Parents denied access to public school sex education materials is shocking government overreach


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PUBLIC SCHOOLS DENY PARENTS RIGHTS TO APPROVE — OR EVEN VIEW –SEX EDUCATION MATERIALS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I’d like to take you to two separate stories, one out of World Magazine and the other out of The Daily Wire but both, however, have the same theme. One of the stories out of Pennsylvania is a school district, after roughly 2,800 were forced to watch an LGBT video during LGBT unity week back in April, parents and conservative activists asked the district to provide links to the video so that they could see what the children were forced to watch. The answer they got? No.

In Virginia, a Virginia school board, this month, approved drastic changes to its district’s sex education curriculum despite strong parental oppositions. Once again, the parents were told, “It’s not your concern.”

DR. REEDER: Included in that was the removal of clergy as those “trusted individuals” to call upon in case of counseling. Now, the reason why for that clearly is because, within that number of clergy are going to be those who have convictions concerning the Biblical and historical definition of marriage as a man and a woman for life and that sexuality is within marriage and that marriage is a man and a woman for life and, therefore, clergy become the casualties.

Tom, let’s see what they reveal concerning this intentional, and pervasive and highly effective movement of a neopagan world and life view that ultimately destroys the foundational institutions of a culture as it attempts to eradicate the historic influences of a Christian world and life view in the culture, particularly around the matters of marriage, and family, and sexuality and individual dignity and inalienable rights — that is, God-given rights that are to be protected by a government — as opposed to the increasing socialist notion that the government has the power to determine the rights and give the rights and they’re government-based, not God-based.

The historic position is that they’re God-given and that our government is called to protect those God-given rights and now we have a new movement that the government can invent rights and then give them and then, of course, protect them by coercion as you see here, in both of these cases.

PENNSYLVANIA CASE WAS EGREGIOUS ABUSE OF POWER

In the Pennsylvania case, you see that the students in this school district were required to go and watch these LGBTQ films. Parents naturally say, “What is it that you are exposing my children to? I want to know.” And then the school district, after a lengthy process, determines with the ruling that, “No, we’re not going to let you have those,” and their excuse is that this was a student project so their privacy is to be protected. Well, the reality is it was not a student project; it was an external organization declared to be an LGBT-straight alliance, but it was not an internal movement and was an external movement. That, with the cultural elite that control the school board, they then begin to impose that upon that particular school district and upon those children, the world and life view that normalizes sexuality outside of marriage, and sexuality outside of the natural sex of heterosexuality between a man and a woman and then the ethical dimension that it is to be within marriage.

In Fairfax now, they even went to the point of removing, even as an element of sex education, abstinence, which, of course, we know is not only consistent with a Biblical world and life view — you abstain from sex and you teach people how to and why to both ethically and practically — and, by the way, that’s 100 percent effective on sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, etc., but now you can’t even teach that in Virginia.

Not only did they make the children go and make the children watch but now they will not let the parents see what the children watched so what does that tell you? Well, first, the sexual revolution is a reality, it is incessant, it is intentional and it is going to use the powers of the government as it extends into the arena of public education because, if you can get the children and frame their mind and their world and life view in terms of this sexual revolution, then you’ve got the next generation. And, to do that, you’re going to have to sidestep what we have always affirmed and that is the supremacy of parental rights over the education of their children.

PUBLIC EDUCATION EQUALS PUBLIC CONTROL WHICH MUST BE MONITORED

When the public education movement began in the 19th century, these things were warned that, if you put public education in the hands of government and then you impose compulsory public education, it’s just a matter of time until the state and the cultural elite will seize that as their number one most effective method to make children of the state — not children who know how to live within a state, that is, we used to call it civics, but children of the state instead of children of the family.

Secondly, its primary — and not exclusive, but its primary — weapon is the public-school system and, with the capturing of the minds of those who control that system — administrators, teachers’ organizations, outside organizations that are invited in. With that influence on the children, it is now being used and it is being used with power in that the children had no choice and they had to go to it.

The fact that they would not show or give them the links to these films which should be available tells you there is something in those films they don’t want seen. It’s a shot across the bow: your children are our children, not your children. It is the cultural elite again telling the rank and file of humanity, “We are smarter than you and, by the way, you can’t stop us. They’re our children more than they are your children.”

PARENTS, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO VOTE FOR GOOD LEADERS

I have one simple response. Those people are in those positions and you still reside within a democratic process. How do you let such people rule your school district? There is a school board that is elected — you put them there and you need to put people up there who will, if you’re going to have a public-school system, will make it subservient to the parents, not a power that imposes upon the parents and the families and then the families serve the public-school system and its objectives but the public-school system serves the public. You have a means to address that and someone needs to seize this particular moment and create the movement that, if you’re going to have a public-school system, it is going to serve the public, not the public serve the system.

You cannot go to bed at night and not know that your children are the targets of this sexual revolution. As parents, you may have to make a decision that, if we cannot get control of this system so that it goes back to doing what we actually established it to do over 100 years ago — reading, writing and arithmetic — then you need to leave that system.

 

CHURCHES, TAKE ON THIS CULTURE WAR WITH PROPER CREATION (AND SEX) EDUCATION

Tom, let me just finish up today’s program with just a word to churches. We need to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, when the Bible says that we make disciples, we are to teach them all that the Lord has commanded and that includes a right view of humanity made in the image of God, male and female, and the dignity that’s fastened to that. It also calls us to uphold revealed creation mandates such as marriage and sexuality within marriage.

The fact that our parents are not able to respond to this, I believe, is in some degree because of either the inability or the refusal of churches to take on these issues in the curriculum of a Christian world and life view so that people love the Lord with all their mind, heart and soul. The Gospel is at the core and the Gospel takes you high, deep and wide. It takes you into all of life to capture every thought unto the obedience of Christ and that’s also how are we made, why are we made, why are we here and why our institutions such as family, marriage and sexuality within marriage are important in the education of our children. That needs to be in the hands of parents and any instrument that supersedes it, including the public schools, must be changed or cast to the side in the trash heap of culture.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

Ledbetter: Alabama’s teachers are standing tall with return to classroom instruction

All of the personality traits, values and life lessons that we carry with us as adults were shaped and instilled in us by the people we encountered in childhood. For many, the strongest influences came from our schoolteachers, who opened new worlds of knowledge and taught us skills that remain with us today.

Consider for a moment the music teacher who taught you to play an instrument, the math teacher who led you to a love of numbers, the history teacher who brought to life the stories of our nation’s past, or the English teacher who inspired you to love great literature.

Teaching is one of the few professions whose impact continues to last for decades after the individual who does the job retires.

As many children across Alabama are preparing to return to school even while the coronavirus pandemic continues, teachers have never been more important or vital or deserving of our deepest appreciation.

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Returning to brick-and-mortar school instruction will, hopefully, restore a sense of normalcy to our children’s lives in these decidedly abnormal times.

A return to the classroom and even resuming the online instruction that some are adopting will also help our students maintain their education progress and continue the important social and emotional development that interaction with their peers and instructors allows.

Our English second language learners will receive the communication skills they need in order to better assimilate, and many low-income students will receive the healthy nourishment from the school lunch program that might be denied them at home.

Given the current circumstances and environment, I recognize that some of our public school employees may have a sense of trepidation about returning to school, and that is certainly understandable. Wearing a face mask to do something as simple as shopping for groceries, paying for gas or walking into a restaurant offers all of us a constant reminder that COVID-19 is a very contagious virus.

But our teachers and educators are setting their concerns aside and answering the call to duty.

I know that Gov. Kay Ivey, State Superintendent Eric Mackey and the staff of the Alabama Department of Education took great care in developing the “Roadmap to Reopening Alabama Schools,” and local school boards are being equally diligent in creating and implementing their own safety guidelines.

The importance of sanitization will be stressed more than ever before, and billions of dollars made available to Alabama through the federal CARES Act will help ensure that any resources that are needed to reopen schools safely will be readily available.

As the majority leader of the Alabama House, I can also offer assurances that the legislature stands ready to pass legislation or make appropriations that are necessary to ease the return to classroom instruction once we are in session.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an even deeper appreciation of the frontline heroes who have remained on the job and provided the most essential services throughout the crisis.

Doctors and nurses in our hospitals and health clinics; grocery store and other retail employees; law enforcement officers, emergency workers and firefighters; postal workers; sanitation workers; restaurant personnel; and those in dozens of other professions are among those who continued working even when times were their toughest.

I am proud to say that the teachers, school nurses, administrators and support personnel in Alabama’s schools also rank high upon the list of those who have stood tall, and their already invaluable service to our state is even more important to students and parents in each of our cities, towns and crossroads today.

Helen Keller, one of Alabama’s most inspirational figures, once said, “It was my teacher’s genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me.”

As I close by wishing everyone a safe, happy and healthy school year, we would all do well to keep Helen Keller’s words in mind.

State Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) serves as majority leader in the Alabama House of Representatives

5 hours ago

Alabama Ag Commissioner Pate gives update on unsolicited seed packages from China, urges public to stay ‘vigilant’

MONTGOMERY — Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) Commissioner Rick Pate gave an update Monday afternoon on the spate of seed packets from China that people across Alabama have received in recent weeks despite never having ordered anything.

Pate said that after the state seed labs had performed tests on the packets they had collected from individuals across Alabama, and none of them proved to be dangerous.

“Right at 50% of them proved be some kind of weed flower … 41% were vegetables, and 9% were herbs … we found no noxious compounds, no dangerous compounds,” said Pate at the event.

However, he warned, “They might send out the first seeds that weren’t treated with anything, have a sense of security come about, and then later send something out that could be harmful.”

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The commissioner further urged members of the public to refrain from planting any unsolicited seeds and continue to report them to the Department.

“At the very least something criminal has gone on here,” stated Pate, referencing laws that prevent seeds from being moved across state lines without being inspected by the relevant agencies.

Pate said his department had collected 252 seed samples as of Monday morning.

A total of 385 individuals in all but 11 of Alabama’s 67 counties have received one of the packets, according to information relayed at the press conference. State workers will be collecting the remaining samples soon.

(AL. Dept. of Ag/Contributed)

“Because we’ve got such a good food and drug lab, because we’ve got such a good seed lab, we knew this was inside of our comfort zone,” Pate said of the decision to conduct the seed tests in-house as opposed to shipping them to the federal government.

Andy Tipton, division director of Food Safety and Ag Compliance, said that 25 states had reported similar seed packets showing up at consumers’ doorsteps. He added that the ADAI was turning over all relevant info to the FBI, who were monitoring the situation.

Pate further told Yellowhammer News that one of the prevailing theories remained that the cause was an internet seller running a scam to artificially inflate their customer numbers and create opportunities for fake reviews.

He ended his press conference saying, “We have no idea the reason for this happening, but it doesn’t mean we can stop being vigilant.”

Any Alabamian still receiving one of the packets can report it here.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

6 hours ago

Alabama basketball star John Petty returning for senior season

University of Alabama star forward John Petty, Jr. will return for his senior season, the player announced on Monday.

The Huntsville native was a second-team All-SEC honoree this past season, after leading the Southeastern Conference in three-point percentage.

Petty was considering entering the 2020 NBA Draft, however he decided to return for a final season in Tuscaloosa after evaluating his prospects. Another college season could see Petty lock down his chance at being a first-round pick.

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Tide head coach Nate Oats released a statement on Monday afternoon celebrating Petty’s return.

“It’s great to have John back for his senior year,” Oats said. “He is certainly one of the best, if not the best, shooters in the country which is extremely important to us with how we play.”

“He’s made it clear that it’s his goal to become a first round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and we’re going to work with him to make sure he’s in the best position to reach that goal. Let’s get to work!” the coach concluded.

Follow along with the Bama men’s basketball program here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 hours ago

State of Alabama, University of Alabama System officials unveil GuideSafe app aiming to keep schools virus-free

Key figures from Alabama’s government and university systems joined to announced the new GuideSafe platform that bills itself as the key for students to safely return to college campuses amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The GuideSafe platform will help the state fulfill its promise to test every single college student before they return to campus, and the platform will provide a space for ongoing health monitoring throughout the semester.

The unveiling took place over videoconference, where State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, University of Alabama System Chancellor Finis “Fess” St. John and other key players detailed the importance of GuideSafe to the upcoming semester.

GuideSafe was developed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and tech company MotionMobs. It will be provided to any educational institution in the state that wishes to use it.

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Governor Kay Ivey apportioned some of Alabama’s CARES Act funds for the development of GuideSafe and the universal free testing for college students.

St. John on Monday praised Ivey’s “decisive action to provide funding” for the testing initiative and other campus reopening measures.

(Click for higher resolution version that will open in new tab)

GuideSafe will be accessible via app on smartphones and tablets and via web browser on any computer. Students will be invited to join the platform in the coming weeks.

One of the key features of the GuideSafe app is that it will track the location of students via smartphone and then inform them if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“This new app – using Google- and Apple-led technology and created by UAB faculty, staff and MotionMobs for the people of Alabama – is a necessary tool in our effort to return to college campuses safely this fall,” said UAB President Ray Watts.

The app also allows students and faculty to report symptoms as they experience them, and get directed to a nearby testing site if necessary.

“The combination of these tools enables every participating college, university and K-12 school to engage faculty, students and staff regarding on-going monitoring of symptoms, exposure and risks of acquiring COVID-19,” said Sue Feldman, professor and director of graduate programs in health informatics at UAB.

A general factsheet on GuideSafe is available here.

Watch:

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

6 hours ago

Trump fires TVA board chair after outsourcing uproar

President Donald Trump on Monday announced that he was removing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board chairman, Skip Thompson, an Alabamian.

Thompson, a resident of Decatur, is the president and CEO of Corporate Billing, a subsidiary of Birmingham-based National Bank of Commerce. He previously served as the president and CEO of both First American Bank in Decatur and First Commercial Bank in Huntsville, as well as serving on the board of Decatur Utilities.

Trump appointed Thompson to the TVA board in 2018. He was elected chairman of the board last year.

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The president on Monday cited TVA’s plan to outsource information technology jobs overseas as the reason for firing Thompson and one other board member. Trump warned the other board members that they would be next if the outsourcing continued. The president also called on them to replace the organization’s CEO, who Trump said was making far too much money.

The president added, “Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: ‘You’re fired.’”

The TVA is the electricity provider for much of North Alabama. Self-described as “a corporate agency of the United States,” it is regulated at the federal level and not under the jurisdiction of the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) applauded Trump’s move on Monday.

“TVA fires AMERICANS & hires cheap foreign labor,” the North Alabama congressman tweeted. “TVA executive salaries EXORBITANT. TVA=NO competition, unlike private sector execs who compete to earn profits to earn pay… WAY TO GO [President Trump]!”

RELATED: Doug Jones: ‘The TVA has lost its way’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn