By Ian Prior
There are egregious examples of government-run school districts in all 50 states trying to assert themselves as Big Father and Big Mother.
But one district in particular has emerged as an early contender to be the ignoble Loudoun County of 2022: Eau Claire Area in Wisconsin. From “white privilege tests,” to heterosexual privilege checklists, to teacher trainings that urge students to hide gender transitions from their parents, woke bureaucrats in the Badger State have launched an all-out assault on parental rights.
You might not live in Wisconsin, or anywhere near it, but you need to pay very close attention to what’s going down in Eau Claire. It’s now where the progressive playbook for hijacking education—and a range of other issues that must remain innate to parents—is being run. And know that playbook was meticulously designed by powerful forces and intended for nationwide implementation.
Eau Claire began to show its radicalizing hand in earnest earlier this month. Three candidates for school board shared a teacher-training presentation that proclaimed: “Facilitators, guide this discussion [about sexual and gender identity]. Remember, parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned.” Stunningly, both the superintendent and the school board president fully defended the training.
Eau Claire “facilitators”—a title that smacks of 1984—should also, according to the training, have no qualms about steamrolling parents who have religious objections to gender transition. We’re told those objections are nothing more than “the weaponization of religion against queer people.”
Front of school building in the morning, waiting for students to arrive.
“When the conversation turns to navigating parents’ faith-based rejection of their student’s queer identity,” the training continues, “it’s critical to remember that we must not act as stand-ins for oppressive ideas/behaviors/attitudes, even and especially if that oppression is coming from parents. Never forget that you may be the only supporting person in that student’s sphere. Guard and preserve that responsibility.”
Wow. Unfortunately, ideological trainings such as this one aren’t just sitting on the cloud—Eau Claire teachers are enthusiastically embracing them. For example, one teacher recently put up a poster in her classroom that brazenly lectured students: “If Your Parents Aren’t Accepting Of Your Identity, I’m Your Mom Now.”
Eau Claire Area’s actions are dangerous not only to the mental, emotional, and physical health of its students, but also to the constitutional rights of parents enshrined in the 1st and 14th Amendments.
The Supreme Court has long held that “choices about marriage, family life, and upbringing of children are among associational rights this Court has ranked as of basic importance in our society, rights sheltered by the Fourteenth Amendment against the State’s unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.” In fact, it has declared that “parental interest in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of fundamental liberty interests recognized by [the Supreme Court].”
By both pushing students to conceal their sexual and/or gender identity from their own parents and dismissing objections of parents, there is little doubt that the Eau Claire Area trainings comprise unwarranted usurpation, disregard, and disrespect for parental choice when it comes to biological sex, whether that choice is based on faith or a basic understanding of human biology.
To fight back against woke school districts like Eau Claire, parents must press for every single piece of information, including all instructional materials and teacher trainings.
To do this, they must use Freedom of Information Act requests, state right-to-know laws, and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, which provides parents with a federal right to access and inspect virtually all material involving the education of their children.
Speaking at school board meetings, writing letters to the editor, and participating in the electoral process is crucial. But with primary-source material comes immense power to confront the educational-industrial complex—by exercising your constitutional and statutory rights in the courts.