|Two Competing Visions for American Education|
The battle lines have been drawn between agenda-driven education vs. family-centered education.
There’s no way to sugar-coat it—the agenda-driven side is winning when it comes to public school education. But bear with me. As any soldier will tell you, situational awareness is critical—so is understanding what makes your opposition tick. S o, please allow me to explain what agenda-driven education is and how it’s taking over our schools. Then I will share with you Family Policy Alliance’s vision for restoring family-centered education and ask you to join us.
WHAT DEFINES AGENDA-DRIVEN VS. FAMILY-CENTERED EDUCATION?
We’ve identified 4 key aspects that differentiate agenda-driven vs. family-centered education.
1. Children are tools to be used OR treasures to be cherished.
Those with an agenda-driven education policy are blinded to everything except their big cause—making it impossible for them to see and feel the impact on children.
The new “comprehensive sexual education” bill that just cleared the Colorado House is a perfect example of this. The bill requires that children as young as nine-years-old learn about explicit LGBT “sexual experiences.”
Our California ally warns about sexual education guidelines that require teaching children about having multiple sexual partners, allowing abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to be instructors, and warning children about “religion abuse” that would include “forcing others to adhere to rigid gender roles… . Not allowing a partner to do things they enjoy.”
It’s hard to imagine it could get worse, but it can. We’ve seen sexual education or “LGBT curriculum” legislation that specifically includes instruction about how “gender norms” are shameful and bigoted. They teach children that they may choose to “be a boy or a girl” and can access hormones and even permanent sex-change surgery that will allow them to be whatever gender they choose!
These curriculums fail to explain that hormones used in this way are experimental and can lead to problems with bone development and sterilization, that cross-sex surgeries have not proven to relieve mental struggles with gender dysphoria, or that 80% of children who struggle with gender identity but whose bodies are not altered by hormones or surgery go on to abandon confusion and grow naturally into adult life.
Curriculum that advances a cause, regardless of whether children may be harmed, is agenda-driven. Children become tools instead of treasures to guide and nurture.
We envision a future where the impact on children is central to education policy and where families have access to school choice. When a school succumbs to a liberal agenda that harms children and disregards the values families are instilling in their children, families should have the freedom and financial means to select a better school. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of economic incentivization when it comes to influencing schools to do the right thing.
2. Families are excluded OR included.
Once again, Colorado’s new sexual education bill is a perfect example of agenda-driven education. The bill not only discourages parents from being involved—it’s a hostile takeover of parental rights. It provides no clear way for parents to opt their children out of the state’s agenda-driven sexuality curriculum.
Take another example. Late last year, New Jersey proposed a new Department of Education regulation that would require schools to keep vital information about a child’s gender identity secret from parents. If a parent has a disagreement with their child’s gender identity, school staff are urged to review information on reporting child abuse.
When an agenda drives education policy, parents are simply in the way.
We envision a future where parents’ constitutional right to direct the care, upbringing, and education of their children is restored—because parents are best situated to protect and instill values in their children. We are working with state allies in multiple states to advance legislation that restores parental rights in schools, children’s healthcare, and more.
3. Faith, and even other viewpoints, are censored OR welcomed.
The sponsor of Colorado’s sex education bill admitted publicly that the legislation is specifically intended to exclude faith-based views on sexuality from the classroom. The bill is worded so that it is outright censorship of families’ religious or traditional views on sexuality—making it clear that only the State’s preferred views on sex and sexuality will be tolerated.
Children as young as kindergarteners are targeted for “a re-indoctrination of values” in agenda-driven education. For example, California’s proposed curriculum states that “Dispelling myths about gender expectations in kindergarten can lay the groundwork for acceptance, inclusiveness, and an anti-bullying environment in school…” This means that families’ faith-based or even science-based views on biological sex are “myths” in need of dispelling and have no place in public schools.
We envision a future where both students and teachers can freely live out their faith in school—not forcing anyone to believe as they do, but praying together and for their school, and sharing their faith openly with others. We’re advancing legislation right now that makes clear that students and teachers have religious freedom rights in school. Isn’t it time for more of God in our schools—not less?
4. Curriculum is rewritten to fit a narrative OR teaches historical and scientific fact.
Take New Jersey’s new “LGBT curriculum” policy, signed into law by Governor Murphy, for example. Imagine a literature or history class where students are not just taught the historic contributions of literary giants like Emily Dickinson or former U.S. Presidents—but the curriculum also questions the sexual preferences of our national historic figures.
One textbook example ponders the fact that President James Buchanan “never married [and] had a very good friend who was living with him. He may have been gay.” Because of agenda-driven education policy, a former American president is reduced to the sort of suspect commentary we find in newspaper tabloids and gossip magazines.
We envision a future where parents can trust that their children’s schools will stick to instruction and not indoctrination. We advance legislation that creates school choice opportunities for families, allows parents to review all curriculum, and ensures parents can opt children into curriculum that may be concerning—without worrying about having to opt out.
FAMILY-CENTERED EDUCATION: HOW DO WE GET THERE?
1. Christ-followers must take action.
Our theme verse at Family Policy Alliance is Daniel 11:32, “The people who know their God will stand firm and take action.” We must be salt and light in our community’s schools (whether private or public), and we must advocate for policies that put family-centered education first.
2. The Church must be united.
When it comes to advancing agenda-driven education, extreme Left groups have been unified. Teachers unions, Planned Parenthood, LGBT activist groups, the ACLU, and others work as a team to advance their agenda sharing the same talking points, goals, and strategy. Jesus completely altered the course of history with 12 ordinary men—imagine what His Church could do if we all stood boldly together for Truth and for the sake of those around us, especially children.
3. We must elect leaders with godly values.
We are so blessed to live in a country where we, as believers, have both the opportunity and the calling to speak into the direction our government takes. We can petition lawmakers, vote for the ones who most closely align with our values, hold them accountable with our votes, seek out new representation when we need to—and even run for office ourselves. May we never take this for granted as a way to actively love our neighbors.
We are committed to advancing family-centered education. If you agree, will you take action with us today?
Here are 3 ways:
May God give us the courage to boldly stand firm and take action,
There are many aspects to sex education. What follows is testimony offered to the Washington legislature concerning the role of sexual trauma in contributing to the development of confusion and homosexual desire in youth. The occasion for this testimony is the consideration of Senate Bill 5722 which would ban licensed professional counselors from assisting minors in Washington State who desire to change from homosexual desire to heterosexual. We thank Gretchen Stockman for her expertise and transparency in offering her perspective on this difficult issue.
February 7, 2018
Hello, my name is Gretchen Stockman. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in Pierce County. I am married, the mother of three boys, and the step-parent of a son and daughter. One of my sons is gender dysphoric and identifies as bisexual. I believe that being a mental health professional and the parent of a sexually and gender variant child uniquely qualifies me to speak out on SB 5722.
So far in my practice, 100% of the time the kids experiencing same-sex attraction (SSA) and gender dysphoria have had deep emotional wounds or a history of trauma. It isn’t uncommon for these youth to report broken homes, family problems, trouble with peer relationships, feeling rejected or not fitting in, bullying and harassment, neglect, and physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse—often before they had any same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.
I have been stunned at how many male clients share with me their closely held secret of homosexual encounters they had as kids. All too often I am told how they were enticed by other sexualized boys who preyed upon them. The guilt, self-loathing, insecurities, and unwanted SSA that ensued resulted in lifelong struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, as well as relationship problems, substance abuse, and sexual addictions. Access to professional counseling as minors to resolve root issues, rather than to embrace SSA, could have mediated the aftermath to these traumas.
I would like to share a few quick stories to illustrate my concerns:
A client I have worked with for five years grew up in a home where he and his siblings were routinely given supplements to increase libido and sexually abused with enemas. In addition, my client repeatedly heard his older brother cry and scream, “Daddy, it hurts!” while their father sodomized him. That older brother later began getting into trouble for performing oral sex on his friends, and as an adult went to prison for seducing a family member’s minor son. My client was severely traumatized by his childhood and has suffered debilitating anxiety his entire life. He has extreme fear of men, yet at times is tormented by unwanted homosexual dreams and impulses. As yet, he has not successfully sustained a lasting or healthy romantic relationship, though he wants one very much. Had my client received professional help for his traumas and unwanted same-sex feelings coerced on him by sexual abuse as a child, his life may have had a very different outcome. In an SB 5722 world, if a child with a history like my client’s with unwanted SSA went to a licensed professional therapist who would not accept his goal of therapy, he might receive treatment for some aspects, but not for the unwanted same-sex feelings coerced on him by child abuse.
Just last week, one of your own House members shared with me a childhood memory of a predatory boy in his class who targeted other boys to befriend and lure them to his home where he might seduce them into sexual activities. How many lives are shattered by these types of experiences? If SB 5722 passes, what counseling options would be available to children who do not want unwanted feelings to define who they are or influence their behavior? Will it be dictated what can and can’t be talked about between a client and his or her therapist?
A woman I met with told me how she was molested multiple times in multiple settings as a child. She went through a period where she concluded it was neither desirable nor safe to be a girl. She ultimately chose to accept her biological gender, and after years of therapy went on to be a well-adjusted wife and mother. Without this kind of therapy, she might have been sent down a path of sex change that would have permanently sterilized her, removed her breasts, and made her a medical patient for life, while not treating the underlying cause of her gender dysphoria.
I’ve heard many testimonies now through books, websites, videos, and in person of people who chose to work through the wounds and traumas that resulted in unwanted attractions and gender dysphoria who are now living fulfilling heterosexual lives and in accordance with their biological sex.
My own son Jaxon is a textbook case: middle child from a broken home, abused by the key male figures in his life, and bullied at school. Rather than being stereotypically masculine, he is musical and artistic and has a beautiful sensitive-relational personality. Years after the fact, Jaxon revealed to me that when he was in elementary school, a neighbor boy enticed him into a sexual encounter and in junior high another boy made sexual advances toward him. His step-father body-shamed him, as did others. He had no loving, supportive male figure in his world to protect, guide, and encourage him for the special and unique male that he is, nor to affirm his masculinity. Is it any wonder that Jaxon struggled internally to love who he was—a man? How many others like Jaxon are out there?
The very nature of professional counseling is, ironically, change. People seek counseling because they are troubled about thoughts, feelings, or something in their lives and they want to change it. In my opinion, what is threatened by this bill is what types of change therapy are going to remain available in Washington State. SB 5722 in its current form would virtually eradicate any counseling by a licensed professional that would assist youth who are conflicted and troubled by their sexual attractions or gender dysphoria and want counseling focused on resolving the underlying issues fueling those attractions and feelings. If this bill is passed, where are these people supposed to go to get the professional help they need to achieve the outcome they want? I assure you, young people with unwanted SSA and gender dysphoria are suffering emotional agony and feeling terribly alone…do we really want to leave these minors without safe, professional spaces to receive hope and care?
What about kids who adopt a gay or transgender “identity” and then change their mind? These people do exist. Where are they going to go for professional help?
Counseling therapy is my passion, and I have a heart for LGBTQ strugglers and their families. People who currently see me don’t want someone to affirm feelings or behaviors coerced on them by abuse, they want to be restored. If SB 5722 passes in its current form I, and other counselors like me, will have no choice but to close our doors to affected youth. Youth with unwanted attractions and feelings will not seek a therapist who is not open to their goal of change and will often get no professional help at all.
This bill would prevent affected people who want the option to pursue healing or change, or who aren’t sure what they want, from even having that discussion in a professional therapeutic environment. Parents and their children should have the right to choose therapy that helps them advance their own goals and live the life they want. The government should not be permitted to determine what those goals “should” be or tell a person what outcome they should or should not want.
Coercive and abusive counseling is already illegal and violates professional codes of ethics. To my knowledge, not one professional therapist in Washington has been cited, charged, or disciplined for torturing their clients, whether gay or straight. This bill deserves to be struck down. But if it moves forward, let it at least be amended to specifically allow psychotherapy, talk therapy, and faith-based counseling which supports the client’s beliefs, desires, and goals. Let it permit treatment for unwanted SSA or gender dysphoria when there is reasonable evidence it is the result of trauma. And let us preserve a client’s right to a goal of change that is congruent with their religious faith, or for whatever reason they may have.
Gretchen Stockman, MA, LMFT
Parents, your teens are being pressured to ‘sext.’ Even at Christian high schools.
Wed Jan 3, 2018 - 8:24 pm EST by Jonathon van Martin
January 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – I travel a lot throughout North America speaking on the pervasiveness of the poisonous porn plague, and when I speak to parents, they are stunned when I read off statistics that highlight just how prevalent sexting is in nearly every single high school. When I speak to students, on the other hand, there is no shock. They look at each other knowingly. Some flush and duck their heads. Others squirm uncomfortably, their smartphones burning a hole in their pocket.
In fact, at a recent high school I was speaking at, I explained to the girls why guys asking them for nude photos or selfies should get immediately dumped, and there were several boys staring at me with open malevolence, furious at what I was saying. The girls, on the other hand, were often nodding emphatically—and of the written questions I collected after the presentation, nearly a dozen were about how to say no to such requests, what to do after sending these pictures, and how to help friends that were terrified that these pictures were being sent on to others. Read more- https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/parents-your-teens-are-being-pressured-to-sext.-even-at-christian-high-scho
Spokane schools won’t adopt Planned Parenthood sex education plan
UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 9, 2017, 10:16 p.m.
Planned Parenthood educator Rachel Todd explains the differences in birth control options on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, in Spokane, Wash. At left is a section of fake skin, which allows patients to see and feel what an implant will feel like in their arm and at right is an IUD. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Sex education law
According to a 2005 state law, any school district that chooses to teach sex education classes must follow guidelines established in the Healthy Youth Act. Parents have the option of opting their children out of these lessons.
The curriculum has to be:
Medically and scientifically accurate.
Appropriate regardless of student gender, race, disability status or sexual orientation.
Include abstinence and other methods of preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
Spokane Public Schools won’t adopt a divisive sex education curriculum, opting instead to handpick middle school lessons from multiple sources.
The decision comes after some community pushback against the involvement of Planned Parenthood and district missteps.
The Get Real curriculum, partially designed by Planned Parenthood, has been immersed in controversy since the spring. The board was scheduled to vote on the curriculum June 28 after a citizen’s advisory committee reviewed and approved the lesson material. Read More- http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/nov/09/spokane-schools-wont-adopt-planned-parenthood-sex-/
California elementary schools to use pro-LGBT history textbooks
california , fair education act , lgbt , lgbt history , mark leno
SACRAMENTO, California, November 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Children in California will be learning to identify historical personages by their sexuality.
The Advocate reported that the California state board of education approved “10 LGBT-inclusive history textbooks” for elementary school students in grades K-8 last week. It also rejected two textbooks on the grounds that they did not include “LGBT history.” The exclusion of LGBT history violates California’s FAIR Education Act. Read More- https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/california-kids-to-study-history-with-lgbt-inclusive-textbooks