The Coeur d’Alene Press is reporting that an elementary school counselor gave “guidance” on gender transition to a ten-year-old female student, encouraging her decision to live as a ‘boy’ without even notifying the girl’s family.
The counselor works for Northwest Expedition Academy, a public elementary school in the Coeur d’Alene School District. A phone recording released by the family reveals that the counselor told the student she supported her decision to identify as the other sex. The counselor even gave the student tips on how to come out as a boy to her family.
The young girl tragically lost her father three years ago in Afghanistan while he was serving in the Army. She currently lives with her mother and grandmother, who argue that the trauma and emotional pain this young girl feels will not be solved by “transitioning.”
We’re speaking out to the school district where this happened – and we invite you to do the same.
Providing so-called “gender affirming treatment” for children who struggle with gender dysphoria is not only psychologically harmful but also often puts confused children on the road to dangerous hormonal therapies and sex reassignment surgeries. Many young girls have suffered irreversible harm – including permanent , as well as the maiming of healthy body parts through mastectomies and other surgeries – while receiving “gender affirming treatment.”
Parents have an inalienable right to direct the upbringing of their children. School officials should never circumvent parents when it comes to intensely personal and very controversial topics like gender identity.
The Coeur d’Alene School District plans to review their policies for school counselors at an upcoming board meeting. Send a message now asking the school district to protect parental rights. It only takes a minute of your time—and it could make the difference for a vulnerable child and their family.
Standing for your right to raise your children,
Director of Advocacy
I am thrilled to see the robust activism throughout our state, as parents and clergy express their disapproval of the mandated, radical LGBTQ curriculum. This curriculum is an attempt to “reeducate” our children to believe controversial, radical ideology about human sexuality that is probably very different than the teachings of their faith and family morals and values.
The routine baseless charges of hate directed towards parents of religious faith who are seeking to protect their children has been disappointing but expected.
Regardless of the hostile reaction by those who seek to impose their sexual beliefs on our children, parents continue to push back and Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey® wants to add awareness to the reasons why we are partnering with parents and diligently advocating for the “Protecting Parental Involvement in Curriculum Act.”
First, I use the term ‘radical’ to describe the curriculum. Why? This LGBT curriculum is intended to alter the world view of our children in support of a political movement based upon the post-modern view of human sexuality. Some of those controversial views promote sex with anyone and everyone as acceptable activity that shouldn’t have consequences and that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is the highest goal of men and women, now apparently boys and girls too. This curriculum, forced into our schools by Garden State Equality, encourages our impressionable students to embrace the sexual revolution while disregarding science, biology, and their family values.
Second, the Scriptures do not define our sexual desires, attractions or temptations, as an identity or category of human diversity – such as male and female or Jew and Gentile. Our desires are something we want, but they do not define us.
People will paraphrase Gen 1:27 “we are all made in the image of God,” to support the LGBTQ political agenda. But they fail to read further where the Bible declares, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The sexual desires of people, though God-given at creation but corrupted by the fall, have led to rampant pornography, sex trafficking, and the MeToo movement.
The good news of the gospel is not that God loves us just the way we are, but that God loves us despite the way we are. This is liberating and reassuring to those who acknowledge their sins and trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ. This is a message of hope, not of hate.
Admittedly, our Christ centered beliefs can be rejected by those who maintain a different view of sexuality and humanity. We humbly respect their views to mutually build a peaceful and civil union. However, those who hold a contradictory position of the nature of mankind should also recognize they have no right to impose their post-modern sexual beliefs upon our children.
Therefore, we call on the NJ Legislature to pass the “Protecting Parental Involvement in Curriculum Act.”
Director of Advocacy
Director of Alliances, Family Policy Alliance
Founder & Past President, New Jersey Family Policy Council
A school district in New Jersey should serve as a warning to other districts and parents across the country.
The district has been under fire from alarmed parents over teaching an obscene and pornographic illustrated book. The autobiographical comic book, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, includes multiple illustrations of gay sex and full male and female nudity.
Worse yet, now this same district finds itself at the center of a criminal pedophile investigation.
On June 5, 2018, Sean DiGiovanna, a social studies teacher and faculty adviser for Watchung Hills Regional High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance, testified before the local board of education stating: “I have talked to LGBT students about Fun Home . . . It was very positive for them. In saying that it would be harmful for LGBT students, in my experience, talking to them, that is absolutely not the case.”
DiGiovanna’s efforts to distribute pornography were not limited to school-approved textbooks and classroom hours. Sadly, earlier this month, he was arrested and charged after a thorough police investigation found him sending nude photos of himself and solicitations for sex to at least one vulnerable student.
Before physically assaulting children, pedophiles engage in a process called grooming. They gain the child’s trust, exploit their natural curiosity about sex by eliciting sexually explicit conversations, and generally wear down the child’s natural resistance to sexual contact often by sharing obscene sexual images.
While Sean DiGiovanna may have found numerous ways to groom students, we must ask ourselves the difficult question: Was Sean DiGiovanna promoting Fun Home, a school-approved sexually explicit book, with repeated detailed images of sex and nudity, as a part of his agenda to groom students?
The fact that we have to ask ourselves this question is a powerful indicator this content has no place in our classrooms on the desks of our children.
Not only this, DiGiovanna’s words that pornography is not harmful to LGBT students have been disproven again and again. Pornography is harmful to the brains of all minors who view it often. Pornography use has the potential to negatively impact adolescents’ “sexual risk taking, sexual functioning, body image, sexual objectification and sexual aggression,” and can be just as addictive and harmful as drugs.
In a 2007 interview, the author of Fun Home even admitted the sexual impact her drawings might have on viewers stating, “[I]t’s all about the power of images . . . I can understand why people wouldn’t want their children to accidentally think this was a funny comic book and pick it up and see pictures of people having sex . . . drawings are very seductive and attention catching.”
Despite all the red flags, the Watchung Hills Board of Education continues to allow this content to remain on the reading lists of students, completely ignoring parental outcry and carelessly dismissing extensive evidence of the harmful impact pornographic images have on young minds.
We must continue to stand guard over our children’s moral character and their sexual identities. We will not stand by and allow the increasingly sexualized agenda of state curriculum to harm our children!
Over the past couple of years, Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey,® the state ally of Family Policy Alliance, has been working alongside parents and community members to get Fun Home out of schools, including filing a lawsuit and pursuing a case before the New Jersey Commissioner of Education.
It is an essential and necessary part of our mission to promote and advance policy that will serve families by protecting the rights of parents in education, so that parents can step in and say when enough is enough!
For families in New Jersey and nationwide,
Shawn Hyland, Director of Advocacy
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey
We want to let you know about an upcoming opportunity for you to become involved in the process of determining what children are taught in public schools.
In 2011, Idaho adopted the Idaho Core Standards. These standards are tied to the controversial Common Core Standards.
Many parents have contacted us, asking what they can do to make their voices heard.
They’re concerned the Common Core Standards reduce local and state control over curriculum choices, making it harder for parents, teachers, administrators, and school boards to choose the best curricula for their local communities.
When the national Common Core Standards were implemented here in Idaho, the power to craft education standards was taken out of the hands of the state legislature and local school boards. These standards were developed by national organizations and educational companies unaccountable to parents and school boards and unresponsive to their concerns.
Over the past few months, hundreds of people have signed petitions and sent emails requesting public hearings on Idaho Common Core Standards.
In response, the Idaho State Board of Education scheduled four public hearings. These hearings offer parents and community members with a forum to share their perspective on this important topic and potentially influence education policy.
Public hearings will be held at:
- Nampa (August 19): The College of Western Idaho, Academic Building, Room 102 E
- Twin Falls (August 21): The College of Southern Idaho, Hepworth Building, Room 108
- Coeur d’Alene (August 22): North Idaho College’s Student Union Building, Lake Coeur d’Alene Conference Room
- Idaho Falls (August 27): The College of Eastern Idaho Building 6 (Health Education Building), Room 150/152
Standing with you,
Director of Advocacy
We have learned that tomorrow’s hearing on CA AB 624 (about which we alerted you just a few hours ago) has been canceled.
CA AB 624 is legislation that could turn your child and your child’s school into advocates for the leading abortion provider in the country. This bill would require junior high schools, high schools, and colleges to place the phone number of a sexual health hotline like Planned Parenthood’s on student ID cards. This will even be a mandate for some private institutions.
While tomorrow’s Senate Education Committee hearing on CA AB 624 has been canceled, you can still send a message opposing this bill to the Senate Education Committee.
Instead of encouraging students to talk to their parents or even a trusted adult, the California legislature believes it would be better to funnel your children towards having these difficult discussions with organizations that want to co-opt their sexuality.
The government is incredibly concerned about ensuring that students are not coerced by religion in school, but instead seems fine coercing children and schools (supported with your tax dollars) to be advocates for Planned Parenthood’s sexual health agenda.
This bill has already been passed by the Assembly.
Please send a quick email message to members of the Senate Education Committee letting them know that you do not want your student or their school to be co-opted to spread Planned Parenthood’s message – it only takes a few seconds in our Action Center.
Thanks for making your voice heard!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
We need your help! The Oregon legislature has sent to Governor Brown a bill that would shoe-horn controversial content on sexuality into all school history and government textbooks and all history, geography, economics, and civics classes!
Oregon House Bill 2023 would require all history and government textbooks to include the “roles and contributions” of historical figures based not on their actual accomplishments but instead on their sexual preferences and perceived gender identity.
If enacted, this bill would require history textbooks to include people based on their sexuality or internal feelings about gender. This means teachers will be forced to teach radical identity politics in the classroom, whether or not it has anything to do with the subject being taught.
In addition, history textbooks that do not include mention of sexual identity will be censored from the classroom!
Take a moment to urge Governor Brown to veto radical identity politics in the classroom! Parents alone have the ultimate right to direct the moral upbringing of our children. This bill neither allows parents to opt their children out of controversial content nor does it require schools to notify parents of when it will be presented.
This is not education, this is indoctrination! House Bill 2023 fails students and their families!
Thank you for making your voice heard!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
We need your help! The Illinois legislature has sent to Governor J.B. Pritzker a bill that would shoe-horn controversial content on sexuality into all textbooks and all history classes!
Illinois House Bill 246 would require all textbooks to include the “roles and contributions” of people based on their sexual preferences. House Bill 246 would also require every history class in every public school to teach of the “roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”
If enacted, this bill would require all textbooks and all materials “necessary” to teach a course, to include people based on their sexual preference–even if that person’s sexuality has nothing to do with the material!
This is not education, this is indoctrination.
Teaching children a historical figure “was a woman born in a man’s body” is confusing, harmful to our children, and irrelevant to an individual’s historical contributions to our state and nation.
In addition, House Bill 246 does not allow parents to opt-out nor require that parents are notified of controversial lessons and forced representations of sexuality.
We cannot allow this bill to be enacted and force-feed sexuality and gender down our children’s throats!
House Bill 246 fails students and their families!
Thank you for making your voice heard!
The Family Policy Alliance Team
As we told you last week, Planned Parenthood is working to kill a good bill that would make a much-needed reform on sex education in Idaho schools. You helped overcome them in the Idaho House, but your voice is even more critical now in the Senate!
House Bill 120 gives parents the right to review sex-education materials and choose whether to opt their child in to the program.
Planned Parenthood thinks that’s a bad idea. Despite their name, they don’t trust parents. They would rather parents be in the dark about the sex education that is being pushed on Idaho kids, some of which has recently been shown to be pornographic. Now, they and their allies are pressuring senators to not even hold a hearing on the bill.
Please take a moment to send a message to key members of the Senate Education Committee, urging them to hear the bill and to support it. We’ve made it easy on our Action Center — you can reach all of them with a click.
Thank you! And please spread the word to others who share your values. Let’s not let Planned Parenthood dictate sex education in Idaho!
Director of Advovacy
Two Competing Visions for American Education
It’s no secret that America is in the midst of cultural warfare—both sides with competing worldviews and visions for our country. But what you may not realize (or perhaps you do if you’re one of the many parents whose child recently came home from school asking whether it’s true that a boy can turn into a girl), is that our elementary school children are on the front lines.
The battle lines have been drawn between agenda-driven education vs. family-centered education.
There’s no way to sugar-coat it—the agenda-driven side is winning when it comes to public school education. But bear with me. As any soldier will tell you, situational awareness is critical—so is understanding what makes your opposition tick. So, please allow me to explain what agenda-driven education is and how it’s taking over our schools. Then I will share with you Family Policy Alliance’s vision for restoring family-centered education and ask you to join us.
WHAT DEFINES AGENDA-DRIVEN VS. FAMILY-CENTERED EDUCATION?
We’ve identified 4 key aspects that differentiate agenda-driven vs. family-centered education.
1. Children are tools to be used OR treasures to be cherished.
Those with an agenda-driven education policy are blinded to everything except their big cause—making it impossible for them to see and feel the impact on children.
The new “comprehensive sexual education” bill that just cleared the Colorado House is a perfect example of this. The bill requires that children as young as nine-years-old learn about explicit LGBT “sexual experiences.”
Our California ally warns about sexual education guidelines that require teaching children about having multiple sexual partners, allowing abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to be instructors, and warning children about “religion abuse” that would include “forcing others to adhere to rigid gender roles… . Not allowing a partner to do things they enjoy.”
It’s hard to imagine it could get worse, but it can. We’ve seen sexual education or “LGBT curriculum” legislation that specifically includes instruction about how “gender norms” are shameful and bigoted. They teach children that they may choose to “be a boy or a girl” and can access hormones and even permanent sex-change surgery that will allow them to be whatever gender they choose!
These curriculums fail to explain that hormones used in this way are experimental and can lead to problems with bone development and sterilization, that cross-sex surgeries have not proven to relieve mental struggles with gender dysphoria, or that 80% of children who struggle with gender identity but whose bodies are not altered by hormones or surgery go on to abandon confusion and grow naturally into adult life.
Curriculum that advances a cause, regardless of whether children may be harmed, is agenda-driven. Children become tools instead of treasures to guide and nurture.
We envision a future where the impact on children is central to education policy and where families have access to school choice. When a school succumbs to a liberal agenda that harms children and disregards the values families are instilling in their children, families should have the freedom and financial means to select a better school. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of economic incentivization when it comes to influencing schools to do the right thing.
2. Families are excluded OR included.
Once again, Colorado’s new sexual education bill is a perfect example of agenda-driven education. The bill not only discourages parents from being involved—it’s a hostile takeover of parental rights. It provides no clear way for parents to opt their children out of the state’s agenda-driven sexuality curriculum.
Take another example. Late last year, New Jersey proposed a new Department of Education regulation that would require schools to keep vital information about a child’s gender identity secret from parents. If a parent has a disagreement with their child’s gender identity, school staff are urged to review information on reporting child abuse.
When an agenda drives education policy, parents are simply in the way.
We envision a future where parents’ constitutional right to direct the care, upbringing, and education of their children is restored—because parents are best situated to protect and instill values in their children. We are working with state allies in multiple states to advance legislation that restores parental rights in schools, children’s healthcare, and more.
3. Faith, and even other viewpoints, are censored OR welcomed.
The sponsor of Colorado’s sex education bill admitted publicly that the legislation is specifically intended to exclude faith-based views on sexuality from the classroom. The bill is worded so that it is outright censorship of families’ religious or traditional views on sexuality—making it clear that only the State’s preferred views on sex and sexuality will be tolerated.
Children as young as kindergarteners are targeted for “a re-indoctrination of values” in agenda-driven education. For example, California’s proposed curriculum states that “Dispelling myths about gender expectations in kindergarten can lay the groundwork for acceptance, inclusiveness, and an anti-bullying environment in school…” This means that families’ faith-based or even science-based views on biological sex are “myths” in need of dispelling and have no place in public schools.
We envision a future where both students and teachers can freely live out their faith in school—not forcing anyone to believe as they do, but praying together and for their school, and sharing their faith openly with others. We’re advancing legislation right now that makes clear that students and teachers have religious freedom rights in school. Isn’t it time for more of God in our schools—not less?
4. Curriculum is rewritten to fit a narrative OR teaches historical and scientific fact.
Take New Jersey’s new “LGBT curriculum” policy, signed into law by Governor Murphy, for example. Imagine a literature or history class where students are not just taught the historic contributions of literary giants like Emily Dickinson or former U.S. Presidents—but the curriculum also questions the sexual preferences of our national historic figures.
One textbook example ponders the fact that President James Buchanan “never married [and] had a very good friend who was living with him. He may have been gay.” Because of agenda-driven education policy, a former American president is reduced to the sort of suspect commentary we find in newspaper tabloids and gossip magazines.
We envision a future where parents can trust that their children’s schools will stick to instruction and not indoctrination. We asvance legislation that creates school choice opportunities for families, allows parents to review all curriculum, and ensures parents can opt children into curriculum that may be concerning—without worrying about having to opt out.
FAMILY-CENTERED EDUCATION: HOW DO WE GET THERE?
- Christ-followers must take action.
Our theme verse at Family Policy Alliance is Daniel 11:32, “The people who know their God will stand firm and take action.” We must be salt and light in our community’s schools (whether private or public), and we must advocate for policies that put family-centered education first.
- The Church must be united.
When it comes to advancing agenda-driven education, extreme Left groups have been unified. Teachers unions, Planned Parenthood, LGBT activist groups, the ACLU, and others work as a team to advance their agenda sharing the same talking points, goals, and strategy. Jesus completely altered the course of history with 12 ordinary men—imagine what His Church could do if we all stood boldly together for Truth and for the sake of those around us, especially children.
- We must elect leaders with godly values.
We are so blessed to live in a country where we, as believers, have both the opportunity and the calling to speak into the direction our government takes. We can petition lawmakers, vote for the ones who most closely align with our values, hold them accountable with our votes, seek out new representation when we need to—and even run for office ourselves. May we never take this for granted as a way to actively love our neighbors.
We are committed to advancing family-centered education. If you agree, will you take action with us today?
Here are 3 ways:
- Consider giving a gift to support our policy work advancing the freedom for students and teachers to pray and share their faith in schools.
- Do you know a current lawmaker or candidate for local schoolboard, state office, or even Congress who should attend our Christ-centered Statesmen Academy? Contact us to nominate someone at StatesmenAcademy@familypolicyfoundation.com.
- There are many bills—both good and bad—pending in states across the country, including bills that may impact state schools for better or worse. Check out our action center to see if there are any bills that need your voice in your state—and take action!
VISIT THE ACTION CENTER NOW
May God give us the courage to boldly stand firm and take action,
Vice President of Strategy
 Dr. Paul McHugh, Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution, The Wall Street Journal (June 12, 2014).
Ruth and I watched our fair share of “kid videos” with our children when they were younger. I’m sure many of you can relate and are still plagued by occasional visions of Barney, Spot the Dog, or Teletubbies. However, I still remember one particular video. It was about different types of transportation and near the end of the video one of the Muppets said in an excited voice, “Oh, the choices, sir. The choices!”
For some odd reason, that phrase has stuck with me for all these years. The character was clearly awestruck that he was allowed to choose from among many different options. It would not have been exciting if he was allowed to choose, but only from one or two options. Similarly, if there had been many options but no freedom of choice, it would have been pointless. Thankfully for our little Muppet friend, he was allowed to choose from among many options and went away enthusiastically to build his own vehicle.
Unlike the video character, we North Dakotans have areas of our lives where choices are limited or simply not available. This is no more obvious than in the case of education. Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® believes that parents have a God-given responsibility and right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, and school choice is at the heart of this issue. School choice in its simplest form is about allowing public education funds to follow students to the schools or services that best fit their needs. This could be to a public school, private school, charter school, home school or other learning environment. This can be done in a number of ways: tax credits, education savings accounts, vouchers, charter schools, and so on. Whether it is done is a matter of policy priority.
While North Dakota law certainly supports many aspects of parents’ rights to educate their child as they deem best, there are still issues that remain with school choice in North Dakota. For example, the law requires testing to state requirements for any learning environment that is not a public school. Sadly, these are often based on Common Core requirements that have been proven to be inconsistent and poor indicators of a child’s academic abilities.
Then there is the reason many Christian parents choose alternatives to public education: values. The inherent value system the public school system promotes can often be at odds with our values and religious freedoms as Christians. For example, a video called the Laramie Project, a film affirming LGBT normality, was shown to high school freshmen in our state as part of their required sex education course. Similarly, Planned Parenthood’s Safe Spaces courses were held in our state, over the objections of parents, lawmakers, and many other leading community voices. The curriculum taught K-12 teachers “the importance of creating a supportive environment in schools to approach topics such as teenage pregnancy, bullying, and inclusivity” and covered things such as “consent, healthy relationships, sexual orientation & gender identity, the effects of social media on adolescents, body image and violence.”
So, can North Dakota parents say, “Oh, the Choices, Sir. The Choices!” when it comes to school choice? Not really. While we are allowed to make some choices, there can be significant limitations imposed on them. While there are some options, I doubt any parent is awestruck by the number of educational choices and associated financial support. Despite both limitations on school choice, we are duty-bound to always work to improve matters.
As we move into the legislative session in January, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota will keep school choice as an issue at the forefront of our policy efforts, and we know we can count on your help to change things for the better. Educational choice for your children and grandchildren comes down to two things: your values and your God-given rights. Let’s not waiver on either one.
President and Executive Director