How much control or influence should parents be allowed to have when it comes to their children’s education? This topic has been sweeping the nation, especially since the COVID lockdown when students were forced into online schooling and parents got an inside look at the progressive curriculums. Guardians are fighting back and gaining a say in what their kids are exposed to, but one Arizona teacher claims the educators are more, well, educated and parents should just leave it to the experts.
Teachers Know Better?
Arizona Senate Bill 1700, if passed, will give parents the right to request certain books be removed from the curriculum and school libraries if they are “lewd or sexual, promote gender fluidity or gender pronouns or groom children into normalizing pedophilia.” Much like Gov. Ron DeSantis’ so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill, this legislation is being hammered by critics who claim giving such power to moms and dads would be a mistake. Special education teacher Alicia Messing took it even further, suggesting teachers know better than parents what’s good for their kids. She told a Senate Education Committee hearing:
“I have a master’s degree because when I got certified, I was told I had to have a master’s degree to be an Arizona-certified teacher. We all have advanced degrees. What do the parents have?”
Some might argue that parents have, ahem, children, and there are a lot of people with advanced degrees, not just teachers. But Messing took it even further:
“Are we vetting the backgrounds of our parents? Are we allowing the parents to choose the curriculum and the books that our children are going to read? I think that’s a mistake, and I am just speaking from the heart.”
Teachers and parents are at war. Each want to make sure children are taught in a specific way but can’t agree on the direction. Should students be exposed to sexually charged material, especially at a young age? Is indoctrinating young minds on gender dysphoria really a school’s responsibility? Ms. Messing seems to think so, and that it a duty to society all educators should embrace:
“The one line that I love is we must remember that the purpose of public education is not to teach only what parents want their children to be taught, it is to teach them what society needs them to be taught.”
Parents Sound Off
The Arizona Daily Independent tweeted the teacher’s message with the question “Do you agree?!?” At the time of the writing of this article, most disagreed with the special education instructor. Michael Fister tweeted, “But who determines what society needs them to be taught. Last I checked society is made up of, among others, parents who should have a say as both parents and members of society.”
During the meeting, Elijah Watson, a member of the student coalition Keep Arizona Blue, claimed the bill “would heavily impact sexual education” and “would ban necessary discussions on reproductive health, romantics, sexual relationships and so much more.” He also claimed SB 1700 could ban some iconic books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Color Purple, and Of Mice and Men.
State Sen. Justine Wadsack (R), who introduced the bill, said, it “is not about a disagreement as to whether the book is likable or not, it’s about if it’s describing sexual acts, masturbation or private parts.”
Just because a parent puts a book on the do not use list doesn’t mean it will automatically be banned. There is a process for submitting questionable literature for review by a committee which then decides what action, if any, will be taken.
SB 1700 has passed through the committee with a vote of 4-3. It now heads to the Senate.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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