Indiana is the latest state where parents are taking their children’s education into their own hands.
Fishers One, a grassroots community effort run by parents, is actively training and preparing candidates to run for school board seats in the Hamilton Southeastern Public Schools in Indiana, Fox News reports.
Fishers One founder Diane Eaton launched the organization in April 2021 after becoming aware of what was happening in the public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eaton was concerned about the rapidly increasing focus on social justice while academic standards deteriorated. Eaton also discovered grant money had been used to purchase curriculum from unregulated outside sources, Fox News reports.
“Many people believe that this grant impacted education in Indiana since it was heavy on counseling, tracking social-emotional learning surveys, and moved more resources away from teachers who focus on academic subjects to support staff such as mental health counselors, social workers, and equity officers that are not academic-focused,” Eaton told the outlet.
School board candidates recruited by Fishers One say they will reverse the focus on social justice and return to fundamental education.
Hamilton Southeastern Public School board candidate Dawn Lang told Fox the schools’ focus on microaggressions takes away valuable time from learning math, reading, English, and history.
“I think we’re getting redirected on issues unrelated to what our schools should be about, and I learned that test scores definitely reflect that,” Lang said.
Parents in Minnesota launched a similar organization, the Minnesota Parents Alliance, Fox News reports. The organizers say they intend to train school board candidates and inform and empower parents to affect curricula.
The movement for parental control is gaining steam as grassroots groups sprout up around the country.
Robert Bortins, CEO of Classical Conversations, a homeschool program, says it has become necessary for parents to intercede and stop leftist academics from spreading false ideas in government-run public schools and through the media.
“Parents need to educate themselves so they can teach their children to recognize truth over propaganda,” Bortins writes in an article for The Federalist.
Bortins advises parents to have difficult conversations with their children on these uncomfortable topics.
“Whether you watch the news with your kids or not, they are constantly being exposed,” Bortins writes. “The rising generation has access to more information than ever before, which is why it is crucial that you are laying foundational truths at an early age with your children.”
Although some parents have become intensely aware of the intrusion of critical race theory (CRT) and similar ideologies along with sexually explicit training, many parents and taxpayers still don’t know about the movement and the extent of its influence or who do not believe it is happening in their school districts.
Michele (whose last name will not be used at her request, to protect her from retaliation), a teacher in a Texas school district, told School Reform News many parents have no idea what is going in on her school.
“Parents are uninvolved,” Michele said. “Many of the parents work really long hours and are really busy. They don’t seem angry about what is happening because they don’t know.”
Teachers may be frustrated with the direction their schools are taking, but they are fearful of speaking up.
“There are so many distractions that students aren’t learning much,” Michele says. “We cannot teach with rigor anymore because of all the personal needs of the students.”
Many of the students in Michele’s school do not speak English. This leaves a wide range of capabilities.
“What am I supposed to teach?” Michele said. “We have to dumb things down so much because we cannot fail kids. Then there’s a segment of kids that are just lazy. They just want to be on their phones. We can’t discipline them. We can’t do anything about it. A lot of really good teachers leave.”
An excessive emphasis on extracurricular activities and training in life skills causes many of the core requirements of foundational education to get missed, leaving students academically unprepared, Michele says.
“We need to get out all of the fluff,” Michele said.
Author and conservative commentator Dr. James Lindsay says parents are becoming aware of these trends and conservative parents are increasingly taking action on education issues. Parents are frustrated with poor academic performance as well as the leftist indoctrination and obsession with sexuality and gender issues.
“But the base is awake,” Lindsay told Breitbart. “They know that there’s the grooming or whatever issue going on, whether that’s sexual or whether that’s cult grooming. They know this is happening in the schools. They’re awake. They’re mad.”
Some of the curriculum used in schools comes directly from radical leftist advocacy groups. In April or this year, The Heritage Foundation reported some sources of curriculum were external organizations such as the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, a nonprofit devoted to sexual education advocacy.
“Since its beginning in 1964, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States and its partners have been successful advocates for their cause,” John Schoof and Julia Dandoy write. “Through activism and political pressure, they have gained heavy influence in curriculum and government. They have advocated ‘gender-affirming’ programs. They have also pushed opt-out bills as opposed to opt-in bills. That means parents must take their children out of a controversial class rather than place them in it.”
This organization also actively worked against the adoption of a parents’ rights bill, preferring to keep parents on the sidelines and uninformed, the writers report.
In April of last year, a school district in Missouri was caught trying to hide its curriculum from parents, Daily Wire reported at the time. Teachers were told to create a fake set of materials to show parents while hiding the real curriculum focusing on social-justice activism.
“A lot of parents just don’t even understand what’s happening,” Scarlett Johnson, head of Ozaukee, Wisconsin’s Moms For Liberty chapter, told the Daily Caller. “They just feel like they’re in the Twilight Zone. Then they’re afraid to offend the gay community, because the woke fixation on drag queens performing for children and the sudden increase in gender confusion among pre-teen girls has been aligned with gays and lesbians, which I think is wrong.”
Moms for Liberty is working to ensure parents become aware and informed. A grassroots organization that started with two chapters in January 2021, the organization now has 200 chapters in 38 states and more than 100,000 members, the organization’s website states.
“Moms for Liberty is dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government,” the group’s mission statement reads.
The grassroots efforts of Moms for Liberty are affecting school board and other elections as they inform and empower parents. Parents are encouraged to become active, to run for office, and to vote to defend their parental rights.
Although organizations such as Moms for Liberty, Fishers One, the Minnesota Parents Alliance, and others are making parents more aware and active, parents cannot become complacent, because there is much more work to be done, Lindsay says.
“The base is activating,” Lindsay said. “It’s moving in the right direction, we’re probably actually close to critical mass.”
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