by Kevin Cookingham
I have been asked numerous times lately about taking a leadership role in starting a new K-12 private school as well as a freshman/sophomore college program for high school graduates. There is a passion among parents to expose their children to a quality education that incorporates traditional values, character, patriotism, and intellectual rigor.
Christian parents are especially discouraged by new woke societal values that undermine their Christian beliefs during the school day. There is a flight from public education fueled by parents who feel they may lose their children to a far-left indoctrination now prevalent in
Voddie Baucham stated “ We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”
Depending on the study, 70% to 90% of ‘churched’ students turn away from their upbringing when they go away to a secular college or university. However, it should be noted that our current K-12 curriculum has become a venue for new societal woke values that were considered taboo just a few years ago. Mandates at the state level are forcing school districts with more conservative views to follow the state rules or suffer repercussions. Because of this, private schools are expanding at a rapid pace. Parents are focused on their children as their primary responsibility in life; and if the local school is teaching their children opposing values, parents either fight, change schools or home school.
There are six key issues that concern many parents in regards to their children’s education:
- Gender and sex education. This is sometimes defined as anti-bullying curriculum but stresses few moral absolutes. This curriculum includes total acceptance of transgender ideology and that gender is a social construct. Gender confusion is already epidemic. I just watched a new video almost five minutes in length containing statements from America’s top federal officials emphasizing their support for all LGTBQI and transgender children in school. Why not focus on the rights of all children including those who are Christian, black, white, poor, conservative and liberal?No one should be bullied. The issue is the amount of time and effort favoring one group over another.
- Acceptance of socialism. There is a new focus that is anti-capitalist and pushes a new paradigm toward re-distribution of wealth and resources, with an emphasis on socialism being a more progressive and superior system.
- Anti-America propaganda. The curriculum and instructional emphasis is on the current and past sins of our country while minimizing the great accomplishments and contributions here and abroad. America takes in almost half of the world’s legal immigrants each year. America is always first on site when a natural disaster occurs, no matter the religious beliefs or color of the people. America gives more to those in need than any other country.
- Health/COVID. The new mask mandate for children is maddening. Mandatory vaccination for college students is ridiculous. The bottom line is this… should citizens in a free country be mandated to inject a substance into their bodies to which they object? This has become nothing but a political tool. Only approved views are permitted online and in some school districts. Emphasis is placed on a rise in hospitalized children with COVID but ignores the rise of hospitalizations for children each year due to influenza. Every study I have read indicates that far more children die of the common influenza flu each year than COVID. However, masks are the new politically correct mandate, and parents are upset.
- Education failure. Our education system is not producing a good overall product (a high degree of student learning). Fresno students are in the bottom 5th percentile in the nation. There is too much emphasis on wokeness and not enough focus on math, reading, writing and science. Discipline is non-existent and students are out of control. Teacher unions rule and put political correctness above learning outcomes.
- Critical Race Theory. The core of Critical Race Theory is that if you don’t have enough melanin, you are inherently racist. The most important thing about you is your race. If your race is privileged, you are the oppressor. Racism is always present. Proponents of CRT will always find racism because if you won’t admit to being a racist, you are subconsciously racist. CRT is incorporated throughout K-12 curriculum yet not identified as CRT. However, the core beliefs can be infused throughout the new curriculum. I believe this system of thinking can have a detrimental impact on children whether they have a little or a lot of melanin. If you want to determine if a district is going woke, check out their teacher/administrator trainings. If trainings include white privilege and gender identity issues while excluding epidemic mental health concerns such as depression, suicidal ideations, ADHD and op p o s i t i o n a l / d ef i a n t disorders, you have a woke district.Not all of the above-mentioned concerns come from curriculum, but from teachers who are fresh out of far-left universities as well. They are excited to share their liberal views with the most gullible and vulnerable minds. Children tend to believe their teachers. After all, they couldn’t be teachers if they didn’t know what they were talking about, right? I could convince any third grader that his or her mom was really a llama if you just give me 30 minutes. Just think of the confusion and turmoil when little girls and boys hear they may be non-binary. High heels one day and cowboy boots the next. We won’t have enough school psychologists to help their confused minds.
I have said for years that elections have consequences. All of the new wokeness begins or ends with those whom we vote into office. It starts with voting for school board and city council members who have our values and moves all the way up to who will represent us as our President. These elected officials decide who will sit on boards and what actions will be approved. They tend to hire staff with their same values. Parents are now fighting back by voicing their opinions, getting out the vote and running for public office. The culture war is definitely on. Vote well, continue to pray, and hold your children tight.