This time last year, I was a wreck as a mom and wife. I was creating shows that teach American values for PragerU Kids, but my own children’s education was a mess. What a difference a year makes.
In August 2021, my children were launching into another precious elementary school year laced with uncertainty — woke and useless curriculum woven into daily lessons, invasive and senseless regulations that divided and destroyed students and neighbors, and a local teachers union that bullied me while in a private meeting with our former principal (because I said that schools were beginning to “indoctrinate” our children with anti-Americanism on my own social media accounts).
The idea of pulling my kids out of our once-beloved yet rapidly declining district both terrified and devastated me. How could I pull them out after the school year started? I’m not that mom.
Turns out, I was that mom. And just like that, the ache in my chest that had woken me every morning evaporated the week our family began a new, faith-based, America-honoring, classical education journey.
We were lucky. We were thankful. And, we continue to be grateful that switching to an educational alternative (a private school rooted in our values) is an option for us. Because opting out of public education is truly not possible for all families.
So, what should you do if you can’t opt out of public school right now? Get active. Here’s your checklist:
1. Examine Emergency Forms
Closely review all “standard” medical treatment/consent forms that schools present to parents at the beginning of the year — make sure you are not blindly granting permission for school officials to administer medical guidance and/or procedures without your permission. A rising number of school districts are now endorsing pronoun changes and suggesting medical intervention procedures without parental consent — in the name of creating a “welcoming and safe” environment for students.
2. Opt Your Child Out of SEL, Sex Ed, and DEI
Social Emotional Learning (SEL), “gender non-conforming” initiatives, and “culturally responsive and restorative” Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs are proven code-language for victim-versus-oppressor education and activism. Keep a hawkeye for homework, worksheets, online lessons, and digital surveys created by outside agencies — the trend of inserting these into our schools is not for the purpose of achieving academic goals. Send written notification to your district and school to opt your student out of any campus programs that deliver these divisive lessons and invasive surveys to children — and find a few parents to join you, so that your child is not alone.
3. File a FOIA Request Now
Parents have a right to know what’s going on in our kids’ classrooms and, if warranted, in communication between teachers and administrators. FOIA stands for Freedom of Information Act — and we have a right to utilize it to access emails, curriculum details, and paper trails, so we may be fully informed about what’s going on behind classroom doors. Be sure to present any concerning findings in a public forum for transparency and accountability. PragerU Resources for Educators and Parents offers an introductory Parent Action Guide to get you started.
4. Volunteer in Your Child’s Classroom and Library
Parents have been kept out of our taxpayer-funded schools for years — it’s our fundamental right to investigate what books were purged and/or updated over the summer in the name of “equity” and “gender education.” When the volunteer sign-up sheets are distributed at that first school meeting, check the box for classroom and library volunteers. Also, be sure to join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and respectfully question activities and initiatives that tout “inclusion” but are truly rooted in political narratives.
5. Don’t Waste Driving Time
Would I rather listen to music than tackle conversations about our democratic republic while chauffeuring my kids to school and activities? Yes — but this is where we’re at now, whether we like it or not. With schools in many major U.S. cities starting to ban Ds and Fs, eradicate citizenship grades, and allow students to retake tests in the name of “rejecting privilege,” it’s no secret that our education system and unions have abandoned teaching children our unifying values of freedom, hard work, responsibility, and equality of opportunity. It’s up to us parents to discuss values that are no longer being taught. How to start? PragerU Kids has fun, free educational videos and magazines that teach values and history to guide us in educating our children at home, especially in the areas of knowledge that public schools now avoid.
In many cases, sending our children to schools is no longer stable or safe — if we’re seeking a true education. As a former PTA executive board member, a regular attendee and speaker at school board meetings, and a longtime supporter of our prior district, I unabashedly commend any and all parents who rescue their children from our blatantly-hijacked education system. If pulling them from the system is not an option, then it is imperative that parents get in — to opt out, to question, and to assert our parental rights and reject what we know is wrong for children. Be brave this back-to-school season. Yes, we can.