Episode 3 | Back to School ChecklistJan 18, 2022
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Before you send your children back into the classroom, listen to our Back to School Checklist episode. Karen wants you to be equipped as parents to face current school policies that may be encroaching upon your parental rights.
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Hi, welcome to Kitchen Table Activist. I'm Karen England and I'm your host. We believe that everybody can make a difference at the state, local, and federal government level right from their kitchen table. And so we aim to equip you and empower you to get you to go out and engage. And so weekly, we're doing a podcast so that you can go out and make a difference in your community. Having said that we are starting off with a whole series that are going to be several within a few weeks. And that is so that you can be armed with a toolkit with the basics of being involved, whether it's how a bill becomes a law or what's a school board meeting or the 10 commandments of effective advocacy. So, we're going to have a toolbox and then we will be going to once a week in order to kind of walk you through the progress.
So by the end of the year, you will be a Kitchen Table Activist. Today, we're going to talk about back to school. You know, we just finished a three day weekend, Martin Luther King day. We all just celebrated and it's time to kind of refocus and see what's going on with education and what's going on with our kids in school. And so our organization, Capital Resource Institute, has put together a back to school checklist, which we do every year. And this back to school checklist is actually one that we send out in the fall. And then we do it again in January. And so this is the time to go back and look at those things that you've signed and the flurry of papers that come home. Then you might get something home midweek and say, you've got to do it by tomorrow.
You know, it's okay to take your time and not sign it by tomorrow. So originally, or initially I would say, read everything, sign nothing. And that's how you should start. And I recommend reading it, sleeping on it and going back to it to find out if there's anything that just isn't sitting right with you. You are the parent, trust your gut on these things.
Let me start with this back to school checklist. Find out what they're teaching about sexual education, many states this past year, mandated sex education in schools. I know in Tennessee, a lot of red states, and if they haven't done it yet, the progressives are trying really, really hard to get it in every school. And they're going to be trying even harder because of the Hobbs case. They're really panicked at the life issue. And so, they want to indoctrinate our kids as early as they can. Find out if the school district requires teachers to attend equity or diversity training. You can go on their website, read through the website and find out what's going on at the school district. Go through old board meetings.
You need to find out what your rights are regarding opting students out of controversial subjects including: social, emotional learning, sex ed, gender identity and fluidity, critical race theory, or the concepts because critical race theory is just teaching through the lens of critical race theory. And so, it's not like you're going to have a book that says we're teaching critical race theory. There are words and different things you're going to need to look for, which I will cover in a later podcast.
This is important and, in the news just the last two weeks; learn what clubs are active on your child's school campus. I don't know if you've seen, but it was either Illinois, Michigan, or Minnesota that has a Satanist Club for elementary school. And then down in LA we’ve got a rainbow club, which is a gay-pride club, for elementary schools and most school districts do not notify parents before the kids join the club.
Now, the Satanist Club is interesting because they wanted notices sent home because they wanted the school and the parents in the community to know they were there and that they were having a Satanist Club. And I know what you're thinking about, “well, how can we do this? Let's outlaw.”
I'm not an attorney, just play one at work, but if your school district allows clubs, they cannot discriminate on religion and that would go for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And it would go for a Satanist Club. So it is legal, sadly that's what our country’s come to. So find out, and this is something where you can go in and change the policy at the local school district level. You can say, “Hey, we want a policy that says before our kids can join a club, we want parental notification and consent.”. There's nothing wrong with that. If a parent doesn't want their child to be in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, then that is the parent's choice. You know, this works both ways. That way our kids don't end up like many kids in the rainbow club being indoctrinated in elementary school. Both of these were in elementary schools mind you.
Oh! This is a good one, especially for middle school and high school. Find out if your school has a student newspaper; you need to subscribe to it. You need to get your hands on it. There are often announcements, op-eds, and advertisements in the student newspaper on controversial subjects. So a big thing is to have students lead and they're forming progressive clubs. They're writing in the newspaper; they're doing commentaries. You know, I have seen everything from advertisements for Planned Parenthood in the student-led newspaper. The school will get away with it by saying, “Hey, that's journalism; That's student led. It's not the school doing it.”. But that's a great way to find out what's going on. You find out there was an op-ed that has some really graphic hypothetical stories, about sex and about rape. So, it's really, really important that you get your hands on that newspaper. So subscribe to that.
That goes hand in hand with, find out if the school has a student club for progressive activism and you need to get on their email list. Increasingly in red states and blue, but red states, they are coming in at the local level and getting our junior high and high schoolers to join the Students for Change or Students for Black Lives or The Rainbow Club, whatever they call it. They're getting our kids involved in this. And these kids are being indoctrinated. They're joining and are becoming a little mini-soldier, activists often advocating for things that we don't believe.
Find out what the school's policy is on restrooms, locker rooms, and overnight trips, especially when it comes to gender identity. Do they allow a biological male who believes he's a female to use the female's restroom? You need to be very specific when you find out about that policy, you know, in Tennessee, first day of school there was a boy in the girls' bathroom in the middle school. That's actually, I guess the law. They have to provide them a private accommodation in California. The law is that you need to let them go in and if the student that is not transgender wants privacy, they have to assert and go get a private accommodation. So it's a little bit backwards, but it doesn't matter if you're in a red or a blue state, you need to find out. Nevada's another state that's allowing it. And so you need to find out. Find out if your child can be released for confidential medical services.
And this is our last one. So if you live in a state like California or Nevada, where minors through case law or something else, have the right--and this is a right that's been given, like I said, through case law to have confidential medical services without the parents knowing, I.E. abortion, birth control. Now it’s moving into gender transformation, gender affirming drugs, that kind of thing. You need to make sure that they are not releasing them during the school day to access those confidential medical services. The progressives have convinced school districts that it means they have this right and they get to exercise the right anytime they want. That just isn't the case. Even in California, where they say, it's the case, it is not. A school district may allow them to leave, and they also may not. So even though you're a “closed-campus” in California, they're probably letting you leave for confidential medical services.
So this is our back to school checklist. Hopefully it was helpful for parents and grandparents and I just want to encourage you to get engaged.
I hope this podcast educated you; I hope you're a bit more empowered and I just want to encourage you to be BOLD. Who knows? Maybe you've been called for such a time as this.
Just in time to keep you fresh through summer, you have plenty of homework to take care of now that school is over. After a little bit of digging, make sure you come back to tell us something shocking that you uncovered within your own school district!