Do Parent Involvement Policies Align with the Parents’ Bill of Rights?
By Dayna Mooney, Chapter Chair, Moms for Liberty Canadian County
Oklahoma’s Parents’ Bill of Rights defines a “parent” as the natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a minor child who makes decisions in the best interest of that child. (Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2014/title-25/section-25-2002/)
It goes on to say “All parental rights are reserved to a parent of a minor child without obstruction or interference from this state, any political subdivision of this state, any other governmental entity or any other institution, including, but not limited to, the following rights:
1. The right to direct the education of the minor child;
2. All rights of parents identified in Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, including the right to access and review all school records relating to the minor child;
3. The right to direct the upbringing of the minor child;
4. The right to direct the moral or religious training of the minor child;….”
The Parents’ Bill of Rights does not give any school district or school personnel the right to direct the education of any minor child. The Bill of Rights directs that the parents are involved.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights is important because on Monday, February 13th @ 6pm, the Mustang Public Schools Board of Education will decide whether or not to approve two new policies.
- Policy # 2146 – Parent and Family Engagement (Note: At the time of this article the policy was not available for review on the website. An email has been sent to the Board and the Superintendent requesting the policy for review. Neither have responded.)
- Policy # 2147 – Site Parent and Family Engagement Policy (i.e. School Visitors in the Policy Handbook) https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1668702225/mustangpsorg/kyehs4gpb5yugsgvlhhb/MPSPoliciesandProcedures.pdf This policy is available on page 167.
Policy #2147- Site Parent and Family Engagement Policy (i.e. School Visitors in the Policy Handbook), a section from this policy states:
“The superintendent or principal of any school shall have the authority to order any person out of the school building and off the school property when it appears that the presence of such person is a threat to the peaceful conduct of school business, school activities, and/or school classes. This authority shall extend to the removal of any individual attending an official school activity or field trip where students are present, including an activity or field trip not on school property, when the superintendent or principal determines that a threat to the peaceful conduct of students exists. Any person who refuses to leave the school building or grounds after being ordered to do so by the superintendent or principal, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment…Any person who is requested to leave the premises shall be considered for a six-month removal period.”
Could a parent be deemed a threat to the peaceful conduct of school business, activities and/or classes for asking questions that the school and/or district chooses not to disclose or speaking out against the school’s mission and values? Why are the superintendent and/or principal the only decision makers on who is considered a threat? The Superintendent stated during the November 14, 2022 Board of Education meeting “this one cleans up wording of a previous policy and makes it easier to follow”.
After researching #2146 and #2147, the search led to Policy # 2145 – Parent Involvement Policy on page 165, which is already in place. The policy discusses district expectations and parent expectations. While the district expectations are only eight bullets long, the parent expectations are nearly double. A couple of parent expectations that stand out are 1) “participating in the development of the school parent involvement plan and the review and evaluation of the plan” and 2) “valuing diversity and the need for equity in each child’s learning”. To address the first expectation, parents haven’t been given sufficient time to review or become involved in the creation and evaluation of the plan. In addition, the Board of Education hasn’t educated parents about their rights. As for the requirement that parents need to adopt DEI to be involved, through who’s lens is Diversity and Equity being taught? What is being taught? Does it align with your family’s values? If it doesn’t, does that mean you are unable to be involved with your child’s education?
Along the same lines as “parent involvement”, the Board of Education and the Mustang Public Schools Administration does not appear to value family because they insert their own opinions about the curriculum to be taught. One such curriculum is the 7 Mindsets which is a Social Emotional Learning program (SEL). SEL programs teach our children that the morals, values and traditions in our families are wrong. Per the 7 Mindsets book, when we tell our children “Money doesn’t grow on trees” we are causing emotional scarring to our children. (Source: The 7 Mindsets To Live Your Ultimate Life)
There is so much happening in our school district that parents are not aware of until it is too late.
We are calling all parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, and community members to jump into action and be proactive. Get involved in your child’s school, find a local advocacy group to work with and ask questions when your gut tells you something is off. Don’t take the school administration’s word for it, do your own independent research. YOU MUST TAKE ACTION TO SAVE OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION! You are your child’s advocate.
Takeaway: District Parent Involvement Plans/Policies DO NOT align with the Parents’ Bill of Rights!
I want to start with I absolutely believe in the fundamental rights of parents to parent their children as they see fit, so long as it is done with love and not harm. However as it is stated in the Parents bill of rights, I do not fully agree. A guardian is not the parent, they are just what their label says, a guardian, one whom is temporarily over a childs wellbeing. I do not believe a guardian should ever be able to override a parents rights. If their is something so wrong with the parents that the guardian is to be a forever parental figure for the child, then legalize that and obtain the parental rights over the parents.But if you are a guardian, a temporary person in the childs life and that childs parents are active in the childs life and correcting whatever situation removed their child from their care, then the parent is who should have the right to define what is in their childs best inerest.