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The nonprofit group America First Legal (AFL) launched a toolkit under the leadership of former President Trump adviser Stephen Miller as a means to bring forth greater transparency in school curriculum.
Citing the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) which was first passed in 1974 and most recently expanded in 2002, the AFL, which includes Trump’s former Chief of Staff, Acting Attorney General, and Budget Director, aims to highlight parents’ rights to “review curriculum, and in some circumstances to opt out of certain activities at any school that receives federal funding.”
As Miller told Fox News Digital, “Part of the problem is that people don’t know about this law. They don’t know their rights enshrined in federal statute, and that’s because teachers’ unions, the schools, the administrators, and teachers themselves don’t want parents to know their rights. And so that’s where we come in.”
“The purpose of this endeavor from America First Legal is to let parents know what their current rights are under federal law – the kind of thing that groups like the ACLU should be doing but aren’t doing because they have fallen prey to a political agenda. They’re no longer in the business of defending civil rights and civil liberties,” he added.
The chief mechanism of the toolkit provides parents with a form letter to request the materials and documents that are being used at their child’s school. Failure to fulfill the request after a complaint has been filed could lead the Department of Education to terminate the school’s federal funds and the AFL is prepared to represent parents who are barred access to their child’s curriculum.
Miller contends that the more the PPRA is used, “it’ll become more and more unsustainable for the education system in America to engage in unethical and blatantly political conduct.”
“We are using this toolkit, this education initiative, to create a veritable army of patriotic parents around the country, using the legal system to advocate for their children, using the legal system to advocate for their rights and for transparency,” he added.
Miller is not the first person to call out the “radical lack of transparency” in the public school system.
In a July 2021 interview with Breitbart, nationally syndicated conservative radio host Mark Levin discussed the heightened attention that resulted from virtual learning instituted as a response to the coronavirus.
“Six months ago…people were calling my show and talking to me about what they were seeing on the monitor going on with their kids as a result of the pandemic,” he said. “The vast majority [of] people in this country would never have heard of critical race theory but for the pandemic [and] home teaching, where the parents are looking in the monitor and going, ‘What the hell did the teacher just say to my kid?’ which is why I now support cameras in the classroom and been pushing for that for two months.”
Levin added, “I figure if courtrooms and cops can have [cameras], union members with the NEA [National Education Association] and the AFT [American Federation of Teachers] should have them in the classroom.”
Whether it be through the PPRA or Levin’s proposal of cameras in classrooms, curriculum transparency and “parental rights in education” are reported to have been a major factor in elections last November.
Youngkin promised, “On day one, we’re going to work. We’re going to restore excellence in our schools…We’re going to embrace our parents, not ignore them.”
This came as a stark contrast to his opponent, Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe who said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” in the lead up to the election.
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