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Picking a fight with moms and dads

Democrats ignore parental rights to their peril

An LGBT activist poses with controversial books some schools have used to teach children. Associated Press/Photo by Rick Bowmer

Picking a fight with moms and dads
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The midterm elections are only a day away and things look grim for the Democrats as Gallup’s latest polls reveal that only 40 percent of voters approve of President Joe Biden’s leadership, and a mere 21 percent approve of the Democratic-led Congress. While most pundits agree that inflation will be the dominating issue for voters in the election, the Democrats consistently point to abortion as their leading social concern. But the conflict over parental rights continues to brew across the country and is a major threat to the Democrats’ hopes of keeping their power in Congress.

For some reason, the Democrats continue to ignore and dismiss the issue of parental rights, even after their devastating loss in Virginia last year to Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears. That victory came after an ugly battle in Loudoun County when the school district protected a male transgender student who allegedly sexually confronted two female students while he was allowed to use the girls’ restrooms. Rather than face the real problem, the school district infamously arrested the father of one of the victims during a public meeting. Virginia voters made it clear that they did not agree with the Democratic leaders’ lack of accountability to parents.

But the Democrats seem poised to make the same mistake again. This fall, Republicans in the House of Representatives proposed a Parents Bill of Rights that requires school districts to tell parents about spending choices and what their children are being taught in schools. The legislation would also protect students’ privacy. Despite the common sense requests in the bill, House Democrats voted against it.

This comes on top of the Biden Administration’s sweeping revisions of Title IX, effectively forcing every public school in America to adopt and promote radical views about sexuality without question. Every school would be prohibited from sex-segregating facilities, which is actually in direct violation of Title IX’s provisions explicitly allowing such practices.

By all indications, parents on both sides of the aisle want to raise their own children.

In the proposal, the administration refuses to define the term “sex” and broadly expands the definition of harassment to include statements that are not even targeted at a specific individual. This vague policy leaves schools the freedom to target students and teachers who make factual statements about sex and gender. And even more troubling, many schools have taken the proposed rules as license to “affirm” a student’s gender transition without parental permission.

The Democrats are swimming against the tide on this issue. For example, Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill prohibiting instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through the third grade was smeared as the “don’t say gay” bill. But despite the attempted demonization of the law, a poll earlier this year by Public Opinion Strategies revealed that 61 percent of people supported the law, including 55 percent of Democrats. Only 26 percent of people opposed it. That is good math for parents.

Moreover, The Hill reported on a September poll by Heritage Action showing that 68 percent of the nearly 2,000 people surveyed, including 71 percent of independents, said that public schools should not teach young children about sex, gender identity, or sexual preferences and that parents should take on that responsibility. And a myriad of lawsuits have been filed across the country by school employees who have been punished for not using “preferred pronouns,” female athletes who were disciplined for dissenting against a boy in their locker room, and parents who discovered their children were encouraged to adopt a new gender without their knowledge.

Voting against bills designed to protect parental rights and drastically changing important civil rights legislation to promote warped sexuality mandates in schools are a chilling prelude of what is on tap if those who would undermine parents remain in power. And while many on the left may count on women to be angry enough about the abortion issue to still vote progressive at the polls, it’s likely that many of those women birthed children who they want to protect right now. By all indications, parents on both sides of the aisle want to raise their own children, and it would behoove the party in power to take that seriously.

Keisha Toni Russell

Keisha Toni Russell is counsel at First Liberty Institute and a fellow at the Center for Religion, Culture and Democracy.

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