Public School, Conscience, and Parenting

What are concerned parents to do about threats to personal beliefs and religious freedom in formal education? Madison Liberty Institute highlights a new resource from the Family Policy Alliance.

Sir Francis Bacon said it best three centuries ago:

“Knowledge is power.”

 Americans have, historically, believed these words. 

 A thirst for knowledge spurred the founding of landmark higher-learning institutions in young America such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and others. Back in the day, that thirst is what drove my grandpa—and likely yours—to walk uphill both to and from school. (True story.) It’s what inspired the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum, public libraries, and groundbreaking American inventions like the lightbulb, artificial hearts, and the phonograph.

 That thirst for knowledge is, today, largely satisfied through formal systems of education. At the age of four or five years, many of us enter public school for the first time. 10-year-olds can be found in classrooms learning about anything from poetry to Pythagoras. 16-year-olds wade through high school algebra and AP English. Adults, young and old, enter universities and trade schools around the country.

These systems are responsible not only for informing our brains, but also for shaping our beliefs.

And yet, if knowledge is power, we also must ask: Power to do what?

Power, if abused, does more harm than good. We know this from history, and we know it from our own experience. It follows, then, that if knowledge is power, then knowledge—or education—if abused, also does more harm than good.

Unfortunately, American children are increasingly exposed to explicit, partisan, and ethically questionable materials—and their parents are largely unaware. This material can come from instructors [1], curricula [2] [3] [4], information databases or search engines [5], classroom technology [6] [7], and other sources.

Some sexuality education curriculum for 7th graders (ages 12–13), for instance, describes “in eye-watering detail” body parts, contraceptive application, and different sex acts. Another curriculum for grades 7–9 includes sections on “You, As a Sexual Being”, “Gender Identity”, “Sexual Orientation”, “Lovemaking”, “Unintended Pregnancy Options”, and “Communicating With a Sexual Partner.”  Many have also heard of incidents where students are prohibited from praying privately at school, prevented from opting out of programs or materials with which they are uncomfortable, or are given counseling or treatments without their parents’ consent.

So, what are concerned parents to do? How can we protect our children, without protecting them out of an education?

Back to School—For Parents, authored by the Family Policy Alliance, is a new, free resource that helps parents do just that.

Family Policy Alliance regularly reviews concerns like these expressed by parents nationwide. Their new book, Back to School—For Parents is a masterful overview of information that can be used by parents to prepare for and deal with such concerns.

Here’s what you’ll find in Back to School—For Parents:

  • What’s actually happening to children in schools today, and why you should care
  • An explanation of your rights as a parent
  • How to talk to your child about sensitive subjects such as sexuality, gender, pornography, religious freedom, etc.
  • How to react to inappropriate content in school curricula, libraries, or activities
  • How to communicate with school instructors or administrators about religious beliefs, practices, and liberties
  • Other ways to advocate for your child

 The enemy here is not formal education, nor is it your child’s teachers, administrators, or counselors. The enemy is material presented to children outside of what’s developmentally and morally appropriate.

James Madison wrote that “learned institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people.” Why? Because “they [learned institutions] throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty & dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.”

But many of us, far from working with our schools, are unaware of the current cesspool of incorrect information they provide.

It is for caring parents and lovers of liberty—not the government or their appendage, public schools—to ensure that knowledge is used to power goodness, truth, and liberty for today’s children.

We encourage all parents, teachers, school administrators, aunts, uncles, religious leaders, school janitors—anyone and everyone concerned with the welfare of the rising generation!—to download Back to School—For Parents and become familiar with both threats to and aids for personal belief and freedom in formal education.

The full resource can be downloaded for FREE here:

Read it. Please, read it, and while what you learn may disturb you, it will also empower you.

 Why? Because knowledge is power.