By JÖRG WOLLSCHLÄGER | In the state of Florida, the new legal regulation guaranteeing parental participation is now being implemented. Among other things, it prohibits early sexualisation and the cult of guilt typical of the USA, the so-called Critical Race Theory, for kindergarten children.
The new law with the abbreviation HB 1557 [link] will come into force on 1 July 2022. Its primary purpose is to protect 5 year olds (K3) and (in part) older children from harmful indoctrination. Educators should independently assess whether the educational material is in compliance with the law using the following overarching questions:
Children should grow up free from guilt
Does the book assume that racism is currently entrenched in American society and its legal systems in order to maintain white supremacy?
Could the book evoke feelings of guilt, anxiety or other forms of psychological distress in students because of other people’s actions in the past? Does it contain the idea that people are privileged or oppressed because of their race, colour, national origin or gender? [link]
Critical race theory (CRT) is about a political struggle ideology developed in the US by civil rights activists and lawyers in the 1970s, drawing primarily from Marxism and feminism. It postulates a structural racism that would allegedly run through all areas of society, including the judiciary and the state apparatus. There would be a collective privileging of whites over other groups. Because of ancient injustices such as slavery, blacks, for example, were to be positively discriminated against, i.e. given preferential treatment, in the allocation of jobs and university places. The weeks of riots and looting after the death of George Floyd show the danger of such imaginary ideas for peaceful coexistence, which have been constructed and disseminated by the media [link].
Even before HB 1557 was drafted, the Florida Board of Education had rejected 40% of the maths books being considered for classroom use because they contained indoctrinating concepts such as CRT, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Common Core [link].
Wikimedia: Rote MülleimerActual child welfare at the centre
The new law effectively puts a stop to the early sexualisation of kindergarten and primary school children by focusing on their „mental, emotional and physical“ welfare. The „left-wing, woke agenda“ in schools, cultivated primarily by teachers‘ unions and school boards, will thus be effectively curbed, according to Florida Secretary DeSantis [link].
Of the books for elementary school students, the transgender stories „Call Me Max“ by Kyle Lukoff [link] and „I Am Jazz“ by Jessica Herthel [link] were disposed of. A comic book with explicit depictions for adolescents entitled „Flamer“, meaning shrill homosexual, was also deemed unsuitable for teaching due to applicable pornography laws. The cover image used in this article, „The Genderbread Person“, a play on words referring to gingerbread, was also rejected [link].
Strengthening parental voice
Even more important in the long run is the improvement of parents‘ voice and information rights vis-à-vis schools and school authorities. If parents know what is actually being disseminated in kindergartens and schools and have a say in it, cultural Marxist content that is harmful to children’s development will not stand a chance anyway.
„Parents‘ rights are under increasing attack across the country, but in Florida we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children. Parents have the right to be informed about what is being offered to their child in school, and they should be protected from schools using lessons to sexualise their children as young as five years old.“
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 3/28/2022 [link]
„Parental rights in education empower Florida parents and protect our children. This bill denies school boards and teachers‘ unions the ability to hide information about students from their parents. It also prohibits discussion of gender orientation and sexual identity in grades K‑3. Throughout the legislative session, this bill has been viciously maligned by those who prefer slogans and phrases over content and common sense. Fortunately, Governor DeSantis and I believe that parents should have a say. We will not back down from angry corporations and their tired tactics steeped in hypocrisy. As a mother of three, I am committed to protecting the rights of parents.“
Lieutenant Governor of Florida Jeanette Nuñez, 3/28/2022 [link]
You are going to lead it? No way