In January, a Gallup poll found that Americans’ belief in grade-school teachers’ honesty and ethics had dropped to 64%, an all-time low. Then in July, another Gallup poll showed that just 28 percent of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools – the second-lowest this figure has been since Gallup began asking this question in 1973. At the same time, a just published PDK International survey reveals that only 50% of all adults have confidence that teachers can teach civics, and just 38% believe that they can handle “gender/sexuality issues.”
What could possibly be causing such negativity? For the most part it is due to the “woke” revolution that is impacting the lives of American children.
For example, in a video released by Project Veritas earlier this month, we see Jeremy Boland, an assistant principal at a Greenwich, Connecticut public school, boasting that his school, and presumably his district, is able to instill a progressive culture without anyone noticing. The school’s hiring process, he explains, is geared to accomplish the task. Through a series of questions, he is able to find teachers who will deliver a progressive message to the students.
Prospective teachers who are Catholics or over 30 are disqualified. They’re too set in their ways, he says. Catholics are unlikely “to acknowledge a child’s gender preferences or go against parents,” adding, “You don’t hire them.”
While the assistant principal was quickly put on leave after the video surfaced, a veteran former school board member in Greenwich attests that Boland’s comments are not atypical. “I can say with a high degree of confidence that Mr. Boland is not alone,” he said.
“Not alone” is an understatement. In fact, Mr. Boland has plenty of company. Especially in the area of sex and gender indoctrination, education in America – from hiring practices to teacher training to classroom curricula – has become a woke cesspool. To wit:
- Northwest Teaching for Social Justice hosts an annual conference where hundreds of teachers learn how to “break the gender binary.” One session from the organization’s 2021 conference had participants engage in “gender-based, student-friendly activities, including introducing gender as a socially constructed concept and exploring gender identities worldwide.”
- In Philadelphia, the school district has encouraged teachers to attend a conference on “kink,” “BDSM,” “trans sex,” and “masturbation sleeves.”
- In Illinois, the Evanston–Skokie school district adopts a curriculum that teaches pre-K through third-grade students to “break the binary” of gender.
Ground zero for all around wackiness is California.
- The Golden State recently passed a “Menstrual Equity Act,” which stipulates that at least one boys’ bathroom in every middle and high school have tampon dispensers.
- Also, the state’s education department is recommending books to young students that teach expanded sexualities and gender identities. For example, the state recommends “Julian is a Mermaid” for preschoolers and kindergarteners. The book describes a young boy who wants to be a sea-dwelling creature, after he sees a parade of people dressed up as mermaids while out with his grandmother. The boy puts on lipstick, makes himself a mermaid costume, and his grandmother gives him a beaded necklace to complete his outfit.
- A high school teacher in the Capistrano school district has a “queer library” in her classroom. It is filled with over 100 books – some of which contain sex imagery, information on orgies, sex parties, and BDSM.
- In Los Angeles, the school district proudly hosts a “Rainbow Club,” which is a 10-week district-wide virtual club for “LGBTQ+ elementary school students, their friends and their grown-ups.” The poster specifies that it is for children in TK-5th (“TK” or transitional kindergarten is comprised of 4-year-olds.)
The feds have joined the sex and gender revolution with a possible rewrite of Title IX, which has traditionally prohibited discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. But the new rule, proposed by Biden’s Department of Education, would redefine “sex” to include “sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” What this will do is encourage young children to question their sexual identity, allow men in women’s bathrooms, permit men to compete against women in sports, and pave the way for even more extremist actions.
The question then becomes: What to do about all this?
While fighting the feds will be tough, electing a more sensible administration could lead to a reversal of Biden’s Title IX rewrite. Please keep this mind when 2024 rolls around.
On a local level, parents hold the key. When I speak on these issues publicly, I always stress that parents need to run for school board, or if you can’t and have middling or deep pockets, support a candidate who shares your values. Also, visit your local school frequently and, more importantly, volunteer there. You may be able to help some kid catch up on his or her reading or math skills, and you will also become a watchdog.
There is a burgeoning parent activist movement; please get involved. On a national level Moms for Liberty, Center for Renewing America, No Left Turn in Education, Save Our Schools, and Parents Defending Education are leading the charge. In a recent post on his website, “A Parent’s Guide to Radical Gender Theory,” Christopher Rufo goes into detail, making many solid suggestions on the subject.
One caveat, however – if you do get involved, please be aware that this is a culture war, and as with any war, you will develop enemies.
In September 2021, the National School Boards Association sent a thinly veiled anti-activist parent letter to President Biden, in which the organization contended that there is a serious threat to our “schools and its (sic) education leaders” due to a “growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the country.” The NSBA adds that “these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Then on October 4, five days after the NSBA letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland doubled down by issuing a directive to the FBI, stating, “In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.” As a corrective, Garland directed the FBI to get involved.
The National Education Association issued a “Know Your Rights” back-to-school guide in August, which stresses that the union is undergoing an attack by parents and “certain politicians” who are behind the “wave of book bans, limited discussions about racism and the history of People of Color, and attacks on anti-LGBTQ+ students.” NEA goes on to say, “For information related to legal issues or questions about specific school district policies or an individual’s rights, contact your local or state association and its legal team.”
In New Jersey, the state NEA affiliate has put out a 15-second video ad which blasts activist parents who dare to go against the union’s radical agenda. The ad ends by dismissing parents, asserting, “People who only want to fight to score political points should take that somewhere else.” (It’s not clear where the unhappy parents should go; the union has quashed most forms of school choice in the Garden State.)
And finally, the California Teachers Association engaged in opposition research on parents who fought the union-mandated school shutdowns during the nation’s Covid panic. The teachers union employed a researcher who emailed a parent arm of a CTA local in April 2021, hoping to dig up information on the motives of San Diego County parents who had successfully sued the state to reopen schools a month earlier. According to emails obtained through a public records request, the union was looking to uncover “some of the ideological leaning of groups that are funding the reopen lawsuits.” Reopen California Schools, which shared the emails, explains that the groups in question were simply comprised of parents who wanted their kids back in school.
Back in the 1950s, my parents could send me off to school and assume that I would be taught by people who shared their values. Those days are long gone, however. To be sure, most educators today work hard, and do their best to give kids a balanced education. But there are way too many who don’t, and parents are rightfully concerned, and need to act. Immediately.
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Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.