Send Your Family to School

Author: Jim Sedlak

Celebrate Life May-June 1995, p. 32 SEND YOUR FAMILY TO SCHOOL by Jim Sedlak, President, Stop Planned Parenthood International Copyright 1995 American Life League THERE WAS A TIME when parents could send their children to school and be confident that the school personnel would reinforce their family values. Children would spend their days studying mathematics, science, English and reading, and would come home happily revealing their newfound knowledge to their parents. When things such as death and dying, drugs, the occult, sex, and similar subjects were discussed, which was very infrequently, parents could be assured that the schools would treat the subjects very sensitively--taking care not to disturb the children in the process. Sadly, those days are gone. Not a week goes by that American Life League doesn't get a call from some parent whose child has been adversely affected by a school-sponsored program. Over the last 25 years, these offensive programs have become entrenched in schools throughout the country. Parents want to get rid of the programs at once but, unfortunately, in most cases things do not happen that quickly. There is something parents can do, however, to help prevent the introduction of offensive programs and to weed out those already in existence, and replace them with wholesome curriculum. Each time your children get on the school bus, they should know that they are not alone, that the entire family is behind them. Elementary school, for example, should not be a place where you send your youngest children while the rest of the family worries about high school or college choices. Elementary school is the target for many of the offensive programs, as well as the place where the most harm can be done--children are very impressionable age at that age. It is here that you should begin the practice of getting the family involved. When we speak of family involvement, many think immediately of the mother of the children becoming a teacher's aide or hall monitor. While this type of involvement still goes on and should be encouraged, it is increasingly difficult for modern moms to find the time, particularly when they might have several children in different schools and also hold a job to help the family finances. Thus, we usually need more than this simple remedy. Every family member should use every available opportunity to find out what is happening in the school. When mom and dad go to the school on parents' night, or to the PTA meeting, or to visit the teacher, or just to pick up a child after an event, they should use the opportunity to find out what the children are learning. Bring the grandparents and other children, and have everyone wander the halls and look at the announcements on bulletin boards or the work of the children hanging in the halls and in the classrooms. If the bulletin board contains the number of the local Planned Parenthood facility or an AIDS hotline number run by the local homosexual group, this is cause for concern. If the children's environmental projects and papers proudly displayed on the wall contain references to the "overpopulation problem," a red flag should go up in your mind. If the social studies teacher has United Nations posters hung in the room proclaiming "safe motherhood" and the necessity to control the number of "unwanted children" in developing nations, you will know that it is past the time to take action. One mother in New York state was wandering the halls of her child's school during August when she came across workmen painting a new sign on the nurse's office. The sign said, "Wellness Center." She asked for details from the workmen, but they had none. She then tried to get information from school officials, and was told there were no plans for any Wellness Center. But she had seen the sign. So, she kept digging. After many weeks, she finally uncovered a proposal that the school had sent to the state government, seeking money for the center. The school was anticipating approval and was using the summer months to get ready. After gathering all the details (including the fact that the state wanted birth control dispensed at the center), this mother started an effort that first delayed the opening of the center and eventually resulted in its removal from the school entirely. All of this began simply because she was wandering the school halls during the summer. It is not enough, though, to wander the halls. You need to do something with the information you collect. After your family returns from one of these fact-finding missions, you should all exchange information and decide if anything needs to be looked into further. Another good place for family investigation is the school library. All family members should take the time to visit the library often and see what types of books it offers children. See, for example, if it has books by Judy Blume. She is an author famous for spreading the philosophies of Planned Parenthood. See also if there are books by Planned Parenthood, the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party, the North American Man-Boy Love Assn., or other offensive groups. In one school, a senior high student found a Planned Parenthood display in a junior high library. He alerted his parents, who immediately contacted the librarian and other school officials. Although the school refused to dismantle the exhibit, it was eventually removed and, after many years, has never been back. The parents feel that the school officials, while refusing to admit they were wrong, simply want to avoid any future clashes and therefore have kept Planned Parenthood out. This resulted because a son let the family know what was happening. The family's best source of information is from school children who are exposed to these offensive programs. The problem is that many of the children are traumatized by the courses and simply do not want to talk about them. We have encountered some school districts where young children were told by the teachers that they were not allowed to discuss what happened in class (usually one involving psychotherapy or sex indoctrination). Nevertheless, other children in the family can sometimes keep an eye on their siblings and report offensive programs to parents. The month of June presents some excellent opportunities for families to find out what is happening in the schools. It is then that most children throw away their notebooks from that school year. A great family project is to save the notebooks--see if your neighbors will give you theirs too--and then review them for offensive material. Let me emphasize that the purpose is not to spy on our children. It is, rather, to find out exactly what the children are being taught. In one school district, parents had been concerned about a particular teacher who, they believed, was teaching children that abortion was a harmless event. The teacher denied this and insisted that she only mentioned abortion as a pregnancy option and did not go into any details. One June, these parents were able to review the notebooks of two different students in this teacher's class and found that both had written exactly the same phrase: "Abortion is an after the fact method removing the fertilized egg from the uterus through gentle scraping/suction." This common language led parents to investigate further and they uncovered a whole series of "Human Sexuality Supplements to the Current Health 2 Program" used in the school. These supplements contained much offensive information and were eventually thrown out of the schools. But their existence might not have been discovered if the families had ignored a valuable source of information: discarded school notebooks. There are many cases of families having a positive influence on their schools. The most important thing is for your children to know your stand on these issues and that you will back them up if they too take a stand. One father in Connecticut told us of being called to his daughter's high school by the school principal. His daughter had refused to do the day's assignment in her ninth-grade health class, even after being talked to by the teacher and the principal. The father arrived and was told of the incident; he asked what the assignment was. They told him the assignment was "Draw a picture of your mother and father having intercourse." The father backed up his daughter and made it clear that he would not stand for this type of "education" being inflicted on his family. No, he said, his daughter would not do the assignment. He later rewarded his daughter for her stand. The tragedy of this story is not that a girl got in trouble for not doing the assignment. It is that 22 other children in the class actually did the lesson. Their parents probably never even knew it happened. This lack of knowledge will be less common if you send your family to school with each of your children. A concerned, involved family is the best way to thwart the plans of those who would capture the minds and souls of our children. Jim Sedlak is president of Stop Planned Parenthood International, P.O. Box 8, LaGrangeville, NY 12540.

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