The Boards and the Bees
The Boards and the Bees
July 19, 2021
The nation's eyes are on critical race theory, but just as critical is what's happening with sex ed. While parents everywhere rise up over the flood of woke curriculum, they're also getting a good look behind the curtain at what their children are hearing about sex. And it's just as shocking -- if not worse. It's so graphic, one Minnesota state representative told a reporter, that her colleagues didn't even want to look at the examples on the House floor. "We couldn't show this on the 10 [o'clock] news," she said, but "we want our fourth-grade children to be looking at it?"
No way, parents are saying. In New York, where one private school is in hot water for showing cartoons about masturbation to first graders, moms and dads are on the warpath. The $55,000-a-year primary school tried to suggest that families had "misinterpreted" the lessons. Don't worry, Justine Ang Fonte (who was also responsible for the "porn literacy" class that made national headlines) insists. She doesn't use the word "masturbation" in class, she promises, and her lessons teach kids not to "touch themselves in public." As if this is somehow a relief to parents who are forking over college-level tuition rates for their six-year-old to learn words like "erection." "She teaches kids about 'consent,'" one mom fumed, "yet she has never gotten consent from parents about the sexually explicit, and age-inappropriate material about transgender to first-graders."
In Chicago, home of the condoms-for-fifth-graders program, school officials insist that the effort is part of combatting racism. Sex education, the district's Doctor Kenneth Fox argues, is now a matter of "equity and justice." You just can't make this stuff up. As a bonus, according to NPR, the book these children get includes full-color illustrations of naked people and sections on sexual orientation.
It's out of control, Family Watch International's Sharon Slater said on Friday's "Washington Watch." As extreme as Barack Obama's approach to comprehensive sex education was, this administration is taking the extremism to a new level. We've had all of this build up over critical race theory, she agrees, and people are very engaged. And that's the sort of energy that America needs talking about these unacceptable lessons creeping into our classrooms. Because, as Sharon pointed out, it's only going to get worse.
"Little known to most parents is under the Obama administration, the U.S. government started spending over a $100 million dollars on comprehensive sexuality education, getting it to your children with your tax dollars. And now under the Biden administration -- in fact, just this week -- the House Appropriations Committee just approved $130 million dollars for this radical comprehensive sex ed which sexualizes children. We sometimes call it abortion rights, sexual rights, LGBT rights, indoctrination education or sexualization education" -- something the American College of Pediatricians calls one of "the greatest assaults on the health and innocence of our children."
Parents in Russell County, Virginia must have gotten that memo, because late last week they sent a resounding message to state leaders that they won't tolerate this radicalism. The Commonwealth, which continues to have the most explosive education debate in the country, is the latest to mandate that districts not only throw open their bathroom and locker room doors to both genders, but that teachers and other staff use gender-preferred pronouns. The idea hasn't gone over so well in the southern part of the state, where 500 people packed into the school board room and demanded an end to the radical LGBT programs trying to infiltrate the state's schools.
"We do not hate transgender people," one parent insisted. "We do not hate homosexual people. We do not judge them... [T]he problem that we have in the community today is that [it's] being pushed on all of our children." Another mom threatened to withdraw her son from the school if the policies were adopted. "My son will not be attending [the county] schools," she vowed. "I will choose to homeschool him if this policy is adopted. It will not be easy to homeschool, as I'm sure it will be very financially tough, but I will stand for what is right." Attorney Josh Hetzler, who said his Founding Freedoms Law Center is prepared to sue, says that the entire policy is unconstitutional. Consider the "the likelihood of tangible harms to student's bodily privacy, safety, and dignity in private spaces," he argued. "[The] school board simply cannot adopt policies consistent with the existing model policy."
Unlike northern Virginia, where Loudoun and Fairfax County officials stubbornly refuse to listen to local citizens, Russell's school board unanimously rejected the rules -- despite a threat from the Virginia Department of Education that there will be consequences. So be it, school board member Bob Gibson said. "I was elected by the people of this community, and I intend to stand up to protect every kid and do the will of the people of Russell County -- and not that of an overreaching state government," he said in a statement. "The most important thing we can do is protect every kid and to provide them with a safe and secure place to learn."
If you're wondering who's driving these wildly inappropriate sex ed programs, look no farther than Planned Parenthood, Sharon says. "They actually brag about being the largest provider of comprehensive sexuality education or sex education in the United States... And they mostly have a monopoly on all the curriculum that is being ordered through the U.S. government. Those who are getting federal grants, part of that $100 million dollars, they're usually getting their programs from [Planned Parenthood's publishing arm called] ETR and Associates." And incredibly, she explains, they market some of these pornographic curricula as "abstinence education," when it's actually a "how-to" book on everything from anal to oral sex.
It's all a part of their broader marketing plan. Once Planned Parenthood hooks our children on sex, they'll be able to sell them condoms, contraception, and abortions. "And we would encourage everybody to become a part of the solution and fight this in your state," Sharon urges. On her StopCSE.org website, you can find out exactly what's happening in your state -- including where comprehensive sex ed programs are getting federal funding. Click on the USA map, and you'll see all of your local laws related to parental rights and sex education. Sharon is determined to help parents understand what red flags to look for and how to document things so that when you speak out, you're completely prepared. And as far as she's concerned, there's never been a better time than now to stand up and say: not our children. Not on our watch.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
Lost Religious Exemptions a Side Effect of Vaccine Laws
July 19, 2021
By FRC Staff
When some children are quiet for too long, their parents know to expect trouble. Some school systems deserve the same suspicion. Under the cover of the pandemic, the D.C. City Council passed an act authorizing schools to administer vaccines to children as young as 11-years-old without their parent's consent. It even authorizes the schools to "seek reimbursement, without parental consent, directly from the insurer." To make matters worse, the law explicitly undermines parents with religious objections to certain vaccines, mandating that spaces on the student's immunization record be left "blank" -- presumably so the state can quietly fill them in later. Republican lawmakers tried to block the D.C. Act in February, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prevented a vote on their Congressional Resolution of Disapproval.
Last week Children's Health Defense and Parental Rights Foundation sued Washington, D.C., asking a judge to block the deceptive mandate from taking effect. Mary Holland, President and General Counsel of Children's Health Defense, explained the lawsuit on "Washington Watch." "This is dangerous for children because parents won't know what vaccines their children get," she explained. If a child experiences an adverse reaction, "all of a sudden, their child could be deathly ill, and [the parents] won't know why." There is also a risk of vaccinating a child twice. Parents could take their child to their family pediatrician to administer a vaccine the child already received at school. For most medicines, twice the recommended dose is not recommended.
"Parents have to play a role in these decisions," explained Holland, because "every vaccine, every drug, carries potential benefits and potential risks." But this law is "very intentionally designed to deceive parents." It "requires healthcare personnel to provide accurate immunization records to the Department of Health and to the student's school, but not to parents." It allows students to get vaccines at school without notifying their parents, and even authorizes schools to go behind parents' back and bill their health insurance without their knowledge. "This is active concealment required by ... law," warned Holland.
Of course, some vaccines are more controversial than others. Of particular concern is the COVID vaccine, which is authorized for emergency-use only, was only recently authorized for emergency-use on children aged 12-18, and has not received final FDA approval. Is it wise to inject children with a vaccine not yet fully tested, for a disease they are least at risk for? Parents should at least have a say. Then there is the HPV vaccine, which protects against sexually transmitted diseases. What are we assuming by giving such a vaccine to 11-year-olds? The point is not the merits of these vaccines, but rather that parents are best positioned and have a right to make decisions concerning their children's healthcare (that's why they're called "guardians"). As with critical race theory and transgender ideology, the D.C. government is using the schools to shut parents out.
Federal law mandates that parents receive Vaccine Information Statements, which provide parents with critical information to be given informed consent and care for their children receiving vaccines. D.C.'s parent-deception act violates federal law. "It's un-American," said Holland, not to mention "potentially precedent-setting."
D.C.'s precedent is already being copied. Last week, the Massachusetts legislature introduced the Community Immunity Act, which would largely adopt D.C.'s policy throughout an entire state. Massachusetts parents incensed at the changes dragged a public comment hearing out for 13 hours -- past 1:00 in the morning. This is a model of what parents can do to fight back against those who want the state to destroy parental rights. For more resources on how to protect your children, visit: frc.org/education.
'That Stadium Became a Sanctuary'
July 19, 2021
At a time when we truly need men to step up in our homes, churches, and communities, the "in person" return of Promise Keepers this past weekend at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, was indeed worth celebrating. Ken Harrison, whose résumé includes a tour in the Marine Corps and tough inner city assignments in law-enforcement, has persevered in leading a renewal of Promise Keepers, a ministry whose events back in the 1990s inspired millions of men to fulfill their God-given callings as husbands, fathers and sons. Over the weekend, there were about 30,000 men in attendance with hundreds of churches hosting many more men online after COVID forced organizers to do a digital only event last year.
On Saturday, our own Lt. General Jerry Boykin, who oversees our Stand Courageous ministry to men led prayer for military members and first responders. He also challenged the men: "Everyone in the kingdom of God has a specific calling on his life...It's time for you to stand up and be the warrior that God called you to be." The General also received the Men of Great Courage Award at the event. The award was originally slated to be given back in 2020 but delayed because of the pandemic. This year pastor, author, and Stand Courageous speaker Stu Weber, who suffered through COVID himself earlier this spring, presented the award in an emotional exchange between himself and his longtime battle buddy, General Boykin. For more about our ministry and to tap into all the resources for men, visit standcourageous.com.
There were a number of powerful speakers during the two-day event, like Tony Evans' son Jonathan, who is the chaplain for the Cowboys and presented a clear call to come to Christ. To a nation becoming increasingly divided over race, Pastor A.R. Bernard of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York, encouraged: "Jesus can take a heart of hatred and turn it into a heart of love." Best-selling author and Christian psychologist Les Parrott reminded the men: "Your relationships can only be as healthy as you are." Hall of Fame wide receiver and former Cowboys player Michael Irvin urged the men: "Make sure you go to the owner's manual, the Bible, to get your name and find your identity."
Other notable speakers included Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church, and Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who encouraged the men that one thing that "woke cancel culture" cannot cancel is the church. Friend of FRC, James Robison of Life Today, followed him by encouraging that "In God's Kingdom purpose is where we fulfill our Father's dreams." Summoning a football analogy, FRC board member, Pastor Carter Conlon of Times Square Church in New York City declared: "Because of Jesus Christ we are already in the end zone, all we have to do is spike the ball and say we have won. We are more than conquerors in Christ!"
Also present was our own David Closson, director of our recently launched Center for Biblical Worldview, who was struck by the scene: "Here is a stadium known for football, but instead of beer and profanity, it was filled with men confessing their sins, praying and praising God." He added, "It was encouraging to see men kneeling at the 50-yard line on the Dallas Cowboy star, surrounded by thousands of men on their knees, crying out to God. That stadium became a sanctuary."