February 18, 2019
Eighty percent of the Anaheim school district may be Spanish-speaking, but parents know how to say one thing, "Enough!" When classrooms started passing off transgender propaganda as part the "wellness" curriculum, one mom made sure every Latino family knew exactly what the district was up to. Pretty soon, the message from moms and dads needed no translation: drop your campaign -- or spend the next year fighting the community.
It started harmlessly enough. A year and a half ago, district officials sent word home that two elementary students were "transitioning" to another gender. They said they wanted the kids to feel safe. What they didn't say is that they were forking over $12,000 to the LGBT Center of Orange County to start a quiet campaign of transgender "accepting" across Anaheim's elementary schools. Shanda, a local mom and trained social worker, realized the district was trying to take advantage of the situation and slip controversial new programs into classrooms without translating them into Spanish for parents to see.
Well, if Anaheim wouldn't tell moms and dads what was happening, Shanda would. She organized a parents coalition and told them about the schools' "safe zones," required reading like "Jacob's New Dress," and some of the advice from the schools' "LGBT Coordinator." Like, for instance, "If a child is struggling with their gender identity, don't tell the parents." It didn't take long before schools were flooded with complaints. In the end, there was such fierce uproar that the district threw up its hands and relented. Diversity Week was canceled, and other activities would be under review.
For Shanda and moms and dads across the district, it was a huge victory. But for parents across the country, it's another head-shaking reminder of the kinds of outrageous campaigns taking place right under families' noses. Is it any wonder that homeschooling is exploding? According to a new report, the percent of American students learning at home has almost doubled from 1999 -- up to 3.3 percent in 2016 from 1.7. But here's the interesting part. The biggest jump isn't in religious homes -- but secular ones. Today's homeschooling parents, the Pacific Standard points out, "aren't the Christian Right." They're also "parents who don't believe that the current school model is best, or enough, for their children."
In fact, the share of parents who say they're homeschooling for "religious or moral reasons" is half of what it was in 2003. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, "The most important reason for homeschooling in 2016 was 'concern about the school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure,' reported by 34 percent of parents of homeschooled students."
If you want to know how popular homeschooling is, just look at how desperately some liberals are trying to regulate it. Public schools are, after all, the Left's direct pipeline to American kids. It's the one place where they've had almost unlimited access to the next generation for their extreme LGBT, environmental, anti-faith agenda. Now that more moms and dads have caught on, the other side is doing everything it can to keep its tentacles around our young people.
In places like California and Maryland, lawmakers have tried to police homeschooling families out of existence with ridiculous ideas like twice-annual home inspections or "fire" safety checks. Over in Iowa, State Rep. Mary Mascher (D) just introduced House File 272, which would mandate health visits -- another stunt meant to spook parents out of home-educating. "There are constant attempts by school districts all over the country to require things of homeschool students and parents that are not required by law," Steven Craig Policastro told the Christian Post. Our friends at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) keep tabs on a lot of the under-the-radar attacks in states. If you homeschool or have friends and family who do, make sure you check out HSLDA to get plugged in on legislation that affects you. Obviously, parents and community leaders need to be on their toes for Big Government liberals, who are worried they're losing their grip on your children. The more moms and dads who get involved like Shanda, the sooner we can turn around this false notion that government knows better than parents!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.