New 'Hijacked' booklet explores the erosion of religious rights in California's public schools

MURRIETA, Calif. — Children attending California schools are increasingly earning more rights—access to abortions, changing gender identity and openly promoting homosexuality—unless it concerns their own faith.

"We have seen this progression play out in our schools over the last few years, and the number of cases that we have handled regarding a student's suppressed religious rights has increased in the same time period," said Robert Tyler, general counsel of Advocates for Faith & Freedom. "We saw that it was necessary to create a resource for parents, students and teachers to instruct them on the direction California's schools are headed and what their rights are."

The result is "Hijacked K-12," an informative new booklet for parents and teachers about religion and morality in California's public school system.

The booklet explores the culture that has been created in California government-run schools over the past two decades.

Tyler said that, over the years, public schools have become opposed to any type of religious instruction or expression being allowed on school property, even though students have a Constitutional right to practice their religion.

At the same time, emboldened by a liberal legislature, classrooms have become advocacy arenas that promote lifestyles and ideas contrary to those of religious faith.

In 2007, for instance, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 777, which redefined "gender" in the California Education Code to mean "sex, and includes a person's identity and gender expression. 'Gender expression' means a person's gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth." 

The law prompted the California Teachers Association to recently instruct its teachers "not to assume anyone's gender, even people you may have met in the past. A person's external appearance may not match their internal gender identity." 

The most recent impact to schools came by way of SB Senate Bill 48, which was signed into law in 2011. It requires California's history curricula and textbooks be revised to purposefully include positive contributions of the LGBT community. 

"Now, historical accomplishments are not celebrated solely because of their impact on society; the sexual preference of the historical person must be taught, as well," officials with Advocates said.

Ron Prentice, chief executive officer of California Family Council, which advocates for biblically based public policy, said "Hijacked" is an excellent resource for parents.

"(It) unveils the truth about public school agendas," Prentice said. "While good people—teachers, parents and administrators—care deeply about protecting young minds, the 'powers that be' have very different ideas. This resource prepares us for the potential problems in public school curricula and instruction."  

Free digital copies of the brochure are available online. Printed copies are also available for $5.

For more information, visit www.faith-freedom.com.