Opt Out, or Get Out?

Notwithstanding the National School Board Association’s letter and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s response, parents—upset about issues from COVID restrictions to activist curricula to teachers’ union tyranny—continue to speak out about their kids’ public schools.

But now they are doing more than just speaking out. (And no, you don’t need to call out the enforcers of the PATRIOT Act.) Now what they are doing is opting out. This week, Worcester Public Schools announced that 20 percent of K-4 students opted out of sex education.

The reason?

In the spring, the school district adopted the Advocates for Youth (AFY) “Rights, Respect, Responsibility 3Rs” curriculum which teaches kindergarteners about genitalia, elementary students about the transgendered, and high schoolers how to role play gay couples deciding to have sex. Here is just part of a lesson:

Freeze Frame Role-Play Scenario 5 (p.79)

Sydney is a trans girl who has a big crush on Zee. Both are free thinkers who don’t like labels. Sydney and Zee have been hanging out together for a few weeks and enjoy a lot of the same things. It’s clear that they’re attracted to each other, but they’ve never kissed or touched. Plan a role-play in which Sydney talks with Zee about having sex and they make a decision.

The lesson overview on Worcester’s website directs students to Planned Parenthood information and includes plans to show a video about asexuality and pansexuality from AFY’s AMAZE video series.

But what’s happening in Worcester is not an isolated case. It is happening across the nation.

In its November 5 “Sexuality Education Newsletter,” the Oregon Department of Education recommends educators attend AMAZE’s “Comprehensive Means Intersectional: Moving Sex Education Forward” asynchronous conference. ODE also recommends the “3Rs.” The Advocates for Youth organization created custom curriculum—“Gender Inclusive” K-5 lessons—for Oregon’s Portland Public School district to meet the state’s most-progressive-in-the-nation sex education law. This is for kindergarteners, mind you.

Oregon law requires the use of “inclusive materials, language, and strategies that recognizes [sic] different sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expression” that must also be “culturally inclusive.” According to the ODE newsletter: “Teaching inclusive sexuality education is a critical piece in our equity work.”

“Equity”—a euphemism for radical equality of outcome—is also being used to justify teaching critical gender theory and radical sexual education.

Who’s pushing it this time? And what is their purpose?

A little digging reveals that Advocates for Youth was formed in 1980 under its original name, the Center for Population Options. It is not an education group or even a health group, but rather a D.C.-based activist group with a political agenda. The “3Rs” curriculum is simply one of its tools.

  •  AFY’s 64-page “Youth Activist Toolkit”: “Young people are leading the movement for change. They are marching in the streets for equal rights. They’re walking out of classrooms for climate change. They’re standing up for people killed by guns. They are ending stigma around abortion. And they’re rewriting the script that tells us how to think, behave, and treat one another.”
  • AFY’s 2020 annual report: “We worked with young people to develop the skills needed to lead the summer of activism” and “we expanded the AMAZE animated sex ed project far and wide across the globe.”
  • AFY’s 2020 IRS Form 990 filing: The largest expense—almost $2 million spent in the year ended March 31, 2020—was for training “thousands of youth activists each year to serve as advocates and leaders in the progressive movement.” AFY provides grants to promote activism worldwide, including to “advance the rights of sexual and gender minority youth” in Pakistan. The president of AFY, Debra Hauser, earned almost $250,000 last year.

According to one teacher in Oregon’s Beaverton School District (which also uses the “3Rs” curriculum), Hauser—a rabid pro-abortion proponent—sent an email to teachers on Mother’s Day with the message: “This Mother’s Day, I am confident that my abortion was the most responsible and loving action I could have taken for myself.” 

In an effort to destigmatize abortion, AFY’s “1 in 3” campaign pushes a factually inaccurate claim that one out of every three women will have an abortion. Perhaps the pro-abortion and transgender push are connected, and relate to AFY’s original “population options” mission?

Back in Worcester, Bishop Robert McManus is urging Catholic parents to opt their children out, and area churches are providing opt-out forms to parents.

But opting out isn’t an option for all parents. This week it was reported that parents in Connecticut are not permitted to opt their kindergarteners out of lessons on transgenderism, which include statements that the sex you’re assigned to at birth is “wrong,” because they are part of the district’s “social and emotional learning” curriculum.

Connecticut’s West Hartford Public School district’s director of equity advancement told parents via email: “WHPS teaches SEL through an equity lens, adapted from the Learning for Justice social justice and anti-bias framework.” The Learning for Justice framework comes from the far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center. The curriculum comes from the diversity, equity, and inclusion consultants Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.

Social and emotional learning? Equity? Critical gender theory? Radical sex education? Opt out? It’s a lot for parents to figure out.

In the meantime, what are public school kids doing?

That November 5 newsletter from the Oregon Department of Education makes it clear: “In the last month, we’ve celebrated International Pronouns Day (October 20), Intersex Awareness Day (October 26), and Ace Week (Oct 24-30). In the coming month we want to build allyship and support for LGBTQ+ Youth during Solidarity Week (Nov 1-5th) and Transgender Awareness Week (Nov 13-19) leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance TDOR (Nov 20)”

Twenty-two days for activism? How many days for academics? Should parents really be having to opt out their children from so many days of school? Or is the better answer simply to get out?

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