By Carolyn Martin (CHEC Director of Government Relations)
A controversy arose this fall in the Jefferson County School District when parents found out their children were being asked to fill out surveys about their preferred names and pronouns. Despite parents trying to work with the school district throughout last year to remove the surveys, the teachers’ union encouraged teachers to keep secrets from parents concerning any requests to call children a name that differed from their given name. A bill, HB24-1039 Non-Legal Name Changes, to enshrine this practice was introduced in the legislature in January.
The bill essentially does two things: 1) it requires teachers, administrators, and staff in the public school to use a child’s preferred name and pronoun or be charged with discrimination, and 2) it sets up a task force to create guidelines for communicating with parents when children don’t want them to, procedures around parental notification, and a process for keeping and updating “unofficial” education records. The recommendations from the task force will be presented to the legislature where new laws around those guidelines will be put forward. (Read more on where this bill came from here.)
One family, who lived through the nightmare of their daughter being lured into gender confusion through the school system, produced a film with former Senator Lundberg. Their story should be a warning to all parents who use the public school system. View the film, Art Club Movie, for free.
Even for those who don’t use the public school system, this bill is of grave concern and will have ripple effects throughout our society. Whenever the government violates anyone’s right of conscience and forces someone to say something they don’t believe is right or true, we must stand against it. It is our duty as Christians because it harms a person’s God-given conscience and results in moral injury and cognitive dissonance. It is also our duty as homeschoolers because it won’t be long before they demand the very same thing of everyone in society in every arena of our lives.
This bill also violates a parent’s right to direct the care and upbringing of their child by forcing a child to live separate lives at home and at school. Keeping secrets will become the norm, not the exception. Each time they chip away at parental rights, their disdain for a parent’s God-given authority comes closer to controlling our freedom to home educate our children.
HB24-1039 will be heard in the House Education Committee on Thursday, February 15th at 1:30 PM in room HCR 0107 at the Capitol. Join me in testifying against this bill! For more information on testifying, read this document. Let me know if you have any questions.
Make it a FULL day and join us at CHECs Meet Your Legislator Day – February 15th!
There’s still time to register! Go here to find out what we’re doing this year and to register.
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
CHEC Director of Government Relations
P.S. If you are interested in testifying against HB24-1039 email me so we can talk more.