Parents in Arizona were left heartbroken after they discovered [warning: graphic depiction] that a sexually graphic novel had been assigned to their students in an English class. Despite the fact the school later pulled the novel from the classroom, it's likely that, for many, the damage had been done. The students' parents will be left to help them struggle through the impact of what amounts to crude and pornographic descriptions imprinted in their mind.
One agonized parent wrote an online comment at the bottom of a news story reporting the controversy: "This is a 10th grade literature book that was used in my son's class. … The whole class read this book out loud."
What would you do if this happened to your family — if you discovered your child was exposed to sexually explicit content at school or that an educator has crossed the line in discussing sexual relationships during class?
It's a scenario more and more parents are facing — from elementary school lessons promoting cross-dressing to proposals to distribute contraceptives to elementary-age students. Too often, parents feel powerless to safeguard their child's innocence and protect their parental rights.
"We hear from so many parents who want to protect their children from adult agendas and views that contradict their faith. We want parents to know they are not alone," said Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family and director of Truetolerance.org. "Focus has come together with some of the nation's top legal experts to provide parents with resources that can be used as positive solutions."
Truetolerance.org provides parents with tips on how to interact with the public school system; red flags to watch for to know if they should be concerned; information about current issues in schools; and resources that guide parents on how to respond in a grace-filled and fact-based manner to controversial topics being taught to their children.
The site has recently been updated to include a Parents' Bill of Rights and a model parental rights policy. Be prepared — visit the site today — and learn more about parents' rights in schools and how you can have a redemptive impact.