Soapbox

What happened to parental rights and religious values?

Barbara Brass of Roseville holds a poster in support of transgender education before the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools school board meeting on Sept. 18.
Barbara Brass of Roseville holds a poster in support of transgender education before the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools school board meeting on Sept. 18. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Christians believe every person is made in God’s image and is therefore worthy of respect and dignity. Sadly, a recent column in The Bee demonstrated anything but respect for a significant part of our region’s population (“Transgender kids can thank state Legislature,” Sept. 20).

 
Opinion

Virtually all of the world’s major religions have a high value for the family and seek to respect parental rights and responsibilities. The column attacks the motives, beliefs and worldview of anyone who resists complying with the aggressive gender and sexuality agenda of some in our community.

It is clear that the vast majority want parental engagement in the schools, respect for the family, and a careful relationship between teachers and students. The Rocklin Academy charter school recently introduced the subject of transgenderism to a classroom of 5-year-olds without any opportunity for parents to prepare to speak to their children or consider alternative educational experiences.

Transgenderism is not a required subject in elementary grades, nor is it illegal to provide parental notification and an opportunity to have their child opt out and participate in an alternative educational experience. I am saddened and deeply burdened that such an aggressive and seemingly indifferent posture has been adopted by some administrators at the charter school.

Even after the school board refused to offer all but the most paltry of parental notifications and has indicated a desire for transgenderism to be taught in all elementary classrooms, I trust that the school can find a way to respect the rights of all parents and children.

Protecting the religious, social, cultural and educational experience of all children should be the ultimate aim of our public school system. Should particular schools choose not to honor this, I will be saddened to watch an increasingly large exodus from them.

As an educator, I hope that our excellent public, private and home-school settings will continue to respect each child and family and honor their religious values. When schools are unwilling to demonstrate such sensitivity, we weaken our already tenuous social fabric. I hope to see our community strengthened through these experiences, not torn apart by blatant disregard for parental responsibilities and values.

John Jackson is president of William Jessup University in Rocklin. He can be contacted at jjackson@jessup.edu.

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