“IF YOUR PARENTS AREN’T ACCEPTING OF YOUR IDENTITY I’M YOUR MOM NOW,” read a poster posted by a high school teacher in the Eau Claire Area School District. The sign has a mother bear with several cubs around her, including one with the images of a gay pride and another with the images of a transgender pride flag. This is just one more example of how radical agendas undermine parental rights and put students at risk.
The disturbing poster is just one of the many controversies surrounding the school district in northwestern Wisconsin. A recent training session for teachers on “equity, diversity and inclusion” included several references to keeping parents from being informed about their children.
During the training, one of the slides said, “We understand and acknowledge that teachers are often put in terrible positions caught between parents and their students. But much like we wouldn’t act as stand-ins for abuse in other circumstances, we cannot let parents’ rejection of their children guide teachers’ reactions and actions and advocacy for our students.” Teachers were told, “remember, parents, are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned.”
They are totally wrong. Parents should be the ones who have ultimate responsibility for their children. Anyone who disagrees with that should not be in a position of authority in a school, period.
Sadly, this is part of a dangerous trend of education bureaucrats and radical activists. They show a blatant disregard for the rights of parents. As a group of school board candidates correctly noted, if identity questions regarding a student can be hidden from parents, can the school also withhold critical information about “diet, curriculum, healthcare, inappropriate relationships, mental health concerns, etc.” from parents? This is wrong.
A former teacher in the Eau Claire Area School District expressed concern over the district’s policies: “My breaking point this year was when I had a female student tell a guidance counselor that she now wanted to go by a boy’s name. There were THIRTY other staff members that were included on that email, and we were told to not tell the parents. Act like nothing happened if we needed to contact home. Could you imagine being a parent and finding out that thirty teachers are calling your girl a boy’s name, and you knew nothing about it?”
The teacher explained that some of the other teachers openly mocked students they disagreed with. Her letter says, “So many teachers say they are inclusive of everyone and say the right things. Last year I was talking with a colleague about a student that was added to one of my classes at semester break, and this colleague’s response was, “Ugh. I hate teaching that kid. He wears a trump mask and trump hoodie every day. I can’t stand him”. I was shocked. I loved the kid. A smart, respectful, hardworking young man. To despise a student because of their personal beliefs…seriously! I would be lying if that was the first time I had heard comments like that. It happens way more than you would think.” So much for tolerance.
Young America’s Foundation previously exposed a “BLM Week of Action” in the Ames, Iowa school district. As part of their curriculum, preschool and kindergarten students were given coloring pages with transgender characters. They were encouraged to decide if they wanted to be a boy or a girl or something else. This is how young they are starting the indoctrination.
As we saw in Loudoun County last year, however, the implications of these radical agendas are more than just indoctrination. Scott Smith’s daughter was attacked at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia, in May 2021.
A month later, Mr. Smith attended a school board meeting in Loudoun County. They were told that gender-fluid bathrooms were not a problem. It was clear that the school board and administrators were more concerned about furthering their transgender agenda than protecting the safety of students. Knowing the truth, Mr. Smith was outraged. When he articulated his concerns, he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Despite Mr. Smith’s impassioned pleas, the student was transferred to another school, where he dragged another girl into an empty classroom and assaulted her. After the second assault, students at several Loudoun County Public Schools held walkouts to demand the protection of students from sexual assault.
In January, the student who raped Mr. Smith’s daughter was sentenced to a locked residential program and ordered to register as a sex offender. He pleaded no contest to two counts of forcible sodomy. His mother told a media outlet that he does not identify as a girl but put on a dress to sneak into the girl’s bathroom.
No parent should have to go through what Mr. Smith and his wife did. No student should be a victim because of anyone else’s agenda. Parents need to take back their schools—before it’s too late.
• Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.