A high school just outside Columbus, Ohio assigned ninth graders the slam poetry book The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo, about a 15-year-old Dominican girl, Xiomara Batista, living in Harlem, New York. The book shows her walking away from her Catholic faith, is laced with dozens of uses of profanity, and gives graphic descriptions of sexual activity.

The book is written in poetic form, and “slam poetry” refers to competitions were poets perform their work before an audience and a panel of judges. One reviewer on Amazon, “Mom from Boston,” wrote:

Parents beware of mature content! This book was assigned as required summer reading for my 9th grader who is 14. Thankfully I read it before him so we can discuss the content prior to him reading. Themes include sneaking behind parents backs to engage in sexual activity, masturbation, physical abuse, smoking pot, underage drinking, turning your back on God and questioning the Bible and having a gay sibling. Some of the pages were outright embarrassing for me to read because they sounded like porn! I can’t imagine a 9th grade English class discussing them.

The book has won multiple young adult literature awards.

This is just one example of what’s happening in schools across the country. Here are more stories that demonstrate why parents – and other concerned citizens – need to be informed and active in their children’s education.

  • The Washington Times reported, “A Las Vegas charter school is being sued in federal court by a family alleging the school is indoctrinating children into the view that White people are inherently racist and perpetuate their economic and political power by oppressing people of color.” The lawsuit alleges that students were told “to ‘label and identify’ their gender, racial and religious identities as part of ‘an independent reflection’ exercise which was graded. The next step was to determine if ‘that part of your identity have privilege or oppression attached to it.’”
  • Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) explained that 12-year-olds in the state are being introduced to oral and anal sex through curriculum developed by Planned Parenthood. The curriculum, Get Real, is approved by the state as being compliant with Massachusetts’ health frameworks and is targeted to young students in grades 6, 7 and 8.
  • MFI also reported about a school where students made voodoo dolls as part of a lesson on the play The Crucible. At a second school, fifth graders processed down a hallway “while dressed in black and white and carrying lanterns in observation of the Winter Solstice.”
  • In Maine, a school district sent a statement to parents on equity that read, “In a culture that continually reinforces white supremacy, justice can only be achieved when we confront and repair the anti-Blackness woven through every aspect of society—in our homes, schools, workplaces, communities, places of worship, and government.”
  • “The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday that public schools must allow transgender students to use the locker rooms of their choice in accordance with the Minnesota Human Rights Act,” Alpha News reported. Presumably, the ruling allows transgender-identified students across the state to use opposite-sex showers, restrooms and locker rooms, rather than private facilities or those that conform to their biological sex.
  • The Center for Arizona Policy explained, “Some kindergartners in Arizona are learning about sensitive body parts through the 3Rs program. Some 4th graders are learning details of sex in the FLASH Curriculum.” The 3Rs (Rights, Respect, Responsibility) – is a curriculum developed by Advocates for Youth, a pro-abortion and LGBT activist group. The FLASH (Family Life and Sexual Health) lesson plans were developed by Public Health – Seattle and King County. Both curriculums are approved by many states and used by schools across the nation. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute reports, “39 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education and/or HIV education,” with “11 states and DC requiring “inclusive content with regard to sexual orientation.”
  • The Grace Church School, a private school in Manhattan, “issued a12-page guide to students and staff explaining the school’s mission of inclusivity,” reported the New York Post. The guidelines state that instead of using the terms “Mom and Dad,” students are told, “At Grace, we say grownups, folks or family.” The guide also encourages students to use “gender inclusive language” which will “provide critical affirmation to students across the gender spectrum.”
  • The San Diego Unified School District “announced mandatory diversity training for teachers, added a new ‘ethnic studies’ curriculum focused on racial grievance, and even abolishedthe requirement to turn in homework on time—all in the name of becoming, in the words of school board member Richard Barrera, “an anti-racist school district,” reported Christopher Rufo, visiting fellow in domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation. One training featured Bettina Love, “who believes American schools are guilty of the “spirit murdering of Black children,” he wrote.
  • The Montgomery County Board of Education, in Maryland, has a policy which allows “personnel to evaluate minors about sexual matters, allows minors of any age to transition socially to a different gender identity at school without parental notice or consent, and requires personnel to facilitate the transition with the use of the child’s ‘preferred pronouns,’” says The Daily Signal. The school district isn’t alone, they write, citing similar education guidelines in Madison, Wisconsin; New Jersey; and Los Angeles. The National Education Association, “encourages teachers to hide a student’s gender identity from parents unless they are “required to [reveal it] by law,” The Signal

It’s important to remember that many educators and school staff have deep faith, work long hours, and remain dedicated to children and their profession. And some schools actively invite parental involvement in their children’s education.

At the same time, it’s also true that a growing number of legislators and education professionals have a social and political agenda that is antagonistic toward Christianity and biblical values. These stories illustrate just some of the many problems in some schools, as children are taught radical ideology or confusing, age-inappropriate sexual education.

Now, more than ever, parents – and concerned grandparents, family members and other citizens – must pay attention to what’s happening in their local schools. Thankfully, parents are starting to band together in different cities and states to assert their rights and push back against these biased, ideologically-driven agendas.

While many families are pursuing other options, such as home schooling, private schools and charter schools, not all parents have these choices.

The resource Back To School – For Parents helps parents know what to look out for in the classroom, in school libraries and databases, in health clinics and counseling offices – and more. The free, downloadable PDF explains your rights and offers guidance to help parents safeguard their children – and other children, as well.

Additional articles and resources:

BLM at School – How a Day Encouraging Parental Educational Involvement Was Overshadowed by a Week of Radical Ideology

Family Policy Councils and Pro-Family Organizations Present ‘Protecting Children in Education Summit’

Focus on the Family Education Resources

National Education and Library Groups Co-Sponsor Transgender Reading Day for Elementary School Children

Oregon Department of Education Encourages Teachers Toward ‘The Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction’

Resources When Your Child Encounters LGBT Ideology at School

Sex Ed Identity Crisis

What Can You do About Bias in Your Child’s Classroom?

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