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OPINION

Public Schools: From Caretakers to Child Abusers

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Denis Poroy

Across the nation many public schools are violating the most basic duty they owe to parents and children: honoring parents’ rights over the education, care, custody, upbringing and control of their children. They are doing so by exercising a pervasive and malign influence over impressionable young people in grades Pre-K through 12, sexualizing them, confusing them into believing their birth genders are changeable at will, and indoctrinating them in Marxist Critical Race Theory. The Supreme Court has long held state action that interferes with parental rights to be presumptively unconstitutional. It is past time for Congress and state legislatures to adopt legislation that puts an end to the abuses and upholds parents’ rights.

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In Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the Supreme Court recognized a fundamental liberty interest in parents over the education, care, custody, upbringing and control of their children. Writing for the Court’s majority, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor explained: 

“[I]n Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390, 399, 401 (1923), we held that the ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right of parents to ‘establish a home and bring up children’ and ‘to control the education of their own.’ . . . [I]n Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510, 534-535 (1925), we again held that the ‘liberty of parents and guardians’ includes the right ‘to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.’ . . . . In subsequent cases also, we have recognized the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. See, e. g., . . . Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U. S. 205, 232 (1972) (‘The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition’); . . . Parham v. J. R., 442 U. S. 584, 602 (1979) (‘Our jurisprudence historically has reflected Western civilization concepts of the family as a unit with broad parental authority over minor children. . . .’); Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U. S. 745, 753 (1982) (discussing ‘[t]he fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child’); [Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702720 (1997)] (‘. . . the liberty specially protected by the Due Process Clause includes the righ[t] ... to direct the education and upbringing of one's children.’ . . . [I]t cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”

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With custody of children six to eight hours a day, public schools are legally bound to uphold parents’ rights over children’s education, care and upbringing. Instead, many routinely ignore requests for shielding children from Marxist indoctrination, sexualization, and gender orientation instruction. Flouting parents’ desires, many public schools rob children of their innocence, dishonor parents' religions, alter pronouns used to differ from a child’s birth gender, confuse children as to the status of their genders, invite children to transition without parental consent and despite the horrific and irreversible consequences, and induce children to favor Marxism and condemn their own country and Constitution. Each of these actions is child abuse that causes irreparable mental and physical harm. Schools that condone and promote the abuses are ruining generations of youth, rendering them dependent on government with every ounce of independence, excellence, and love of country driven out of them. They are crushing the hopes and dreams of youth in an all too transparent attempt to bring down the nuclear family, the free enterprise system and our constitutional republic.

It should come as no surprise that children whose impressionable minds accept this indoctrination will be unfit to compete in the market and to defend the nation from its domestic and external enemies. Rather, they have been molded to surrender to authoritarianism and relinquish their rights and sovereignty to the voracious appetites of Marxist politicians.

Endorsed by Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, funded by the Biden administration, and supported by extremists in the federal and state education bureaucracies, the child abuse agenda is ubiquitous and unrelenting. Nationwide in scope, infecting every public school to one degree or another, it must be met with stiff legal opposition to ensure its demise. The composition of school boards must be changed to include those dedicated to dismantling this agenda. States should follow the example of Florida and prohibit public school use of: politically biased curricula; factually incorrect histories of the United States and the world; false representations that biological genders are fluid; pornography; sexually suggestive drag queen shows; and pronouns that differ from birth genders. School counselors, teachers, administrators, health care workers, physicians and hospitals must be prohibited from aiding children under the age of 18 in transitioning. Federal funding should be eliminated for schools that violate the ban on aiding minors in transitioning and that violate the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause by treating children differently based on race. Child abuse laws should be adopted or amended to prohibit the provision of explicit sexual content to minors, the counseling of minors to transition from one biological gender to another, and the discriminatory treatment of minors based on race. Violations should be punishable as felonies, inclusive of those employed by the public schools. By law, teachers, counselors and administrators who violate the new laws against child abuse should be terminated without retirement or benefits. Protection of children from abuse and defense of parents’ rights must be made a federal and state priority.

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