As conservative parents, we have an uphill fight — whether against the biased media, our current progressive government, or our increasingly liberal educational system. The deck is stacked against us by liberals and leftists, something we successfully voted to change come Jan. 20.
Sometimes, pure incompetence rules the day, as schools do away with traditional measure of academic success.
Sometimes we must avoid jumping to conclusions and just ask honest questions.
In Alabama, the state board refused to add simple letter grades for school report cards, opting instead for confusing point totals, AL.com reported last week. The “report cards,” minus letter grades, were then placed into one online database and published one morning before Christmas without fanfare. Parents still do not know how their children are doing in their classes — and cannot compare school test score averages.
As parents of a middle school child, my wife and I always keep an ear and eye out for instances of liberal teachers trying to sway our son’s still-forming opinions. As parents, it is we who should be raising our child the way we see fit.
We know the stories — college professors encouraging and even joining in protests against conservative candidates or legislation, and public school coaches banned from holding a voluntary prayer session before a game. Grade school students are being shown how to conduct Islamic prayer, while schools remove any mention of the Bible. Teachers characterize our Founding Fathers as white supremacists and racists in blatant examples of revisionist history.
With this in mind, it is up to all parents to keep an eye on their children's school curriculum, from kindergarten through high school. Here are four ways to protect your children from rampant progressivism during school hours:
1.) Know the curriculum.
Parents should physically go into their child's school and review all curriculum they have questions about. Visit the school library and see what titles are there for kids. Then, have open and frank discussions with your children about what occurs within the classroom.
And keep in touch with teachers and the administration.
2.) Don't jump to conclusions.
When my child was in fourth grade, he had his educational introduction to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He has an advantage over some other students in that subject, since he and I have discussed our rights as citizens many times. As a Second Amendment advocate, I have discussed the right to keep and bear arms with my son at length.
At the end of the first week of the topic, he came home and let me know they did not cover the Second Amendment. His teacher discussed the basics of the other amendments, but only mentioned the Second Amendment in passing. She told the class that this amendment concerned "owning guns for hunting."
Get to know your school administration. Tell them when something bothers you.
When I heard that, my blood pressure started rising — but I stayed calm. My immediate thought was that the teacher was not a fan of the Second Amendment and did not want to tell the kids about it. First thing Monday morning, I called the principal at the school and made an appointment to speak with him. I had no intention of starting an argument, unless that's what they wanted.
The principal and I had a calm, civil discussion. It turns out that according to our city's school curriculum, the Second Amendment would be covered in the fifth grade. Apparently, they thought it might be a little too complex for younger children to understand. He did let me know that when they covered it, it would be presented academically and not biased in any way.
Sometimes we must avoid jumping to conclusions and just ask honest questions. I was happy with the response of our principal. He mentioned he would talk to my son's teacher about how she framed the Second Amendment to fourth-graders in the future.
3.) Teach when, and how, to handle disagreements.
It is not always faculty who may provide liberal influence or arguments to your son or daughter. Perhaps you live in area where the majority of people have a similar ideology. As conservatives, it is important for us to understand our communities and how they affect our children. Obviously, other parents have an influence on what their children believe. Even though eastern Tennessee, where I live, is vastly conservative and voted in favor of Donald Trump, there are still quite a few who supported Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Knowing this, I have cautioned my son to try to avoid politics in general. I urge him to just be a kid and have fun. Even though I know he understands conservatism, I do not want him to start arguments in school. However, I also urge him to not back down should someone challenge his viewpoint on important topics.
I believe that having a frank and honest relationship with your children is the key factor in keeping track of what goes on in their school and their social life. You must let them know they can come to you if they are bothered by statements teachers or friends make. Give them guidance and watch over them, but let them speak up for themselves, too.
School is for learning. Defending something they believe in is what they will have to do for the rest of their lives.
4.) Get involved.
Another way to ensure schools are teaching and not indoctrinating your child is to stay active at the school. Show up for teacher/parent meetings. Volunteer for school programs that need outside assistance, such as volunteering to be a "team parent" in sports or clubs.
Get to know your school administration, and tell them when something is bothering you.
Parenting is a full-time job. Ensure you are working overtime.
John Cylc is an eight-year U.S. Army veteran and lives with his family in eastern Tennessee. His primary advocacy is promoting and protecting Second Amendment rights.