the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Westwood NJ, recently, parental rights in New Jersey’s public education system have become a central topic of community discussions. While there’s significant support for this movement, its true importance is sometimes misunderstood. We posit that parental rights are not merely a fleeting trend but are, in fact, a monumental movement that will define our generation’s stance on public education, not just in New Jersey but across the entirety of the United States.
The Historical Gravity of Parental Rights
The roots of parental rights run deep in American history. The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Troxel v. Granville in 2000 cemented these rights as foundational liberties. This isn’t a modern-day concept; it’s a principle that has been cherished across cultures, especially in Western Civilization, dating back to biblical times. Major religions, notably Judeo-Christian beliefs, have always emphasized the importance of raising children within the tenets of faith, fortifying family bonds, and instilling values like respect and reverence for parents.
The Resurgence of Parental Rights in Public Education
The focus on parental rights in public education has grown recently, largely due to the pandemic which made parents more involved in their children’s learning. Contrary to popular belief, the political undertones associated with parental rights are not a result of its inherent nature but stem from parents feeling disenfranchised by the public education system. It is a gross mischaracterization to assert that parental rights have politicized our schools or school boards. In truth, it is the gradual alterations in curriculum content and school policies at both state and national levels that have galvanized this movement. Among the notable changes are the DEI mandate, New Jersey’s Health Curriculum, and gender identity policies. The rise of the Parental Rights movement has been amplified by social media, with groups like Moms for Liberty and Gays Against Groomers leading the charge. While some label these groups as “extremist”, they have not resorted to violence, unlike some factions of other movements. Moms for Liberty emphasizes traditional family values, while Gays Against Groomers, from the LGBTQ+ community, stresses the importance of the parent-child bond, regardless of a child’s identity. Advocating for this bond and foundational societal values, even if labeled “extremist”, is a stance many proudly support, believing the parent-child relationship should remain untouched by external influences.
Public Perception and The Challenges Ahead
A recent Monmouth, NJ poll reveals that 77% of parents, including 92% of Republicans and 61% of Democrats, believe parental rights in education are crucial. The message is clear: parents across the political spectrum recognize and champion the importance of their rights in their children’s education. However, organizations like the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) suggest this movement is politically motivated. It’s a misconception that supporters of parental rights are anti-educator; the aim is to collaborate with teachers while preserving parents’ rights. It’s undeniable that organizations like the NJEA, AFT, and NEA have transformed from simple employment unions to formidable political powerhouses, seemingly in the pocket of the Democratic Party. One can scrutinize the political agendas of these teacher unions without diminishing the essential role of educators. Teachers are the backbone of our children’s future, and the Parental Rights movement’s primary objective is to partner with them, ensuring that the rights of parents remain front and center.
Towards a Brighter Future: Solutions
Facing complex challenges, it’s vital for parents, grandparents, and guardians to ensure their voices are influential in education decisions. Here’s a roadmap for a brighter future:
- Vote for Candidates Championing Parental Rights: Beyond campaign promises, actions matter. Darren DeLuca, Stacey Price, Rusty Parrino, and Irene Fenarjian are exemplary choices for the Westwood Regional Board of Education due to their unwavering commitment to parental rights.
- Engage in Constructive Dialogue: Engage educators and stakeholders in open dialogues to appreciate diverse viewpoints and collaboratively champion parental rights.
- Stay Informed and Involved: Being informed empowers us to address concerns head-on and ensure our children’s education mirrors our values. Attend school board meetings, engage in parent-teacher dialogues, and align with parental rights advocacy groups.
- Empower the Next Generation: Educate your children about the importance of parental rights and the values that underpin our society. By instilling these principles in the next generation, we ensure that they are equipped to champion these causes in the future.
The imperative of upholding parental rights in public education cannot be overstated. It’s a movement that transcends political affiliations and unites us in our shared goal of ensuring the best for our children. By voting for candidates who support parental rights, we take a decisive step towards shaping an educational landscape that respects and honors the sacred bond between parent and child. The future is in our hands, and together, we can make a difference.