By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
November 16, 2023
Officials in Johnston County are making it clear that elementary-aged children do not need to be hearing about or reading about sexuality, sexual activity or gender identity at school. The Board of Education there last week approved policies that not only meet the letter of North Carolina’s new Parents’ Bill of Rights law, but fulfill its spirit by removing inappropriate materials from elementary libraries.
“The Christian Action League fully supports Johnston County Schools in their commitment to uphold the ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’ law. I am proud to call Johnston County my home. Both of my children went to Johnston County schools,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the CAL.
Senate Bill 49, which became law in August thanks to an override of Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, bans curriculum about sex or gender in kindergarten through fourth grades in North Carolina public schools and requires schools to notify parents if their children ask to be called by different names or pronouns. It requires schools to make textbooks and other materials available for parental review and allows parents to find out what books their child checks out from the school’s library or whether he or she has received any healthcare services. Schools have been given until Jan 1, 2024, to comply.
“Parents play a critical role in the education and rearing of their children. They are their child’s first and most important teacher. However, in recent years, there have been several instances around the country where parents’ rights have been curtailed, and their voices have been suppressed,” Creech said. He said the Parents’ Bill of Rights’ law addresses this imbalance by ensuring that parents have the final say in their children’s education, health, and welfare.
“The bill provides transparency and allows parents to participate more fully in their child’s progress and maturity. Whenever teachers, guidance counselors, or other school personnel withhold critical information and keep parents in the dark about their child’s development, even when well-intentioned they undermine parental authority and potentially damage the sacredness of the parent-child relationship,” Creech added.
Although some school administrators in other parts of the state have insisted that the law does not apply to library materials, Johnston County officials say library books qualify as “supplementary materials” covered under the law’s definition of curriculum. So as not to have to have a separate section of the library reserved for fifth-graders only, the school system is applying the ban to that grade as well and will set rules for determining which materials violate state law.
“The policy is meant to safeguard a parent’s knowledge, influence, and decision-making. Such should not be second-guessed or overruled by an overzealous or arrogant educator who believes the view they hold ought to supplant that of the parents,” Creech said.
“According to the Bible, children belong to God and are entrusted to parents to raise and care for them (Psalm 127:3, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4). It is a stewardship. The Parent’s Bill of Rights recognizes this God-given authority, empowers parents, strengthens families, and will make for a stronger, more resilient society.”