Back to School Checklist for Parents

With a new school year about to begin, you're likely busy filling out forms and shopping for everything on your child's school supply lists. Amidst all the necessary preparations, don't forget to ensure your child is safe from explicit content and radical ideologies this school year!

Here is a list of questions you can ask your child's school to ensure your child's safety: 

  • What sex education curriculum is used at my child's school? You can learn about radical sex education and connect with parents in your state through this interactive map.
  • What are my rights regarding opting my child out of controversial subjects and surveys? Questions on annual student surveys may ask students to disclose opinions and feelings about gender, race, family structure and sexuality. Author Deb Fillman warns parents that these surveys serve a dual purpose. First, the government (local, state and/or federal) collects data on your child and that information will be in their possession forever. Second, the goal is for your child to quickly become accustomed to violations of their personal boundaries, especially since the surveys are conducted by a teacher, who is to be considered a trusted adult. 
  • Are vulgar or pornographic books available in the library and accessible to all students? Organizations like Take Back the Classroom seek to remove exploitative, obscene content from school libraries across the country. Download the free toolkit to learn more about obscenity laws, the individuals behind the sexualization of children, how you can petition to have vulgar books removed and more.
  • What clubs are active on your child's school campus? Get on their email list and follow their social media accounts. Even if your child is not directly involved in these organizations, it is good to know what they may be exposed to indirectly through their peers. 
  • Does your school have a student newspaper? If so, subscribe to learn more about current events, read op-eds and see advertisements geared towards students.  
  • What policies are present regarding restrooms, locker rooms and overnight field trips? What ongoing training is required of teachers by the state or district and what topics are typically addressed? Can your child be released from school for confidential medical services without parental consent? If there are problematic areas of these policies, connect with the principal, school board and other individuals in leadership at the school to state your concerns and ensure you are informed of changes implemented.

Your role as the parent means that you are the primary educator of your child. Do not allow your rights to be undermined as aberrant behavior is normalized in the classroom.