The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Dan Carlson
Prairie Ponderings 

Resistence Must Begin at the Local Level


Warning: this column contains references to sexual content some may find offensive.

The Sidney School Board recently voted unanimously to reject the Nebraska Board of Education’s proposed Health Education Standards. Shortly thereafter, the Potter-Dix School Board did the same. I applaud these boards and their members for unanimously standing up and voicing concerns. I cheer the affirmations both boards made in their written resolutions stating that parents are the primary educators of their children. That took guts because it is an increasingly unpopular view in our country.

There are now 30 state senators voicing opposition to the proposed content of health education in Nebraska public schools, and Gov. Pete Ricketts has joined them. In March, Gov. Ricketts released the following statement:

“I am calling on the Nebraska Department of Education to scrap their proposed sex education topics that are included in their draft health standards. The new standards from the department would not only teach young children age-inappropriate content starting in kindergarten, but also inject non-scientific, political ideas into curriculum standards. The sex education standards represent a significant shift in approach to health education, and many of the new themes are sensitive topics that should be addressed by parents at home and not by schools.”

“The draft standards were developed with the help of political activists, and without the input of key mainstream organizations. I am urging Nebraska parents to speak up now, and to share their reaction with the department, so it can be made a part of the formal record to the full board.”

I read the proposed health standards over the weekend. Among the guidelines are teaching first-graders about gender identity and gender-role stereotypes. Teaching fifth-graders about hormone blockers. Teaching sixth-graders about cisgender, transgender, non-binary, gender-expansive, heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, two-spirit, asexual and pansexual constructs. Helping seventh-graders define oral, anal and vaginal sex, and introducing them to laws governing age of consent for sex, child pornography, sexting and sex trafficking. In eighth grade they’re to be taught about sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, systemic racism and “digital citizenship.” Please read the standards yourself if you think me incorrect. You can look them up online.

Most Cheyenne County residents I know, regardless of political party, would agree the Nebraska Board of Education is overstepping in a big way with these guidelines. And while they’re “optional” and only proposed guidelines at this point, the final draft of guidelines is due out soon and school districts will be strongly encouraged to follow them. Failure to do so could result in withholding of certain funds for disobedient school districts.

The time is coming when we’ll all be asked to take a stand. Doing so could be unpopular with some, and potentially expensive. But we’re fighting a mentality that actually believes our children are not ours, but belong to the collective as future citizens and servants of The State. That’s why I was so encouraged by the Sidney and Potter-Dix school boards flat-out proclaiming parents are the primary educators of their own children. Let’s never forget that. Public employees work for the citizens, not the other way around. And if we’re threatened with certain funds being withheld, so be it. Then we’ll all have to decide what price we will put on the preservation of child innocence, our right as parents to decide when they’re ready to learn about certain subjects, and our sacred trust from God to teach them certain things are immoral and not acceptable. Resistance to the swelling collectivist wave must begin at the local level.


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