A New Mexico School Boards Association instructor sees no role for parents in guiding their children’s public school education.
On Tuesday, the parental rights group “Freedom Families United” published audio tape of a New Mexican school board administrator speaking to members of local school boards.
“Parents do not have a fundamental right to tell you how public school teaches their child,” New Mexico School Boards Association Trainer Andrew Sanchez said in December. “Parental rights end when you decide to send your kids to public school. What you teach this generation that will soon be voting are going to be instrumental to the future of us as a democracy and as society goes forward.”
The New Mexico School Boards Association did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.
Sanchez also mocked parents concerned about excessive wokeness in the classroom, and claimed teachers in Florida “don’t even teach the Civil War anymore.”
A quick examination of Florida’s K-12 standards, however, shows educators are required to teach their students about the Civil War and Reconstruction.
“Teachers” in New Mexico, Sanchez said, “will talk about Black Lives Matter. They have to.”
“If you [school boards] engage in a policy which you’re going to actually create parental rights where none should or don’t exist,” Sanchez said, “or you’re [school boards] going to create opt-out policies so that people [parents] can opt out of certain ideas in the curriculum, there will be nothing to teach the kids.”
Sanchez suggested parents uncomfortable with the level of leftist activism inside their students’ classrooms ought to enroll their students in online schools or charter schools if not home school.
“Public schools, the right to a public education is a state right,” Sanchez said. “It is not a fundamental right under the federal Constitution.”
Slides from Sanchez’s presentation deny critical race theory is present in schools, claiming the academic concept is exclusive to law schools.
“The call for only balanced and equal discussion of both sides to the most controversial issues and topics of our past history is unsustainable as a policy or as regulation or law,” one of the slides reads. “A willingness to engage in fact-based scholarship on even the worst elements of America’s past is a good indicator of a healthy democracy. As such, civil rights movements logically would dominate in classroom discussions from time to time or be the focus of the curriculum by individual teachers.”
The leaked audio underscores the animosity of far-left educators weaponizing an activist agenda against parents concerned about their children being subject to such curricula. The phenomenon is far from exclusive to New Mexico.
The parental rights movement that grew in response to leftist activism in K-12 education became the primary pillar of Republicans’ 2021 Virginia campaigns wherein Gov. Glenn Youngkin flipped the state by 10 points. Weeks before Election Day, the Department of Justice (DOJ) began to target concerned parents who showed up at school board meetings, smearing them as domestic terrorists at the request of the National School Board Association (NSBA). Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee published an interim report this week revealing the DOJ had “no legitimate basis” to deploy counterterrorism resources against such parents. Twenty-six states withdrew from the NSBA after the scandal, but New Mexico was not one of them.
On Friday, conservative writer and co-author of “Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation,” Bethany Mandel, revealed her local school district in Maryland is refusing to allow students and parents to opt out of LGBT content.
“Students and families may not choose to opt out of engaging with any instructional materials, other than ‘Family Life and Human Sexuality Unit of Instruction,'” school guidance reads.
House Republicans also passed a bill Friday that GOP leadership promised almost two years ago meant to serve as a “Parental Bill of Rights.” The legislation mandates school boards listen to parents and requires institutions to publish reading lists and curricula. Schools would also be compelled to reveal to parents when children go by different pronouns in the classroom.
The bill passed 213-208 in the Republican-controlled House, but is unlikely to clear the Democrat-controlled Senate.