Ensuring our students receive a quality education is fundamental to the future success of our communities and our nation. When students were forced into remote learning during the COVID pandemic, parents gained newfound insights into the curricula their children were learning in school. Many were concerned by what they learned.
Right here in the Sixth District, parents were dismayed to find that their elementary school-aged children were being forced to participate in “equity audits” and were required to answer questions about their gender identity. These types of surveys and topics were not unique to Minnesota, as parents across the country attended school board meetings inquiring as to why these types of politically-charged topics were being taught to their young children. They were ignored, gaslit, and accosted for asking questions or even reaching out in the first place.
What’s more, the Department of Justice even labeled some of them as domestic terrorists. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland began directing the FBI to investigate parents who pushed back against these school boards. Americans should never fear political persecution from elected officials and federal law enforcement because they are concerned about what is happening in their child’s classroom. Parents have a right to know - and to have a say in - what their children are being taught in school.
I firmly believe that the control over our student’s education should always remain at the State and Local level, however I was proud to cosponsor the Parents Bill of Rights Act which directs local educational agencies to publicly post curriculum for each elementary and secondary school grade level. This important legislation will ensure parents have a clear understanding of what their students are being taught as students begin returning to classrooms for the new school year.
Our communities must come together to support our students, our future as a nation depends on it. We need to do everything we can to encourage more parental involvement in education to better prepare our students for success.