Recent events in the Ithaca City School District illustrate the importance of parental engagement and involvement in public schools and on public school boards.
A video posted on December 15, 2021 shows fifth graders at Ithaca’s Belle Sherman Elementary School making a presentation to the Board of Education about their successful efforts to bring “gender inclusive” bathrooms to their school.
As if that weren’t shocking enough, the Ithaca City School District has an entire page on its website entitled “Resources for LGBTQIA+ Students.” The webpage begins with the following (grammatically incorrect) sentence: “Affirming and supporting our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Plus (LGBTQIA+) youth and staff of the Ithaca City School District are vital.” The website’s resources for students include a guide for supporting “transgender” students in K-12 schools, downloadable stickers for use in identifying one’s preferred gender pronouns, a gender change form, links to the websites of LGBT youth groups, a “transgender” hotline, and (not surprisingly) a link to Planned Parenthood’s website. The website’s resources for teachers include links to best practices for serving LGBTQ students, information on how to teach LGBTQ words to elementary school students, Planned Parenthood information on how to talk about “identity” with preschoolers, and a “teaching transgender toolkit.”
After hearing all this, you are likely wondering how this kind of insanity managed to make its way into the Ithaca City School District (and into many others). The answer is complicated, but one key reason is the absence of Christian influence in public schools. One way to influence public schools is to be an active, involved parent. Another is to become a school board member. The State of New York needs more Christians on its school boards. Could the Lord be calling you to run for a school board seat?