"We don't need no education; we don't need no thought-control."
Pink Floyd's anti-establishment anthem portrays a dismal image of school teachers-turned-thought police and prison-like control over students' minds. Sadly, the landscape in California is not far afield from these lyrics. Recent changes in public policy are rapidly transforming our schools into institutions of "social engineering."
During an official committee hearing last year, state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles, boasted that her bill to push homosexual curricula on students as young as 5 years old was "social engineering." Her bill passed, but was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger after more than 58,000 opposition calls, e-mails, and faxes flooded his offices. Unless every bill that calls for Sen. Kuehl's brand of "social engineering" is met with the same groundswell from California families, her vision for our schools will be reality for the class of 2020.
This year Kuehl has repackaged her personal ideology into Senate Bill 777, and expanded the scope to include private and pre-school curricula. SB 777 is the cornerstone in a package of bills that seeks to advance the same agenda. Spearheaded by groups like Equality California and Planned Parenthood, radical special-interest organizations have found a captive audience in California schools.
If these bills become law, the class of 2020 is likely to be radically politicized, morally confused, and unable to think independently from the one-sided propaganda being proffered as "education."
Most parents are unaware that children as young as kindergarten age are already being exposed to sexual content through invasive psychological questionnaires given to students, often without parental permission.
The same powerful lobbying groups that seek to secure unfettered access in schools have successfully mobilized their allies to block parents who would object. Two years ago, parents of first-, third-, and fifth-grade students challenged a Palmdale school when they learned that their children had been given a survey that asked about, "Touching my private parts too much," "Washing myself because I feel dirty on the inside," and "Having sex feelings in my body."
In response, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled: "Parents have no constitutional right ... to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual, or otherwise…. Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools." (Fields v. Palmdale)
Simply stated, parents have been locked outside the schoolhouse gates.
'Bias free' schools
Students are routinely subjected to a one-sided debatethe clamor of lies masquerading as "bias free" and "comprehensive sex education." Since 1996 federal matching money has been available for abstinence education. Yet California is the only state never to have accepted the money.
A new bill, Assembly Bill, AB 708, seeks to implement abstinence education using these funds. AB 708, however, faces fierce opposition determined to erase all traces of traditional morality in public schoolsdespite the consequences.
Under current California law students as young as 12 years old can be dismissed from school to receive birth control, abortions and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse without parental notification. Parents are often removed from the equation at a time when their children need them the most.
Forty-two thousand California teen-aged girls will become pregnant annuallyand many of their parents will never have a suspicion. Bringing these services closer to students and farther from parental oversight, the Legislature has created school-based health clinics, where students can receive certain "confidential medical services." Senate Bill 564 seeks to expand these clinics further, increasing student access and weakening parental authority.
Like their parents, students of faith are also being shut out. Christian students in several schools have been suspended for quoting Scriptures and wearing shirts that expressed a biblical view of homosexual behavior. On the flip side, many school districts, propped up by homosexual special-interest groups, bent the rules to encourage student participation in the "Day of Silence"a daylong silent protest in which students cover their mouths with tape and pass out fliers in support of homosexuality.
Earlier this year, school administrators in Fresno allowed a 17-year old transgender girl to run for Prom King. A fellow student quipped: "We live in a generation now where dudes are chicks and chicks are dudes."
Wielding the force of law to impose special-interest values through public institutions has the effect of eroding traditional, time-honored values. When tradition is undercut, it is replaced by untested, potentially dangerous social experimentation.
In contrast, the Truth does not need special treatment if students and teachers are permitted to present the facts.
The failure of many schools to provide students with basic educational necessities comes as no surprise. What is shocking is the Legislature's apparent obsessionnot with teaching students how to think, but rather what to think.
Legislators have also persistently attempted to implement universal preschool and are currently pushing Assembly Bill 1236, which would lower the compulsory school-entry age from 6 to 5. Once children are divided from their parents and inundated by state-mandated ideologies, transforming the culture becomes as easy as ABC.Llewellyn Bailes is a public policy specialist for the California Family Council.