Motivated by a right wing Christian “mommy” blogger, anti-gay hate groups, Franklin Graham, the Benham Brothers, Breitbart, and Fox News, conservative parents are keeping kids home from school today in a boycott protesting comprehensive sex-ed they are calling “pornographic.” Some, like the Family Research Council, are likening sex-ed to child molestation, using the hashtag,
We are uniting with parents across the globe to demand that our rights as parents be respected regarding the teaching of sexuality and sexual orientation. #HandsOffOurKids! #SexEdSitOut pic.twitter.com/VaLkUHUcKs
— FRC (@FRCdc) April 23, 2018
“Pornographic sex ed is being implemented across our globe in an attempt to indoctrinate our children with ‘sexual rights,’ ” a letter parents are being urged to send to their children’s schools reads, the right wing Washington Times reported earlier this month “This is unacceptable and [I am] joining others both nationally and globally in taking a stand to say ‘enough!’ “
“Elizabeth Johnston, a social conservative activist who blogs under the name Activist Mommy, is one of the protest’s organizers,” the Times added. “She said most parents wouldn’t ‘stand for the kind of graphic, gender-bending sex ed’ that schools are teaching.”
Here’s a video Johnson posted to Facebook last month, titled, “They Are Coming For Our Children!”
“LGBT activists are brainwashing children through graphic sex ed, medicating our children against our will, stealing our children through the courts, and sabotaging our children’s sporting events. When will we protect our children?” she writes on the post, using the hashtags #HandsOffOurKids and #GenderInsanity.
Also behind the protests are anti-gay hate groups including the Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel.
A petition from the right wing international Christian organization CitizenGO implies children are being sexually molested by sex education. “Hands Off Our Children!” it warns, calling comprehensive sex-ed “some social engineering experiment.”
“We will not stand for our tax money being used to promote sexual liberation, deviance, and gender confusion to our precious kids,” it adds. The petition site is backed by NOM president Brian Brown and anti-gay hate group World Congress of Families’ “Moscow Money man” Alexey Komov, who reportedly is tied to Vladimir Putin.
Why keep children out of school?
“This is our strategy,” the “grassroots” Sex Ed Sit Out Facebook page explains. “When your child doesn’t sign in at school, the school looses federal funding for that day. Since the schools aren’t listening to the cries of parents to stop corrupting their kids, we will hit them in their wallets! Hopefully parents will begin to have tremendous success getting school boards to listen after this.”
Monday morning Franklin Graham endorsed today’s sit out.
“Parents be aware: Your children are in danger of being exposed to ‘Pornography 101’ under the guise of sex education in many schools,” he wrote on Facebook. “Today some parents across the country are pulling their students out in protest of the sexualized school curriculum being promoted by the progressive agenda. Know what is being taught in your child’s school and be prepared to walk out. I encourage you to be involved, know what’s going on, and let your voice be heard.”
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Dept. of Education threatens to withhold $18 million from schools that let transgender athletes compete
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE), led by Betsy DeVos (pictured above), is threatening to withhold $18 million in federal funds from three Connecticut school districts unless they stop following the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s guidelines allowing transgender athletes to compete in sports.
The DOE’s Office for Civil Rights sent a letter to the Groton, Hartford and New Haven school districts telling them that allowing trans students to compete in sports teams matching their gender identities violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a subsection of the law that requires federally funded institutions not to discriminate on the basis of sex.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has pledged to “vigorously oppose” defunding efforts, but the state’s Democratic Governor Ned Lamont has said he doesn’t want to lose federal dollars over the policy, potentially placing it at risk.
The anti-LGBTQ legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is currently suing five Connecticut school districts over the same policy for the same reasons. The suit, brought by the parents of three cisgender female track athletes makes the same Title IX claims as the DOE and claims that trans girls have an unfair physical advantage which could prevent their daughters from advancing in competitions and winning college scholarships.
Earlier in her tenure, DeVos rolled back Obama-era protections allowing trans students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. She later admitted that she did this even though she knew that it could lead to increased harassment, depression, and possibly suicide among transgender students.
‘Hurting Tens of Thousands of Borrowers’: Betsy DeVos Sued for Allegedly Refusing to Follow Court Order
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is being sued for refusing to follow a judge’s order to implement Obama-era regulations. The lawsuit claims DeVos was required to “discharge,” or stop collecting on loans of students who attended for-profit schools and colleges if the institution or their campus had shut down, as The Hill reports.
“It has been nearly two years since these rules should have taken effect, and Secretary DeVos is still dragging her feet and hurting tens of thousands of borrowers through her inaction,” National Student Legal Defense Network (NSLDN) President Aaron Ament said in a statement.
“The students we are trying to help have been doubly victimized – first by the for-profit colleges that deceived them, and now by the federal government that refuses to help.”
The lawsuit says the Education Dept. continues to collect on debts the students should not owe.
The Hill adds that a federal court in October “ruled that the Obama-era debt regulations had to be implemented after over a year of delays by DeVos.”
The Washington Post notes that Secretary DeVos “said that the rule made it too easy for students to cancel their debts and that she intended to replace it with her own version to take effect next year.”
In August the LA Times Editorial Board charged that DeVos “sides with predatory for-profit colleges over America’s students.”
Betsy DeVos May Seek to Raid Fed Funds for School Guns
Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, in a rebuff to both Democrats and education advocates, has pushed back against requests that she not use federal funds for weapons in schools. DeVos claims that she prefers “flexibility” in her choices.
In a letter to Democratic Representative Bobby Scott, DeVos initially seemed to side with the leader.
“Let me be clear: I have no intention of taking any action concerning the purchase of firearms or firearms training for school staff under the ESEA [Elementary and Secondary Education Act]” read her letter to Scott.
She, however, continued, “While local educational agencies must comply with certain application and fiscal requirements, the ESEA provides ‘substantial flexibility’ in how school districts use these funds to meet the purposes of the program and allows educators to tailor investments based on their own assessments of the needs of their unique student populations.”
A recent New York Times report noted that DeVos was seeking to use $1 billion in Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants for purchasing and training in firearms.
The issue of guns in schools has been a hot-button topic in the wake of numerous school shootings in America, most notable the Parkland shooting which claimed 17 high school students.
Some schools have sought to arm teachers, while others are working to make it harder for schools to have guns on their campus. Arming teachers is widely viewed as a bad idea that could lead to an increase in accidental shootings, while not increasing the chances of stopping an active shooter situation.
In 2017, during Betsy DeVos confirmation hearing, she infamously cited the threat from grizzly bears in schools as a reason for guns being allowed in classrooms.
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