Parents — not the government — are responsible for teaching morals and fundamental values to their children. School administrators seem to have forgotten this. Throughout our commonwealth and country, local school districts are attempting to supplant parents with government officials, who they believe know what is best for our children.
The reality is these officials are interested in indoctrinating our children with their own version of what morality and values should be; it is destructive to children’s upbringing and to the American family unit at large.
Parents are responsible for instilling moral, religious, personal, cultural and other values that they deem appropriate in order to prepare their children for success and happiness in life. Some parents, like us, believe this should be rooted in our Christian faith. No matter the source, we believe that parents are foremost responsible for establishing a moral foundation in their children.
With a strong moral foundation being built at home, parents then entrust their local school districts with educating their child in reading, writing and arithmetic. Parents do not, however, expect government bureaucrats to infiltrate their child’s classroom and teach them their own concept of morality.
In our own community, the West Shore School district has engaged with “CharacterStrong” to teach “Social and Emotional Learning” (SEL) to our children. This curriculum is aligned with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) whose chief priority is to implement SEL with “equity and excellence” in mind. This may sound relatively harmless to the untrained listener, until you find out more about these organizations and their disturbing goals.
CharacterStrong states that their goal is to “partner” with parents in teaching moral and fundamental values to their children. The organization’s overt goal is to co-parent children by helping them to identify their own “values and virtues” and to reflect on those values to “help guide their decisions.”
We, like the majority of parents across the country, are not interested in coparenting with a government contractor. The government is not the parent of my child. We raise our children consistent with the values of our Christian faith and expect those values not to be meddled with.
The West Shore School District should be focused on teaching rigorous academics and training our children to think critically. It should be focused on preparing our children for the academic rigors of high school, college, and the real world. Instead, it is focused on promoting the CharacterStrong curriculum which, through CASEL, has made “equity” essential to the SEL curriculum.
My child’s school should not be focused on gender ideology, race, or undermining the core values I teach my children. Unfortunately, the school district has decided to continue to push this dangerous ideology and indoctrination scheme.
Thankfully, parents have strong parental rights here in Pennsylvania. Chapter four of the Pennsylvania School Code authorizes parents or guardians to “have their children excused from specific instruction that conflicts with their religious beliefs.”
My fellow district parents recently exercised their rights under this provision but were met with denials. Worse, West Shore School District repeatedly demanded that our friends justify their religious objections to the chosen religion of the West Shore School District.
The school district has no discretion. It must grant the parents’ request and properly accommodate their children. Notably, the district did in fact permit some exemptions to the curriculum but denied others.
Parents who have decided to exercise their rights under both our state and federal constitutions should not be vilified. These parents should be praised for paying close attention to their children’s curriculum and ensuring that no one — especially the government — gets between parents and their children, before it’s too late.