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A full year before the big national election, local elections will be held across the country. Until 2005 I never voted for a school board, but faced with a slate of candidates that seemingly popped up out of nowhere and had a serious right wing, theocratic morality agenda I got to the polls. Unfortunately word got out too late and that unsavory slate was elected, but I learned my lesson: ultimately all politics are local.

School board elections are important because Republicans know the importance of controlling the educational system and they’ve been good at it in recent years. The proof is in the pudding of out of control school boards with examples such as Dover and Upper St. Clair both in Pennsylvania, and both involved in ACLU lawsuits.

School board directors have the power to decide curriculum, to decide policy regarding religious expression and political expression, and to decide who is and is not hired and what they will be teaching the next generation of kids.

There are a number of organizations, such as EagleForum EagleForum , and Edwatch, that send out bulletins and primers to school board directors. Some of them are downright scary. For example EagleForum has a School Board Candidate Questionanaire   with questions such as :

“Do you believe the topics of homosexuality and alternative lifestyles should be excluded from the classroom?”

“Do you support the teaching of abstinence as the norm for unmarried teenagers and as the only truly effective way to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases?”

“Do you reject classroom instruction that downgrades American sovereignty, limited constitutional government, or private enterprise?”

“Do you support local control of education, with accountability through the local school board, rather than federal control exercised through federal and state bureaucracies and business partnerships?”

“Do you oppose the establishment of school-based health clinics, which may perform examinations, provide immunizations and medications, and dispense birth control devices and abortion referrals, without parental consent or knowledge?”

“Do you believe in the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children?”

“Do you support a school board policy allowing parents the right to inspect and review instructional materials and methods?”

“Do you oppose requiring students to answer nosy questionnaires about sex, drugs, suicide, and family behavior without prior written parental consent?”

“Do you oppose requiring students to answer nosy questionnaires about sex, drugs, suicide, and family behavior without prior written parental consent?”

On the face of it many of these questions may seem innocuous but that’s absolutely not true. What organizations such as EagleForum are perpetrating to school board candidates is an intolerance of homosexuality, a lifestyle of sexual abstinence, a curricula that does not question the principles of our government, a community in which parental rights always supersedes childrens’ rights and in fact will alleviate “nosy questionnaires” which are often used to identify at risk students.

This is only one example of a stealth agenda that’s targeting schools.

How to stop it?

Find out about your schools, educate yourself on potential school board candidates, remember that all politics are local, and vote in this November if a school board election is being held in your community.

Originally posted to v von Allmen on Tue Sep 04, 2007 at 09:26 AM PDT.

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