Saturday, July 20, 2024

Alexander: U.S. Rep Letlow, AG Landry provide vital protections for children

by BIZ Magazine

U.S. Rep Letlow and AG Landry Provide Vital Protections for Children

U.S. Rep Julia Letlow (LA-05) has introduced a bill entitled The Parents Bill of Rights.  This important legislation is founded upon a principle that should not need to be stated: parents have a God-given right to make decisions for their children.

Following upon this principle, Rep. Letlow’s legislation guarantees that “parents always have a seat at the table when it comes to their child’s education.”

It’s tragic that the right of parents to participate in and direct their children’s education must be enshrined in a federal statute, but given the warped, Woke society we live in, it does.

Letlow’s legislation targets four basic parental rights:

1). The right of parents to know what their children are being taught.

2). The right of parents to review the school’s budget.

3). The right of parents to protect their children’s privacy.

4). The right of parents to be heard and to keep their children safe.

The China Virus forced a shutdown of schools, a dubious decision that has caused great harm to the learning of millions of children. Even the New York Times has concluded that the “Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading.”

But the silver lining of the China Virus Lockdown was that students’ resulting on-line learning ‘pulled back the curtain’ and enlightened many parents for the first time to the toxic subject matter their children were being force-fed.  Mothers and fathers revolted and began attending school board meetings to demand answers. 

Incredibly, in response to their efforts to protect their own children—parents who were understandably frustrated with lockdowns, school closures, mandates and graphic sexual library content—were labelled ‘domestic terrorists” by Biden’s Department of Justice. 

This means the mere fact that parents were fighting to protect the health, safety, education, and moral welfare of their children was so “dire” a situation that the Attorney General should invoke the Patriot Act—enacted after Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist attacks of September 11th—and have these concerned parents deemed “domestic terrorists” under the Act.

I must also note that Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has set up the critical mechanism of a “tip line” seeking complaints about public libraries to protect children from “early sexualization, as well as grooming, sex trafficking, and abuse.”

What are parents so concerned about?

Well, let’s see.  It may include the fact that many—but certainly not all—public schools have not truly educated children in the academic fundamentals (language, math, science, or history), in decades.  Today, in some cases, public schools function as ‘re-education camps’ similar to those run by the Chinese Communist Party for the purpose of indoctrinating grade school children into cultural Marxism.  

Please know I don’t intend here to bash or criticize the large majority of teachers in Louisiana and across the country who are deeply committed to their jobs and try very hard to educate their students.  Instead, my focus is on the school boards and school administrators who demand that these teachers—rather than concentrate on imparting the basic knowledge that will be necessary for their students to function in our society—“teach” highly inappropriate topics including sexual perversion, grooming, gender identity and racial politics.

These include Critical Race Theory, which asserts that America is hopelessly racist, transgender confusion policies, Drag Queen Story Hour at the local library, as well as curriculum and library materials containing graphic sexual content which in some cases is being forced upon young children in public schools.

One sacred principle underlies U.S. Rep. Letlow’s bill: Children are not the property of the state and parents are the final authority regarding what their children are taught and learn.  

The U.S. Supreme Court has many times recognized the fundamental liberty interest of American parents in the education of their own children.  That is why rowdy and heated local opposition to school board policies has been a hallmark of our civic engagement.  It is also why millions of American parents have sacrificed greatly to put their children in private schools and is a significant factor that explains why the number of children being homeschooled has increased rapidly across the country.

There is a compelling governmental interest in providing an outstanding public education to all children so they develop into well informed civic-minded citizens, but it doesn’t supersede parents.

I commend U.S. Rep. Letlow and Attorney General Landry for their wisdom and courage in taking a strong stand in protection of the innocence of Louisiana’s children.–

Royal Alexander is a Shreveport attorney

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