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.
- A school in Minnesota required a fourth-grade class to take an ‘equity survey’, were told not to tell their parents, and were told by the teacher they couldn’t skip any questions, even if they didn’t understand them.
- A fifth-grade social studies lesson in Philadelphia asked students to celebrate the ‘black communist’ Angela Davis and act out ‘free Angela Davis’ rallies, demanding that the government release the Black Panther imprisoned on charges of murder, conspiracy, and kidnapping.
- Fifth-grade students in Buffalo, NY were required to use curriculum focused on Black Lives Matter principles, including the ‘declaration on Black Villages’ which begins with ‘We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by…’
- Students attending Grace Church High School in New York City were asked to stop referring to their parents as ‘mom and dad’, since their school handbooks addressed hateful language that promotes racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination…”
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.
Garden State Equality (GSE) is the statewide advocacy organization that developed a pilot program schools can use to fulfill the LGBT curriculum law. This specific “contribution” law is separate from the new sex ed learning standards, and the recently approved sexual orientation and transgender diversity lessons in kindergarten. This was a requirement for middle and high school classes to share about the “contributions” of those who identify as LGBT. We repeatedly warned parents that the pilot program material far exceeded fact-based historical contributions. However, all of GSE’s downloadable lessons were limited to 6-12th grade.
GSE has developed same-sex diversity lessons for 2nd grade. Click here to view their lesson that teaches 7-year-old children that there are no fixed gender characteristics, nothing is morally wrong with same sex relationships, and that they need to reflect on their new thinking regarding family structures. 7-Year-Olds…?
This is completely unconstitutional. Parents have the right to teach their own moral framework to their children. When the state government imposes a morality that contradicts the values that are taught in the home, it violates the long-established constitutional rights of parents. Please understand, if your ethnic culture or world religion teaches the importance of fathers and mothers, the government schools will tell your young children your family is morally wrong for holding such a view.
It would be a different case if schools taught older students that same sex relationships and marriages exist – but that is not what is happening in our schools. Instead, they impose an ideology with the written intended goal for students to revise and rethink their moral and religious beliefs regarding sex and gender.
For a practical example, it would be allowable to teach Jewish students that pork roll and cheese sandwiches exist. It is unavoidable to see the many roadside signs across our state that promotes them. However, schools cannot teach Jewish students that it is morally good that people eat pork combined with cheese. That is a total violation of their deeply held beliefs about kosher meal requirements.
In the end, diversity and inclusion are banal words repeatedly used with no true meaning or purpose. If students remain faithful to adhere to the practices and teachings of their religion, they will be stigmatized and unaccepted by their peers.
We should teach students to be tolerant of other beliefs, respectful of our differences, and to be kind to their classmates. You must not compel them to adopt new sexual beliefs in contradiction to the deeply held religious beliefs of their families. New Jersey schools must do better.
Protecting your family,
This past Monday, May 17, the Assembly Health Committee met through Zoom as the statehouse continues to operate under draconian emergency shutdown orders. One particular bill that was discussed in the public hearing that should be of concern to parents across the state is A5597. This would amend the current law that gives schools the ability to administrate student surveys on sensitive issues including sexual behaviors and attitudes, drug use, physical activity and eating habits.
Presently, schools in New Jersey must send home forms for parents to grant permission for their student to participate in these personal and probing sexual health surveys. According to the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, schools must allow parents to opt in or opt out, but no student is required to take part in these surveys.
The proposed change in New Jersey law would remove the requirement for parents to actively opt their student into the health surveys. Instead, every student would be passively opted into the survey unless their parent in writing requested for them to be excused from the survey. If a parent overlooks an email, misplaces an unopened letter, or the child forgets or even intentionally does not give their mom the opt out form – then the student will be surveyed about their sexual beliefs and activity.
What is the reason for this change? According to the language of the bill, not enough parents are giving schools the permission to ask their children these sex-based health questions. What do the bill sponsors recommend as the solution? Simple: stop asking the parents for their permission!
Jennie Lamon, of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, testified that this type of major change would further damage relationships the public schools have with parents. She expressed the level of mistrust and deception parents already feel will only be exacerbated by this overreach of state government to remove the parent once again from the equation!
I could not agree more.
I spoke to the policy director of the primary sponsor Assemblyman Herb Conaway last Friday about our concerns. Unfortunately, those concerns went unaddressed. Look for a future call to action if the bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health Committee.
Here are the votes of the Assembly Health Committee from this past Monday:
YES vote = I do not believe schools should ask parents for their permission
NO vote = I do believe schools should ask parents to actively grant permission
|Herb Conaway, Delran (D) – Chair||DeAnne DeFuccio, Cresskill (R)|
|Angelica Jimenez, West New York, (D) – Vice-Chair||Nancy Munoz, Summit (R)|
|John Armato, Northfield (D)||Erik Peterson, Clinton (R)|
|Daniel Benson, Hamilton Square (D)||Brian Rumpf, Forked River (R)|
|Jamel Holley, Union (D)|
|Shanique Speight, Newark (D)|
|Sterley Stanley, East Brunswick (D)|
|Christopher Tully, Paramus (D)|
|Anthony Verrelli, Trenton (D)|
Protecting your family,
Every Wyoming parent and citizen concerned about children’s education should read this.
On Monday, the 10th of May, Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming entered our first legal action on behalf of families in Wyoming. Laramie County School District #1 (LCSD1) was set to administer a “Student Climate Survey” designed by the Metropolitan State University-Denver’s Western Educational Equity Assistance Center (WEEAC).
Thankfully, the same day the lawsuit was filed, the survey was postponed. An extraordinary number of you emailed school board members to thoughtfully express your concerns and ask them to not administer the survey. They listened to you; you have been heard. We want to thank the Board of Trustees for any influence they had over the postponement.
Let’s look into the events that led to this last-minute action.
Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming had been engaged with the issue from the very beginning. In late 2019, at a community meeting with LCSD1 staff about how to address issue of bullying and harassment in school, we objected to the district’s adoption of WEEAC’s programs that promote extreme ideology far beyond what was appropriate to address one incident by one student at McCormick Junior High.
As we mentioned last week, WEEAC provides teaching resources from:
- The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that has placed two highly respected organizations on its “hate list” and places them in the same category as Nazi skinheads and extremist groups.
- The Anti-Defamation League which has, over the last several years, promoted legislation that would target people of faith who hold to a scientific and biblical understanding of human sexuality.
- A list of 24 “anti-racist” books, including authors Ibrim X. Kendi and Robin Diangelo, which promote Critical Race Theory, a theory derived from Marxism. Kendi calls Capitalism and racism “cojoined twins” and attacks capitalism as racist. Diangelo asserts “only whites can be racist,” and “white identity depends on the oppression of blacks.”
- A resource list (under the heading of “LGBTQ+”) that recommends controversial gender ideology concepts like “intersectionality” and promotes LGBTQ+ activist groups.
Missing from the WEEAC resource list is any group that would provide a balanced worldview. For a number of years, LCSD#1 has used a peer-reviewed program from the Olweus Institute that has shown a steady and dramatic drop in bullying incidents over the past decade. Ignoring the Olweus program and survey, and touting the WEEAC survey, is more about promoting a political agenda than addressing the issue at hand.
Over the past year and a half, the district hired a “Diversity Coordinator” and advanced radically divisive ideas that would flabbergast the majority of residents in Cheyenne.
As parents saw the direction the new “equity and diversity” conversation was going, many turned to Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming to ask what could be done.
We submitted a Wyoming Public Records Act request asking to:
- See the Survey
- Look at correspondence leading to the selection of the WEEAC survey
- View the success of the Olweus anti-bullying survey already in use
- See the cost of the new diversity efforts
- View diversity training materials already given to teachers
In response to the first part of the request, LCSD1 told Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming that the “student climate survey” from WEEAC was proprietary and parents wouldn’t be able to see the questions before it would be administered. LCSD1 was largely unresponsive to the other four parts of our Public Records request, too.
The School Board had been assured that the parents would receive correspondence that would describe the survey and then they would have a chance to opt-out if they were concerned with the nature of the questions.
However, parental notification was a text message that said little and provided a link that would take a parent through a convoluted process to finally opt-out of the survey. The link was only available briefly, and the chance to opt-out ended a couple of weeks before the survey was to be administered. This process was not adequate for hard-working parents to make informed decisions about what their children are taught.
Late Thursday evening, we learned that when the survey was administered in Albany County, that school district provided an opportunity for parents to view the survey beforehand. So why couldn’t they provide it to Laramie County parents? Furthermore, it’s simply implausible to claim that a proprietary survey must be kept from the parents when the questions will be given to every student from 5th grade and up! At Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming, we believe that nothing taught to students should be withheld from parents.
After learning this, we engaged a lawyer to stop the survey at least until parents could look at the questions. This was a last resort after LCSD1 ignored months of polite requests, and our official and mandatory request for public records was treated capriciously. While the survey has been postponed for the moment, we believe it is largely because of the pressure of many concerned citizens and the intervention of certain conscientious members of the school board. We recognize that the underlying concern with LCSD1’s lack of transparency will remain as we seek to learn where and how deeply radical ideology has moved into Cheyenne Schools.
Please share information you may have related to these concerns with us when you have it. Know that Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming will be standing with you. Most importantly, continue to pray and stand for truth.
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