Bored of Education: State Activists Team up to Indoctrinate

Bored of Education: State Activists Team up to Indoctrinate

October 15, 2021

"I would have never dreamt a year ago that I would be caught up in something like this," Jason Martinez shook his head. "This," as Americans everywhere are finding out, is the conspiracy of top education officials to radicalize the country's children -- with the secret help of outside activists. And not, Martinez will tell you, just in places like Loudoun County and California.

Even in Nebraska, a deep red state with a Christian in the governor's office, dads like Martinez have been floored to see the kind of influence groups like Planned Parenthood have on the curriculum process. Staying up until 3 and 4 a.m. these past few weeks, he's read through stacks of disturbing emails -- all of them detailing how much contempt the state's school board has for parents and any reasonable standard of morality.

It all started earlier this spring, when moms and dads pitched a fit over the Nebraska Education Department's sex ed proposal. Suddenly, inside the state's education headquarters, the disgusted messages started flying. One after another, employees complained about the "crazy people" lining up against their LGBT agenda. When a grandmother wrote to the Nebraska Board of Education to complain about the provocative content, one employee fumed to a co-worker, calling it "a load of crap" and insisting, "It's literally science and anatomy that she has a problem with!!!"

Other Nebraskans wrote in to oppose the pornographic nature of the sex ed curriculum. Dr. Sue Greenwald, a retired pediatrician, raised all kinds of red flags about the material, warning, "This is exactly the type of graphic material that a pedophile would use to groom a young child to be their next victim." According to the agency's first draft, the state's new standards would have taught "gender identity in the first grade, transgender hormone therapy in the fifth grade, sexual orientation in the sixth grade, oral and anal sex in the seventh grade, and abortion in the eighth grade," the Washington Free Beacon explained. Outraged, parents and other members of the community flocked to the Nebraska State Board of Education in July, demanding that the idea be scrapped. After Governor Pete Ricketts (R) joined them, the board relented, voting 5-1 to kill the plan in July.

But that wasn't the end of the story. Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, parents decided to smoke out who was responsible. Turns out, Martinez says, the board's extremists had plenty of help. In May, after rumors spread that outside groups were involved, the agency released a statement insisting no one had helped them draft the new standards. Internal emails paint a much different picture. Not only did the Left's special interests have a seat at the table, they made sure parents didn't. In one of the more revealing discoveries, Martinez unearthed texts and other memos that showed Lisa Schulze, a former Planned Parenthood employee and a Friends of Planned Parenthood board member, personally connected the Nebraska Department of Education "with national activists to draft the state's sex-education curriculum."

In other words, Ricketts said when the emails came to light, "This was never about the parents -- it was about the advocates." Democrats have an agenda to sexualize children, he warned -- and it's not just happening on the east and west coasts. Even in Nebraska, where elected leaders are on the parents' side, the education establishment is undermining the local community. "They are counting on us to be complacent," dad Justin Thiel said. And yet he certainly wasn't. He transferred his daughter to private school the day he read the agency's standards.

Out in Loudoun County, where families are reeling from the district's sexual abuse cover-up, the outcry is louder than ever. At a press conference late this week, Ian Prior's Fight for Schools organization demanded superintendent Scott Ziegler's resignation for passing a gender-neutral bathroom policy, despite the fact that two girls had been sexually assaulted by a boy pretending to be a girl. Ziegler claimed not to know about it, but the question now is: was that true -- or was it just an act to keep from derailing the already controversial transgender policy?

"He also said [through the Loudoun County Public Schools' statement] that the district was working with the sheriff's investigation after May 28 [the date of the assault]. Well, if they were working with the sheriff's office then clearly there were records and clearly the superintendent would have been aware of it. So for him to [deny any knowledge] was just flat out false." The reality is, Prior said, "This school board is hyper-politicized." And because of it, two girls' lives will never be the same. He should be fired, Prior argued, and any school board member that was aware of the danger and voted for the policy anyway should resign.

In the meantime, parents in conservative states need to snap out of these false assurances that this can't happen to them. If the Left can slip this extremism into a place like Nebraska, they can sneak it past anyone. Fortunately, there are moms and dads out there like Jason Martinez who are doing everything they can to expose this conspiracy between radicals and the education establishment -- and stop it.

This has been a long-term project of the Left. It's not going to be defeated overnight. But parents, take heart. There are so many moms and dads like you, who think families should be driving what's taught in schools -- not the other way around. So, take a page out of Justin Thiel's playbook: "Stand up, make yourself heard. Go to board meetings, send emails, make phone calls, and fight for the future of this great country. It takes courage, but once you stand, you might find yourselves surrounded by 20,000 like-minded people."

To see how you can submit your own FOIA request (and other ways to get involved), check out FRC Action's School Board Bootcamp.


Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


Leftist Activists (and Now the DOJ) Are Tampering with Public Education

October 15, 2021

"Local control" of public schools is a hallmark of the American educational system. Community involvement and public accountability are held as paramount. In such a system, elected school boards should ensure the representation of all views in the making of school policies. Our system of government should mean that the natural tension and debate between different ideas and educational philosophies resolves into an agreement on goals that benefit all students and the community as a whole. The use of public funding should require transparency in how tax dollars are spent for educational purposes. Good governance practices should mean parents have easy access to curricula and test scores while being respected as the primary educators of their children.

That's how things should work, in theory. Of course, we know the reality is much different and that one side of the political aisle tends to influence education more than another. But ideally, public schools would require and allow for public accountability and local parental control.

That's a big part of what makes the recent action by the U.S. Department of Justice so odious. And even worse is the apparent conflict of interest Attorney General Merrick Garland has when he classifies parents who oppose political indoctrination in schools as potential threats worthy of a federal law enforcement investigation. It turns out the very programs and racially divisive concepts that have parents lining up at school board meetings are sold to major school systems across the country by Garland's son-in-law, Xan Tanner.

We have written about the pressure campaign against schools mounted by leftist activists and LGBTQ organizations. Dominated by national left-wing and progressive organizations, the nonprofit educational industrial complex seeks to influence our education system. Infiltrating educational systems on the local level means access to both minds and money. Education nonprofits want to shape the thinking of the next generation and direct schools' resources to that end. There are hundreds of such groups -- all with a progressive agenda to shape the worldview of the next generation of adults while they are still children.

Groups with enough funding to offer schools "free" resources can fly under the radar. The Southern Poverty Law Center's Learning for Justice program is a prime example. SPLC resources are widely used in public, private and charter schools to promote "white supremacy" and "systemic racism" narratives in the name of social justice.

But for-profit groups like Garland-adjacent Panorama Education charge hefty fees to provide support for social justice-themed Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in public schools. School systems flush with COVID relief cash are permitted to spend that money on SEL programs to address the mental health crisis children face after the shutdowns and lockdowns of 2020. The movement in the 1990s and early 2000s for "character education" was largely replaced by SEL -- the dangers of which FRC has warned about for many years.

School administrators deny the existence of CRT in public schools and defend SEL as simply empowering students with tools for "behavior management," so they are "ready to learn." Parents are told, "There's nothing to see here," when in fact, SEL programs are promoting CRT concepts and goals as part of their programming.

Fortunately, parents continue to push back. Moms and dads across America are uncovering the connections between SEL and CRT. Members of Congress, too, are launching investigations and calling out this egregious abuse of power by the Department of Justice. We continue to support the efforts of local parents to be engaged with their school systems through the many resources available at www.frcaction.org/schools. Finally, if you have an example of a problem with your school system, please share it with us at tipline@frc.org.

To read more about the SPLC's radical "Learning for Justice" program in our newly-released resource, click here.

Biden's Plan to "Help" the American Family Is to Tax Them More

October 15, 2021

How does the Biden administration intend to pay for its proposed $3.5 trillion "Build Back Better" plan? By taxing the same hardworking American families the plan claims to help. In addition to advancing a radical progressive agenda, the plan carries a hefty price tag that will affect Americans of all backgrounds, both present and future.

If passed, the Biden administration's plan would usher in the largest tax increase in over 50 years. Despite Biden's promise that families making under $400,000 will not see their taxes increase, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has revealed that anyone making $30,000 or more would see their taxes go up. By 2027, taxes on families earning between $75K and $100K would go up by an estimated $3 billion. The Biden administration's plan raises taxes on savings and investments as well as the death tax, which inhibits families from passing on property and inheritance to the next generation.

Although middle class taxes would increase under this plan, the majority of the new taxes are aimed at businesses, both large and small. These taxes on businesses would likely get passed on to the working class, impacting anyone with a 401(k), anyone who works for a business, or anyone who buys products from a business. In other words, everyone. Record rates of taxation will only undo the Trump administration's work to bring businesses back to America and help rebuild communities hit hard by globalization. The Biden administration's plan, in contrast, will incentivize businesses to move production overseas, benefitting countries like China that frequently abuse human rights for the sake of profit.

The taxes on businesses could also create even more job losses than the economy is already facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly enough, in the past three U.S. recessions, unemployment for professional workers only increased three percent, whereas unemployment for production and transportation workers increased 7.5 percent and construction workers nine percent. This is even further evidence that the Biden administration's tax and spending plan hurts working-class families the hardest, not the wealthy corporations like it claims.

By pumping a dramatic amount of new spending into the economy in a short amount of time, this plan would likely force inflation even higher, raising the prices of everyday essentials from food and gasoline to shipping, lumber, and other transportation costs. Raising the costs of essential goods while simultaneously raising taxes on the middle class would be disastrous for many American families at a time when marriage and the birth rates are already at an all-time low. Families need more economic security and flexibility, not less, but this plan will only make it more difficult for families to get by.

Finally, the proposed $3.5 trillion in new spending comes on the heels of more than $5 trillion in COVID relief packages passed in the past 18 months. Add this to the $1 trillion in proposed infrastructure spending, and that's $9 trillion added to the $28 trillion in existing national debt. Just this week, the Congressional Budget Office undercut Democrat talking points on the necessity to raise new taxes to make up for the deficit. In 2021, the government collected $36 billion more in tax revenue than expected -- despite the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump. The notion that tax cuts are what is causing the increase in the national deficit is simply false. Because the government has continued spending massive amounts of money on progressive priorities, there is no money available to spend on things that could truly help families, like a true expansion of the Child Tax Credit or expanding 529 education accounts to include homeschooling expenses. As Democrats attempt to sell the necessity of this tax-and-spend plan over the next few weeks, it is important to remember that America's hardworking middle-class families will ultimately foot the bill.