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UNSAFE: America’s Public Schools Not Safe for Children

Millions of school children are heading back to school. For too many parents it’s a relief. These days it often takes two working parents to support a family. School serves as a welcome baby sitter. But most parents probably are not aware of how unsafe their child’s school may be and I’m not just referring to the dangers that they encounter from other students such as bullying and drugs. They also have to face threats from the public system and some teachers.

I’ve written here frequently about the need to dismantle the public education monopoly. The socialist style public system is costing taxpayers more every year and with diminishing returns. Continuing on this path is insanity. I have focused my concerns on the social/political indoctrination that students encounter, such as global warming hysteria, social justice/income redistribution socialism along with an anti-American bias. Liberal minded parents may not agree with these concerns. But, there are other dangers facing public school students that I think would concern the vast majority of parents.

The ever expanding emphasis on sex education and the nature of the curriculum should concern most parents. Sex education now begins as early as kindergarten. That’s enough of a shock for most parents. Dr. Rick Swier and Dr. Duke Pesta have researched how the sex ed curriculum is now woven into every subject area. In Math? Yes.

This interweaving makes it practically impossible for parents to opt out. There are widespread reports that the curriculum is increasingly more supportive of homosexuality as a “normal” alternative life style and that significant time is spent convincing the kids of this. The curriculum is value free. There are no right and wrong behaviors taught. All forms of sexual behavior are taught as equally valid. Much of the curriculum sounds like it was written by Planned Parenthood. That’s not surprising given the close relationship between Planned Parenthood and the Democrats who control the U.S. Department of Education.

Some parents find the curriculum to be pornographic in nature. Parents in Fremont, CA have signed petitions threatening legal action over a ninth-grade health textbook featuring oral sex, vibrators and bondage. The textbook is called Your Health Today. Eighth graders at Woodland Park Middle School in San Marcos, California were asked to stand under signs that said how far they would be willing to go sexually. The signs said “smiled at, hugged, kissed, above the waist, below the waist, and all the way,” A Bellingham High School drama teacher had to issue an apology after her awards ceremony devolved into an evening of profanity about a priest having sex with kids. A Gilford, N.H. parent was arrested at a school board meeting for complaining about a pornographic book his 9th grade daughter was exposed to. The book, Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult includes erotic sexual scenes.

The federal bureaucrats have their hands in your school. The CDC sends out a Youth Risk Behavior Survey to all public schools that is given to children even in elementary school. The survey asks children about their personal sexual behavior. Most parents are not even made aware that the survey has been administered to their children.

Now, Common Core has introduced data mining of student performance and attitudes by private contractors. Even the liberal Politico reports that, “The goal is to identify potential problems early and to help kids surmount them. But the data revolution has also put heaps of intimate information about school children in the hands of private companies — where it is highly vulnerable to being shared, sold or mined for profit.” In 2010, the National Center for Education Statistics released a technical brief detailing that certain “sensitive information” could be extracted including political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent, mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family, religious practices and of course, sex behavior or attitudes.

Accompanying the ever increasing emphasis on sex there has been an explosion of teacher sex assaults on students. Drive West Communications has tracked 416 cases across the country just since January of this year. Reports of such cases abound. KHOU-TV reported that a teacher gave a lap dance to a 15-year-old boy at a Stovall Middle School. A Connecticut high school English teacher faced multiple criminal charges after she allegedly threatened to fail a student if he didn’t have sex with her. An art teacher in Camden, NJ asked boys to bring semen-stained tissues to school so he could make art projects with them.

What is frustrating in many such cases is an inability to or great delay in terminating such predators due to tenure protection afforded through union contracts. Fox News reported on the dirty dozen teachers protected by unions. One of these, a band director at O’Fallon Township High School in Illinois was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student. Instead of being fired, the teacher was able to resign, and the relationship was kept out of his file so he could obtain another teaching job. In 2010 he was convicted of molesting another female student and sentenced to six years in prison.

Of course, such cases may be rare. The majority of teachers are dedicated, hard working and morally upright people. But, they are working in a corrupt system. Bureaucratic rules and union contracts protect bad teachers. And even good teachers have little control over the curriculum.

Our public education system has become increasingly controlled by federal level bureaucrats and politicians. It’s a socialist system and like all socialist systems, it is destructive. A private system would not only offer parents more choice and greater control, it would do the same for teachers.

My advice to parents is to abandon the system. It will collapse and force reform. Partner with groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and Students First that advocate for vouchers and charter schools.



Rick David

Rick David retired from a career in business in 2011. His experience includes service in the USAF, in medical sales and in operations for an educational testing company. He has a passion for and has been actively engaged in conservative issue advocacy and campaigning for over 30 years. He currently resides in North Liberty, Iowa where he also served as a church pastor with his wife of 43 years and travels extensively volunteering in lay ministry.