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How To Protect Your Children At School

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2014 12:00 pm

How To Protect Your Children At School

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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October 23, 2014 12:00 pm

NC Family president John Rustin talks with Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family’s Public Policy Department, about some of the challenges facing Christian students in schools nationwide and how FOTF’s new website, www.TrueTolerance.org, can help parents respond to these challenges.

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This is family policy program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and education organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family video.

Here's John Rushton, president of the North Carolina family policy Council, thank you for joining us this week, profamily policy, we are pleased to have Candi Cushman was on the program. Candi is education analyst for Focus on the Family public policy Department. She is a leading national expert on issues affecting public and private education including school choice and homeschool initiatives.

Sexual agendas in public schools and censorship of students who seek to live out their faith at school.

Candi created the true tolerance initiative for Focus on the Family, which is an online resource tool to help equip parents and students to engage their school officials and to stand up for their constitutional rights at school talking with Candi today about some of the challenges students of faith, and particularly Christian students face in schools across our nation and how the true tolerance website can arm students and parents to respond to these challenges, Candi.

Welcome to family policy matters.

It's great to have you with us to be with you think you will. We appreciate your time and your great work at Focus on the Family candy hostility toward Christian students appears to be ever increasing across our country. One recent example involved a high school student in California who merely mention God in his graduation speech tells about that case is really just an inspiration. What happened when he turned out that he had the honor of being the class salutatorian upwards graduation this summer and so he submitted his speech which had references to how his faith, his and his biblical faith as Christianity had helped him succeed and he submitted three versions of the speech in each one. Christian references most of them are edited out.

In fact, one of those even had a black marker a black pin marking out the Christian references and so then he just kept trying and then maybe about four hours before the graduation ceremony. He submitted one final speech and he hadn't heard anything back so he got up and what he did was he used that as an opportunity to talk to classmates about. Sometimes you have to stand up for what's right, even if there's a lot of pressure to give vent and sliced it up for is right in a really gracious manner and in fact we've got a link to the video of him speaking in our free student guide for one of our estimated initiatives.

Bring your Bible school day and I will encourage people to listen to his speech on because you have this disturbing trend of these increasing incidence of students having their most basic rights you know incorrectly infringed upon earth being censored and that's just not right. But on the other hand, you have this encouraging trend of students like bricks can be the student standing up and being courageous and an easy Aven example speak to their other peers and subtenant United what's happening all across the land well is it's encouraging that we have young and old folks like that are willing to stand for their faith and really I think is is is religion sometimes we are called to be toasted by far in all sometimes brings out the best in people and in such an example for others and an encouragement.

There've also been some recent incidents with schools banning students from bringing their Bibles to class. Tell us about those cases and do you see this is a growing trend you wish these cases like this high school silly to talk about were isolated incidents but they're not. We keep seeing them every other week. It seems like an is one example is this fifth grade student and I think it was in Florida had received a Eyeball as a gift from his church and became one of his favorite things to read. It was really cherished possession so he on his own free will brought it to school and there is a free reading. And he took it out to read basically getting chastised for doing this. And finally, he went to his father because he know he's only fifth grade.

He just had a sense of something wrong here. So I went to his dad and his dad told him tell you what next thing that happens, ask your teacher to call me disrespectfully. After give me a call.

What happened again. I think the lake the legal Institute representing him. His dad explained it was that he had got the Bible out again and his teacher said was that book that you're reading, and he tried to hold it up like it's something bad, you know, in shower and eventually he did tell her you need to call my dad about this and so he went out to her desk in front of the whole rim. She made us come from volunteers and basically left a message saying that those goods in other words, those religious books were allowed in her classroom. I will think you think you work for people like this.

The student is dad basted up for their rights and the school and that I backing down on and letting him read his Bible during the freebie. But yes, it's not just one incident there was a similar incident with an eight-year-old in Detroit was basically that you have same thing happened to him just for kids. This is happening to these children.

Students are such a great example to us and to many adults as well that they're willing to take a stand for the to take their Bible school to potentially face are ridiculed not only from fellow students but from teachers and school administrators, but it is absolutely their constitutionally protected right to do so.

No candy. In addition to censorship of religious expression of schools. Christian students are also being bombarded on a daily basis by controversial social issues in the classroom were some things that parents need to know about the radical sexual agenda that is permeating many of our public and even our private schools today.

You know it seems like we've been talking for a while now about the fact that often in our schools are public schools.

The topics of sexuality and marriage are being brought up and promoted in a way it's a one-sided manner and too often it's in a way that is just openly ridiculing students of faith Christian since I had a biblical viewpoint, and even that since Marine or just marginalizing students that choose to follow the Bible about you with regard to their sexuality and guidance on sexuality and marriage, and so we have helpful, but for students and parents to navigate this and why the parents will we have is true tolerance.org that talks about personal rights to be able to help protect their children and help navigate trying to get the school and to respect their families values as well mention never seen this move beyond these issues of same-sex marriage and homosexuality being promoted into now waiting on not into just gender confusion and promotion that the idea of transgender is ever cross-dressing behaviors, and it just almost seem like a brave New World that were in now with the whole idea of male and female being completely we redefine what her parents know about it or agree about it or whether it's against the rule, there will are not usually see those types of things here and all from these controversial sexual topics are being presented in schools, in the name of safety or anti-bullying. How is this bullying issue being used to promote homosexuality and other similar lifestyles that anti-bullying bullying prevention programs out there that what parents need to be alert for his dad. A lot of times the so-called tolerance family diversity anti-bullying programs do include components that address homosexuality and transgender is them basically bring an normalization celebration of it. The disturbing thing about that is, is that when you categorize that teaching as anti-bullying or tolerance. All of a sudden this can be brought up a lot of times in any class or a simile.

The parents don't know about really hard for parents sampling that because in the past a lot of times these topics were only brought up in health class sex education and usually does opt out rights for parents can opt their children out of controversial PT if they want to. When it comes to sex education or health teaching on these topics.

Now most the time. A lot of times is not opt out rights for general things like tolerance and anti-bullying teaching that can be brought up in any class or any assembly, and that's why I think it's more likely to undermine parental rights. The rights of parents who want to remain involved in direct when Helen if their children are exposed to these controversial very sensitive topics 101 of the great resources on true tolerance. The Lord is a list of what you refer to as red flags to help parents identify potential problems with their child's school gives an example of a few of these roads.

Identify absolutely a really easy way to get started. Parents can fill little intimidated by how I researched huge school districts so just a really easy bite-size way to get started is just go to your school districts website good place to start is alive school district website has something similar to a curriculum and instruction category a lot of time. This will be under the departments had been entering some keywords and we call them keyword indicators are bad words to help alert you to whether there are some programs that may be dealing with controversial topics and that you need to stop asking questions about and so some suggested buzzwords dependent narratives like family diversity go ahead and put anti-bullying tolerance and their now gender identity is something that a lot of this ad transgender is in teaching my commanders of gender identity were seen some of these topics come up under safe schools. So again, the family diversity anti-bullying tolerance since school gender identity, and I also recommend that parents spend little time on the online school library catalog. Most schools have their library catalog online and what parents need to realize that technically the library is supposed to reflect the broader school curriculum. This is a place that teachers can go to draw from the library to supplement lesson plans. So if you start entering these keywords and you see a lot of concerning books coming up and that might be conflicting with your families values then you like to start asking questions and ask how these materials are being used in the classroom and can you look at lesson plans and that sort of thing that's great advice. Also, know the true tolerance.org offers a sample parental rights policy is aimed at helping parents combat one-sided promotion of homosexuality in schools and unexpected were going to be seeing more and more of this as marriage laws or overturn the question of nation we certainly anticipate that the schools are going to be very much an active field for the promotion of homosexuality and alternative sexual describe if you would candy this this policy and why it is important. You're absolutely right that what with what is happening in your state regarding marriage is absolutely a key time for peers to be proactive. Don't wait for bad things to come in your school because it's so much harder to get them out once they're in there it's it's much more the harder battle. It's good to be proactive and pick up some safeguards for parents and your family now and so we've given you sinful for that on true tolerance.org encouragement to start with appearance, Bill of Rights, or you can get there and see some basic rights that your school should be respecting and if you think you're not seeing that in your school policies that I would encourage you to sit down with some school board members and school officials, and often how you might be able to work with than to get these components in their policies and and for parental rights and parental involvement. To be more included were reflected and that you mention we have a tool for that you can give them a model parental rights policy and you're not just coming with the complaint. Your your offering them a resource something positive they can do to increase parental involvement and this policy has been carefully crafted and researched by attorneys opulence. Defending freedom and so basically what this policy does is first of all it requires public schools notify parents about potentially sensitive subject matter that might be taught and then give them the opportunity opt the child out of the lesson. The way that it accomplish this. Just to give a real quick summary is that it would require schools notify parents about instruction that falls under what they call a notification issues category and this would include instruction about sex education, contraceptive human sexuality in a graphic dependent expense of violence. So basically you would be notified about that, given the chance up your child Alan so there's other protections as well. In the model policy, but that's the most key component that would just highlight quickly for you. You're putting that together, it is critically important that parents get involved that they are engaged that they do research and utilizes great resource that you all have provided the cover so many different important issues. Can you give us again if you will that website were true, tolerance, and we just want to thank you so much for your time today with those yes thank you so much up for what you're doing to equip him in your state.

Yeah, I know that your organization is doing such key work there. Get out the website here for the parental rights resources that I mentioned got a true tolerance.org and for students rights. We have a team website data dialogue.com there's a lot of teen friendly articles about what it means to be why male and female is important. God's design for sexuality how to address bullying as a Christian student and so if you want to go on that website. It's for students.

They have dialogue.com and maybe just look at some articles that might help you discuss these issues with your students at the great resource as well okay because mom thank you so much for being with us this week on family policy matters and for your great work in Focus on the Family publisher. Thank you. I enjoyed family policy matters is information and analysis of the North Carolina family policy Council join us with a discussion on if you have questions or comments. 919708 visit our website


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