- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 15, 2021

In Hudson, Ohio, public high-school students were assigned the book “642 Things to Write About,” which asked students to “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom,” and another which read, “rewrite the sex scene from above into one that you’d let your mom read.”

Another entry in the book asked students to drink a beer and describe how it tastes. Parents, rightly so, complained the book wasn’t appropriate for high-school students, and on Monday, the city’s Mayor demanded all five school board members resign for allowing it to be taught in the classroom.

Last week, in Leander, Texas, a parent at a school board meeting complained of a novel her son brought home from the school’s library, which contained graphic scenes of two fourth-grade boys engaging in oral sex.

“Who normalizes sex acts between fourth graders? Pedophiles,” the mother, Brandi Burkman, said during the public comment portion of the school board meeting on Sept. 9th. She read several obscene passages from the book, titled “Lawn Boy,” with audible gasps from the attendees. 

“In addition, I will share with you the exceptional quality of vocabulary,” Ms. Burkman continued. “I stopped counting on page 66 after 44 f—-s and 41 s—s.”

On Tuesday, the Leander Police Department said several parents had filed reports about the obscenities in the book, complete with lewd pictures, and they’re investigating. The Leander School District said “Lawn Boy” isn’t part of its curriculum, although it is available to some junior and senior English students in its libraries. It requested Ms. Burkman file an official complaint or request for them to review the book, but as of yet, no complaint has been filed. The book is still available to be checked out.

In late August, Kristin Pitzen, an English teacher in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District in California, posted a TikTok video describing how she took down the American flag from her classroom because it “made her uncomfortable” and asked her students to pledge their allegiance to the LGBTQ flag she hung in its place. Earlier this month, the school system said it was investigating the matter and that Ms. Pitzen had been removed from the classroom.

This is what the Left is teaching your children in government-funded schools, all in the name of “diversity, inclusion, and equity.” Liberals in this country control public education, and parents are facing an uphill battle. Unless you read every book your child is assigned, personally attend every class, and go to each school board meeting, it’s impossible to know the level of liberal indoctrination K-12 children face daily.

It’s time to end the madness and fully embrace and fund school choice. 

The American Federation for Children estimates the government spends on average $15,424 per student annually on public education. The cost of private schools varies, however, on average, it ranges from $6,000 to $8,000 a year. Wouldn’t it be terrific if 70% of our taxpayer monies followed the students? If parents were cut a check to decide where and how their child should be educated?

Luckily, this isn’t a partisan issue. According to a June poll from RealClear Opinion Research, 74% of respondents supported school choice, only 16% opposed. This is true across party lines, with 83% of Republicans, 69% of Independents, and 70% of Democrats saying they strongly or somewhat strongly support school choice. A majority of voters (66%) said that some or all of the COVID-19 funds the federal government set aside for K-12 education should be directed by parents.

After the pandemic shut down public schools last year, state legislatures have embraced school choice. This summer, New Hampshire approved Education Freedom Accounts, which parents can use for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, and technology. Pennsylvania passed a budget that expanded its tax-credit scholarship program. Arizona is now allowing low-income students in their public schools to switch to the state’s saving account program without a waiting period. Ohio lawmakers packaged several school-choice provisions into their budget.

So far this year, seven states have created new options for school choice, and more than a dozen have expanded their existing programs. The result is a boom in education entrepreneurship, a rise in charter schools, and the creation of micro-schools, where parents team up and jointly homeschool.

According to the Census Bureau, the number of home-schoolers has more than doubled nationally within the last year. Public school enrollments are down as much as 3%, and some surveys suggest an 8-percentage point decline. Parents have become empowered, and good teachers focused on the fundamentals of math, science, history, and English have more options to practice their trade.

The only way to defeat the liberal orthodoxies being taught in public education is to divert funding away from them. If parents are given a choice, we can and will succeed, and the next generation will be better off for it.

• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at the Washington Times.

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