Updated: Sep 26
Dear friends of IP-SV:
We knew when we started Informed Parents that we would be controversial, especially as we were taking on entrenched special interests in the educational community. We are all about empowering parents to have a decisive voice in their children's education. We aim to protect our children from what their parents may deem to be age-inappropriate information. Those entrenched special interests are, on the contrary, often about disempowering parents.
So conflict has been inevitable.
And unfortunately--but not unexpectedly--that conflict has taken the form of our opponents lodging outlandish and utterly baseless charges against us.
Usually, we would not validate these bogus claims with a retort, but a recent escalation of baseless attacks on us by local elected officials compels us to set the record straight.
Here is a brief fact-check of the ridiculous claims from local elected officials have made about Informed Parents.
Claim #1: We're anti-LGBTQ+
Fact check: Completely False
Informed Parents is inclusive and welcomes anyone and everyone who's interested in asserting parental rights over their children's education. Whether those parents are gay, trans, cisgendered or anything else doesn't matter to us. Our movement welcomes parents and supporters from all and any sexual orientation.
Our objective is inclusive support for parents who want to be able to opt-out their children from highly sexualized or age-inappropriate material from all gendered and identity perspectives. In fact, it's straight pornography in school libraries that often generates the most parent opt-out and forms the content of disagreement with school administrators. While there are also LGBTQ+ books that raise parental eyebrows (both gay and straight), it's not the gender orientation of the material that's in question, it's simply their highly sexualized nature and age inappropriateness some members of our community sometimes find fault with.
Claim #2: We want to ban books and censor libraries
Fact check: Baseless, and false
We're not trying to control what books go into public or school libraries, as we acknowledge that libraries service a wide range of ages and community interests. Rather, we are trying to allow a measure of access management to certain titles that some parents may feel are not right for their (usually younger) kids to see. We are trying to give parents a choice of what their children have easy and unmoderated access to in their school libraries. We hear from many parents that some of the books in the school libraries appear to be age inappropriate for younger children. Just as the motion picture industry rates movies based on sex/violence/drug content, so, too, would we like to see highly sexualized schoolbooks be moderated in a way that allows parents to approve access. We believe it is the responsibility of school board members to create and implement a system that provides that moderation. While unfettered access to highly sexualized books remains in elementary school libraries, IPSV will continue to draw their presence in school libraries to the appropriate school board member’s attention and urge them allow parents an avenue to protect their children from that content.
Claim #3: We engage in hate speech
Fact check: Laughably false
To see elected officials throw this charge around so loosely, so falsely, so baselessly is, quite frankly, a disgrace to their offices and their constituents. We have never engaged in hate speech; we challenge anyone to comb through our website and public statements to find evidence of the same. This is just juvenile name-calling on the part of elected officials, and beneath serious consideration.
Claim #4: We want parents to have veto power over curriculum
Fact check: Misleading.
Let us speak plainly: our organization has no opinion about curriculum content, as such. But we acknowledge that parents do, and we believe that they should have a substantial level of empowerment allowing their children to opt-out of that content. That doesn't mean those controversial books shouldn't be in the school, it doesn't mean we are opposed to other children seeing that content if their parents approve. It simply means this: that just as we allow participants of differing religious groups (or non-religious groups) the ability to opt out of curriculum that may run counter to their beliefs, so, too should parents be allowed to opt out of content in non-core curriculum (we consider Comprehensive Sex Ed to be non-core). Just as schools don't coerce Muslim and Jewish children to engage in Christmas festivities, and don't force differently abled children to compete in the same physical competitions as the typically abled, we should not demand parents approve their child being forced to entertain curricula that runs counter to their beliefs.
Please share this document with our friends, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
We are here to empower all parents in a 100% inclusive manner.