the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Westwood NJ, the Westwood Regional School District has introduced a parental rights policy to keep parents informed of matters related to their children.
The policy passed on first reading in a 6-1 vote on Thursday night, with an abstention from Jay Garcia and Andrea Peck being the dissenting vote. Board President Michael Pontillo was absent from the meeting. It will have a second reading at a future school board meeting.
The policy, which was put together by the board’s policy committee with guidance from the board’s attorney, under the belief that “parental rights are coming under risk,” said Laura Cooper, who sits on the committee. She said “parental rights” are here to “protect children and the sanctity of the family” and not have to “co-parent with the state.”
The “Parental Rights” movement in public schools refers to a group of parents and activists who advocate for increased parental control and influence over what is taught in public schools. Their key concerns often include:
- Curriculum Content: They seek more say in determining the curriculum, including the materials, books, and topics covered in classrooms, to align with their values and beliefs.
- Moral and Social Issues: Some parental rights activists are concerned about the inclusion of topics like sex education, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ issues in school curricula. They may advocate for more conservative or traditional approaches to these subjects.
- Critical Race Theory: Some parents have raised objections to the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools, arguing that it promotes divisive or biased views on race and history.
- School Policies: Parental rights activists often want to have a say in school policies related to matters such as mask mandates, vaccinations, and COVID-19 protocols.
- Transparency and Accountability: They call for greater transparency from school boards and administrators and may seek more involvement in the decision-making processes, such as through elected school board positions.
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