An assistant principal at a Hilliard, Ohio high school sent an email to faculty telling teachers to endorse a controversial piece of legislation and encouraged students to do the same. The Hilliard City Council is currently considering legislation that would include sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as protected classes in the city.
Similar legislation has been debated around the country for more than a decade, and the flagship piece of SOGI legislation -- the Equality Act -- was reintroduced in Congress this week.
While the ideas represented in the Hillard City Council legislation are not new, they are highly controversial. Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Christian Values in Ohio, was on Washington Watch this week to explain the problem. "Not only are they turning students into lobbyists, using taxpayer dollars to force teachers to do something that violates their conscience and students to do the same, but they're not even telling students what they're really advocating for."
Mr. Baer pointed out that the call for activism did not even include a discussion of why the bill was controversial. "The implications of this bill for women's privacy and the safety of children are massive. And the teachers and the script that they were given, literally a literal script that they were given to read to students, says nothing about the implications of this bill."
To their credit, Hillard City Schools has already released a statement recognizing that the actions of the principal were "not appropriate."
The incident raises questions about where else schools are being turned into progressive political action centers without the awareness of parents. Since the story broke, Mr. Baer acknowledged hearing from other teachers in Ohio Schools who had seen similar communications from their school but were reluctant to object out of concern for their careers.
It also provides a great opportunity for parents to reflect on whether the people they are entrusting with the education of their children are worthy of the trust they've been given.
It's worth noting that the signature block of the principal who sent the email includes the principal's "preferred pronouns," which are functionally a public statement of agreement with a set of ideas that are anti-truth, anti-science, and anti-God.
When Christian parents see this from "educators" in their schools, it should serve as their cue to remove their children as quickly as possible.
Think of it as a form of social distancing. When a child is developing their immune system, you don't put them in situations where they are likely to be exposed to a lot of dangerous viruses. So it is with worldview formation.
Bad ideas function just like a virus, but the consequences are much more serious. The education of your children should expose them to bad ideas, but like a vaccine, they should be exposed to them in ways and in doses that allow them to build up an immunity. The goal of a vaccine is not simply to expose someone to a virus -- the goal is to expose them in ways that allow them to defeat the virus anytime they are exposed to it.
Understanding and demonstrating the emptiness of bad ideas should be a primary goal of your child's education, but this cannot be accomplished by people who have embraced bad ideas.
Once your kids are properly formed, there's less risk in them being surrounded by people who believe things that aren't true because they recognize bad ideas when they see them and understand both why people believe those things and why they aren't true.
In that case, no matter how emotional the appeal or how well-intentioned the messenger, your child will be less likely to be affected because they understand the larger context of the debate and are anchored to reality. That should be the goal of our child's education, not "getting into a good college."
But until they have developed that capability, they're vulnerable. You cannot "fix" in a couple hours a week what your child absorbs for seven hours a day for 12 years, plus college.
The good news is, it's becoming easier to see where these ideological viruses are in their most advanced stages. Listing preferred pronouns is just one of the symptoms.
Continue to be kind and help if you can. Of course, befriend people who don't think like you, both because it's a good example for your kids and because the people most committed to bad ideas are often unhappy and want to figure out why they're so miserable despite doing everything they've been told to do that will make them happy. No one is beyond the reach of the truth, and you're there to be a depository of truth.
But don't let them teach your kids. Anything.
Citizens for Christian Values is encouraging families in Hilliard, Ohio to contact their school board to demand an immediate apology for this violation of the public trust, and rightly so.