Concerned Parents Want to Opt Their Kids Out of Woke Curriculum — This School District Said NO

The Pennsylvania legislature passed a law that allows parents to opt their children out of any specific instruction that conflicts with their religious beliefs.

But one school district in the state might be breaking this law.

Concerned parents learned that the West Shore School District was teaching what America First Legal (AFL) calls a “radical and invasive Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum” in K-8.

A specific instruction, CharacterStrong, “intentionally teaches character traits and goes in-depth into what these traits look like and then follows up with practical ways to improve them in their own lives and with those around them,” according to the complaint (PDF). SEL promotes “pro-social behavior,” the school district claimed, and “seeing value in all things.” It also teachers children to identify their own “values and virtues.”

The school district acknowledged that the curriculum was designed “to supplement personal values that parents instill in their children.”

Whatever all that means, certain parents believe this curriculum conflicts with their Christian beliefs.

AFL said that one parent provided written notice to opt out. The elementary school principal confirmed that the children were excused from the lessons. But that wasn’t the end of it. An excerpt (emphasis added):

However, later that same day, the School District Superintendent reversed course and said the District would not honor her request to have her child excused because plaintiff had not “identified specific instruction within the curriculum, which conflicts with [her] religious beliefs.”

The district denied other parents requests to opt out as well.

The parents filed a lawsuit against the school district, the superintendent, and other parties.

“By not allowing them to opt-out their children from objectionable curriculum and materials that violate their religious beliefs, the West Shore School District has violated the constitutional and statutory rights of our clients, despite its unambiguous obligations under the law,” ADL Senior Advisor Ian Prior said.

Photo credit: San Mateo (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

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  1. Let the lawsuits begin. Start with the idiot superintendent, personally and “professionally”, and any other person who is connected to the school district and denies the 1st Amendment rights of anyone.
    It is not the job of the “super” to approve nor disapprove the reasons a parent wants to keep their child away from anything school related. Just notification that the student will not be attending that, or any other, class for whatever reason is none of the school districts business.
    Sue them all, big time.

  2. Webcams in Every Classroom! Parents can then See and Hear what Their Children are being taught.