Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Trump to pull feds out of K-12 education

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to start pulling the federal government out of K-12 education, following through on a campaign promise to return school control to state and local officials.

The order, dubbed the “Education Federalism Executive Order,” will launch a 300-day review of Obama-era regulations and guidance for school districts and directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to modify or repeal measures she deems an overreach by the federal government.

“For too long the government has imposed its will on state and local governments. The result has been education that spends more and achieves far, far, far less,” Mr. Trump said. “My administration has been working to reverse this federal power grab and give power back to families, cities [and] states — give power back to localities.”

He said that previous administrations had increasingly forced schools to comply with “whims and dictates” from Washington, but his administration would break the trend.

“We know local communities know it best and do it best,” said Mr. Trump, who was joined by several Republican governors for the signing. “The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”

Ms. DeVos and Vice President Mike Pence were on hand for the ceremony, which was attended by about 25 people, including teachers, lawmakers and the governors.


School District Forbids Parents From Opting Kids Out of LGBT Lessons

Parents in Orange County, California, may not opt their children out of lessons related to gender identity or sexual orientation, according to a memorandum written by the school district’s general counsel.

“Parents who disagree with the instructional materials related to gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation may not excuse their children from this instruction,” read the memorandum from Ronald Wenkart to the Orange County Board of Education.

A school district spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the memorandum sent to us by a parent.

“However, parents are free to advise their children that they disagree with some or all of the information presented in the instructional program and express their views on these subjects to their children,” the attorney wrote.

His analysis was included in a March 29 memorandum that was supposed to be a comprehensive legal review of the California Healthy Youth Act.

The legislation requires school districts to provide students with comprehensive sexual health education. The law mandates that schools “teach about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and the harm of negative gender stereotypes.”

According to the law, students can be excused from the comprehensive sexual health education portion of the law. But it’s what kids are not exempt from that has parents concerned.

The school district’s general counsel said that exemption does not apply to “instructions, materials or programming that discusses gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation, relationships, or family and does not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions.”

Perhaps even more alarming is the belief that school districts and the California General Assembly know what’s best for school children. From

“The courts have held that parents do not have the constitutional rights to override the determinations of the state legislature or the school district as to what information their children will be provided in the public school classroom,” the memorandum read.

Allow me to be blunt — the idea that parents do not have the constitutional right to determine what is best for their child is downright evil. Yes, evil.

Our nation’s public schools have been turned into indoctrination centers by a gang of radical sex and gender revolutionaries. Our education system has been taken hostage.

We must rise up and take back our public schools.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German theologian, once said that silence in the face of evil is evil itself. Friends, we are facing evil in our great nation and we must not be silent.


Teacher Sent Home for Wearing Shirt with Beautiful 2-Word Message

It’s a beautiful two-word message that the world needs right now — and it got an Alabama teacher kicked out of her classroom.

According to WALA-TV, Mobile County Public Schools teacher Chris Burrell was told to go home after wearing a T-shirt with the phrase “Just Pray” on it.

Burrell said she wore the shirt to support 11-year-old Aubreigh Nicholas, a young dancer from the local town of Semmes who has been fighting an inoperable brain tumor. The shirt has been sold as part of a fundraiser to pay for her treatment.

“So at the point of looking and seeing ‘pray’ on it, the principal said, can you put on a sweater or something, knowing that there are other people who object to that. We have to be cognizant of everyone’s beliefs or everyone’s thoughts in a public school,” said Martha Peek, the superintendent for Mobile County Public Schools.

Apparently they have to be aware of everyone’s thoughts except Burrell’s, of course.

“I didn’t think twice about it. I wasn’t trying to promote religion, it was just my Monday feel-good shirt,” Burrell said in a now-deleted Facebook post, according to Fox News.

Peek insists the principal wasn’t aware that the shirt was in connection to Aubreigh, whose plight has attracted a cadre of supporters called “Aubreigh’s Army.”

“We’re totally supporting her, I think that this was just an unfortunate connection there, but still the principal would have had to exercise her judgment,” said Peek, noting that school policy is to ban any clothing that expresses a belief.

Let’s not forget that the policy, as per Tinker v. Des Moines, is blatantly unconstitutional. That decision — authored by Abe Fortas, an appointee of the Lyndon Johnson administration — set in stone that “it can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Beyond that, it’s highly unlikely that any school would have exercised this unconstitutional policy for a student wearing a “Love Trumps Hate” or “#MeToo” T-shirt. One gets the distinct feeling, from recent history, that only certain messages that express a belief would run afoul of the fine people with the Mobile County Public Schools.

Given the Constitution, one could only reasonably restrict Burrell’s clothing choice on two grounds: it either was disruptive to the classroom or lent itself to the official establishment of a religion on the part of the school.

I think we can safely dismiss the first scenario without a second thought. As for whether it established a religion, it’s worth noting that Burrell was simply acting as an individual who happened to be a teacher. This wasn’t a decision for her to wear the T-shirt on the part of the district (far from it, actually) and it didn’t specify any religion, simply that she believed in the power of prayer.

While the Supreme Court has upheld laws that religious garb cannot be worn in the classroom if there is a state law prohibiting it in two separate cases involving a Sikh man in Oregon and a Muslim woman in Pennsylvania — both of whom were denied the right to wear religiously-identifiable clothing in the classroom — there isn’t a state law here, simply a school policy (which is unconstitutional, anyhow).

According to the Newseum, First Amendment Center cautions that “teachers should not wear clothing with a proselytizing message.”

However, to proselytize, one first needs to specify a religious belief that one is proselytizing for. Burrell’s shirt didn’t specify anything — and as for intent, it can be traced back to a fundraiser for a sick girl. Could one be said to be proselytizing for wellness, or simply for a miracle?

This shirt should not have alarmed anybody, unless they believe the simple act of prayer — an act that’s central to the life of most every religious believer across this planet — has now become an in-your-face obloquy to unbelievers.


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