Beware of social and emotional indoctrination in schools

Social and emotional learning is the latest trend at your child’s school. SEL sounds beneficial, but it’s a disguise. In truth, it indoctrinates children with extremist ideas that many parents do not tolerate.

On November 22, the Hartford Courant reported that West Hartford, Conn., Elementary school parents are in revolt. They complain that teachers put words like “non-binary” on the board and tell children, including kindergarten children, that they can live life as a gender that is different from what they were assigned at birth. Parents were told by school authorities that they could not opt ​​out of their children.

Most Americans believe that parents should have the last word on what children are being taught. From Treasure Valley, Idaho, to Greenwich, Conn., School board candidates made SEL a problem in elections earlier this month.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita urged parents to speak out and warned that SEL programs shift “the role of teachers from educators to therapists.”

Fighting SEL is an uphill battle because it is not only favored by the left-wing education bureaucracy; it’s big business too. “The SEL ecosystem today is floating in dollars,” reports Tyton Partners, SEL Industrial Consultants.

Billions in federal COVID aid money for schools are being used to buy SEL programs and fund SEL instructors. Advocates and companies producing the Materials Lobby Congress and the Federal Department of Education to ensure that the legislative language matches exactly what they sell.

Nationwide, sales of SEL materials rose 45% in a year and a half to $ 765 million in 2021, Education Week reports.

But parental resistance is also rising. Attorney General Merrick Garland asked the FBI to investigate parents who protested against issues like SEL at school board meetings. His son-in-law is a co-founder of Panorama Education, a company that raises millions selling SEL materials to school districts. Conflict of interest?

And what about the billions of dollars that Democrats’ Build Back Better legislation allocates to child care and pre-K? Will that money pay off to indoctrinate even younger minds? Probably “yes.” At least a dozen states, including New York, have already adopted SEL standards for preschool.

As far as primary schools are concerned, gender dysphoric children make up less than 1% of the school population. Of course, protect them from bullying and discrimination. They need to feel safe. But do not brainwash the rest with one-sided, repetitive lessons on gender issues.

West Hartford is said to beat character after class away, beginning with a kindergarten-level book about a teddy bear who knows in his heart that he is a girl teddy bear, not a boy teddy bear. So a book about Aiden who knows that the gender he was assigned at birth is “wrong”. Then a book on choosing place words. And another about a girl named Jazz who changes her gender identity. Do children read so many books about the US Constitution?

A father in Arkansas protested that his fifth-grade teacher was showing a video of a transgender activist’s speech. Then the teacher, wearing a “Protect Trans Lives” T-shirt, invited the class to a pride celebration: “I’m for Pride from 1 to 6! I hope to see you there!”

SEL was originally sold as training children to control their emotions, manage their time and make good personal decisions. Teachers have always tried to instill these life skills. These are the same American values ​​that Benjamin Franklin proselytized in his autobiography 200 years ago.

But recently, SEL providers, including Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, have openly revised their goals. CASEL advocates “transformative SEL” to promote “justice-oriented civic engagement.” Translation: Turn your children into activists.

A school district in South Bend, Ind., Adopted SEL two years ago to curb drug abuse and bullying. Now parents who recognize the radical messages need more supervision.

Who is responsible for what your child learns? Parents need to take control. It is not an easy battle against the combined forces of education profiteers and left-wing activists. But the stakes are too high to accept defeat.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of “The Next Pandemic”.

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