Parents Fight for Rights in East Penn School District
(Harrisburg) – The last week of April, leading up to the Gay Day of Silence, students at Emmaus High School in the East Penn School District located near Allentown, PA were subjected to pro-homosexual and pro-transgender videos without parents’ knowledge. The school district has refused to release the URL’s of those videos to concerned parents. Diane Gramley, president of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania, attended both June school board meetings to advocate for the parents’ right to gain access to the URLs in order to know what their children viewed.
During the June 11th meeting parents addressed the assault on their parental rights and Gramley’s comments concentrated on what the PA School Code says about a parent’s right to access school materials (see below for full comments). The school’s solicitor says it was a student project and thus the parents have no right to the URLs in order to protect the students involved – the Gay Straight Alliance club. Note that the parents do NOT want the names of students, but simply URLs of the videos!
By time of the June 25th school board meeting, students and adults, most obviously had not attended the June 11th meeting, made comments during the public comment period and totally twisted the requests for URLs from parental rights to an attack on and bullying of LGBTQ students.
“The public comments on June 25th were simply an attack on parental rights and on any parent who wants to know what their children are being taught in Emmaus High School. It was an attempt by activists to intimidate concerned parents into silence and to not question what their children are learning during a taxpayer-funded school day. Parents should not be silent if they believe their rights have been infringed upon. Parents and taxpayers have a right to know what is being taught within the four walls of the school buildings,” remarked Gramley.
Gramley’s June 11th comments were as follows:
This is in section 4.4 of the PA school code.
School entities shall adopt policies to assure that parents or guardians have the following:
(1) Access to information about the curriculum, including academic standards to be achieved, instructional materials and assessment techniques.
(2) A process for the review of instructional materials.
(3) The right to have their children excused from specific instruction that conflicts with their religious beliefs, upon receipt by the school entity of a written request from the parent or guardians.
(4) The right to review a State assessment in the school entity during convenient hours for parents and guardians, at least 2 weeks prior to their administration, to determine whether a State assessment conflicts with their religious belief.
(5) The right to have their children excluded from research studies or surveys conducted by entities other than a school entity unless prior written consent has been obtained.
Have you set such policies and adhered to those policies or are parents required to jump through numerous hoops simply to find out what their child has been taught during the tax-payer funded school day? Remember that school day starts when the bell rings for home room and ends when the last bell of the day rings. Every minute in between is paid for by taxpayer dollars and thus the activities, curriculum, all materials presented to students should be open and available to all parents and taxpayers. Do parents still have rights in this school district or are they being given restricted access to those teaching materials?
Parents should feel confident that they can trust their children are safe and respected when they enter any of the schools in this district. Is that the case?
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