One of the most important cultural and political issues of 2021 has undoubtedly been the debate over the extent to which parents should be involved in choices that are made over what is taught to their children in public schools.
Heated school board meetings have become a mainstay of public education this year, to the point that the National School Board Association issued a controversial open letter to President Joe Biden recommending his federal agencies assess the situation as akin to “domestic terrorism,” causing massive backlash.
The NSBA, while it piqued the interest of the Biden Department of Justice, which directed the FBI to assess the situation, caused division in the ranks, with over half the nation’s member school board organizations either distancing themselves between the shocking letter or making moves to pull out completely.
Meanwhile, concerns over curriculum that appears in their children’s public schools have by no means had their concerns abated as lessons surrounding race, gender, and sexuality continue to divide and anger the tax-paying parents of public school students.
The issue has become so heated, in fact, that it was a central issue in Virginia’s last gubernatorial election, with the candidate who ran on the platform that parents should have the final say, Glenn Younkin, turning out the victor.
Clearly Younkin’s message resonated with Virginians — and it appears that Americans as a whole agree that it is parents who are the ultimate gatekeepers of what their children are taught.
A majority of Americans, 63%, believe that parents should have the “final say” on the curriculum that is taught to their children and that their right to opt their kids out of lessons that are at odds with their personal values ought to be protected.
Last week, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty released the findings of its third annual poll gauging American support for religious freedom, The Christian Post reports.
The Religious Freedom Index hit a high of 68 this year, based on 21 questions asked of 1,000 Americans.
63% of respondents, meanwhile, agreed that “parents should have the final say … and should be able to opt-out of morally objectionable or inappropriate content.”
Meanwhile, 37% believed that “public schools should have the final say … and parents should not be able to opt-out of morally objectionable or inappropriate content.”
There may be a great many emphatic Americans who believe that the public schools have more authority in a child’s life than its own parents, but it appears that they nonetheless remain in the minority.
If you appreciate the work we are doing for faith, family, and freedom, please consider a small donation to help us continue. Thank you so much!