-time television. Just as bedtime approached before the nightly news, a short, but repetitive, question was asked to parents every night, “It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?”

Nearly forty years later, the world is not same. Those who were kids are now the adults, major networks offer few family-friendly programs, and the question parents have to answer has dramatically changed. Sadly, we must now ask: “It’s 8 AM. Do you know what gender your children are?”

Today’s school is not like the school where you grew up. In many places, children are taught radical ideas about sex, families, and even our own history. They are pressured to adopt these viewpoints for themselves, even – in some cases – without their parents’ knowledge.

Take New Jersey, for example. There, school districts throughout New Jersey have adopted policies that prohibit teachers from telling parents the gender identity of their own children.

This means that in New Jersey, your child can leave your house identifying as the gender that matches their biological sex, but then change their name, pronoun, clothes, and self-proclaimed gender identity at school, and you would never know.

And that’s just in one state! Stories like this are why we’re here to help.  It’s back-to-school season, and now is the perfect time to download your FREE copy of our e-book Back to School – for Parents!

It’s your must-have guide to protecting your children in the classroom and beyond. Designed with you in mind, our guide is organized by area of the school. Have concerns about your child’s school-issued devices? We have answers! Want to know about protecting your child’s safety in school locker rooms and bathrooms? We have you covered!

We provide you with curriculum examples, what to watch for in homework, how to ask questions at your school, and how to take action when something is wrong. Plus, the guide – which is coauthored by Focus on the Family – provides tips on how to talk with your child about critical issues they may encounter at school and elsewhere.

Download your FREE copy today!

It’s back to school season. Parents will need to answer this question as their children walk on the school bus this coming school year: “It’s 8 AM. Do I know what gender my children are?”

With our guide, we’ll help you answer that question – and protect your child in many other ways, too. Get your copy today!

Sincerely,

Meridian Baldacci
Policy and Communications Strategist