Guarding Hearts & Minds
Sadly, a lot can happen without your knowledge in the many hours your kids are away from you at school.
In 2014, the Minnesota Legislature passed into law a so-called "anti-bullying" law that strongly favors LGBT students over others, includes an overly broad definition of "bullying" creating confusion about what actually constitutes bullying, inhibits religious freedom and free speech, and does not require parental notification.
Further, the Department of Education has long worked hand-in-hand with LGBT advocacy groups like GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) to create the national standards in education curriculum.
Public schools also frequently invite outside groups like Planned Parenthood into the classroom to discuss sexuality, birth control, and more.
Oftentimes, parents are not told by the school about sexual aspects to curriculum, guest speakers, or curriculum and programming related to "anti-bullying" efforts.
As parents, we are not only ultimately responsible for our children's education, we are also accountable to God for how we direct the education of the children entrusted to us. It is absolutely critical for parents to be proactive when it comes to the education of their children.
We hope you find this resource helpful as you strive to guard your children's hearts and minds.
Guarding Your Child's Heart & Mind: Parents' Action Steps
1. Discuss with your child about your family's beliefs and Scriptural truths. Talk about ways to speak truthfully and respectfully about those beliefs in school.
2. Talk with your child about how important it is for them to let you know if they are accused of bullying or punished for bullying at school – or if your child is a victim of bullying.
3. Explain to your child that it is important to treat others with respect because everyone is made in the image of God and loved by God, but that loving and respecting someone does not mean having to change your own beliefs or approving of another's beliefs or life choices.
4. Be proactive. Let your child's teacher know that you want to be informed if your child is bullied or accused of bullying.
5. Visit your child's school library to see if any of the books or materials are sexually explicit and/or contain anti-Christian themes. If they do contain such material, request their removal from the library. You may find the following resource helpful:
Focus on the Family's complete information sheet on GLSEN Includes LGBT-agenda driven items to watch for in your child's school
6. Talk with your child's teacher annually about the types of books and resources that will be used in class and/or available to the students. Let the teacher know you have concerns about certain types of books that undermine the values you are instilling in your child.
7. Closely monitor the curriculum, programs, and events at your child's school. Watch for things like the following that require closer attention and investigation. You may need to excuse your child from school, a program, or project.
Under Minnesota law, parents have the right to review curriculum, and opt their children out of objectionable curriculum. (See Minnesota Statute 120B.20)
- Watch for any project, assignment, event, or program that uses the words "diversity," "inclusive," "tolerance." Ask teachers what these types of programming include. Specifically ask whether or not it will include materials that discuss or promote sexuality or lesbian-, gay-, bisexual- or transgender-specific content. Talk with your child about the event or program if your child participates.
- Watch for any health or sexuality curriculum, programs, or projects. Ask your child and your child's teacher questions about these programs. Know what the programming will entail. Consider requesting that an abstinence/purity-based program be included or offered instead. Consider excusing your child if necessary.
- If any community organizations are invited to lead instruction, put on an event, or conduct other programming, make sure you know who the organization is and what exactly they will be allowed to teach or promote to your child. Consider requesting that other organizations that promote abstinence and purity be included or invited instead. Again, consider excusing your child if necessary.
8. Volunteer in your child's classroom or at the school to take a more active role. Looking at our public schools as the "mission field" is a great way to serve our teachers and schools as the body of Christ, while also taking the opportunity to be more aware of what's going on in your child's school. That’s being “salt” and “light”!
9. Recruit and organize other parents to join you in these steps to protect your children. Parents have enormous influence in their children’s schools when they act in concert, winsomely and respectfully.
10. Don't forget to pray for your child, our public school teachers, and public schools! Pray with your child every day before he/she heads off to school! The public school system truly is a mission field in desperate need for those who have the Light to SHINE the Light!
Remember: The "anti-bullying law" does not apply to homeschool or private school students unless they participate in public school sponsored activities like sports and music. If you homeschool your child and he or she participates in school sponsored activities, the steps outlined above may apply to your situation!
© Minnesota Family Council 2014
You may make copies of these materials to distribute to friends, family, and other members of your church.