Katie’s Message to Parents:
The details of every step of my journey aren’t as important as my take-away message to you all – Monitor the content being assigned by teachers. In many cases, families have the authority to opt-out through a very simple process that is usually settled in a few days. When supplementary materials/books do not align with truth, your family’s values, or if those resources promote dangerous ideologies, lies and anti-American sentiments… LOOK INTO IT.
We must be watchdogs and be sure that indoctrination doesn’t prevail over education. Stand firm, rooted and grounded in truth so as to recognize and expose counterfeit history and twisted truths. Know your history and the Declaration and Constitution!
In a world rampant with deceit, division and strife, we need to be proactive and not reactive and do our own vetting of syllabi at any grade level in order to hold our teachers, committees, schools and school boards accountable. That sounds like a lot, but it’s not. This is a story of one ordinary parent, doing the next right thing, and stepping out in faith.
My journey of challenging the book “Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You” by Reynolds and Kendi started in December of 2022. With each step I took along the way I learned more, and when it came time for the hearing, I received wisdom and strategy from God and through trusted local people. I was sustained by the prayers, helpful wisdom, support and encouragement from our community in these final steps leading up to the hearing, where I presented and was questioned for about 2 hours.
I’m grateful for the community who came in support to rally at the hearing. The hearing was a bit brutal. Three board members focused on attacking my character, instead of asking questions on the objective truth I presented as to why the book was educationally unsuitable, grade level inappropriate and policy non-compliant – they used content from one emotional email I sent back in December 2022 to try and entrap me. Despite the lies and twisted truths, the false claims and threats coming from the opposition, we operated from a place of truth, righteousness, and in this case, justice prevailed and an incremental victory was won.
“Stamped” was temporarily removed from high school classrooms, but not from libraries (in order to preserve access and not violate the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights), until such time as the district policy could be updated and the book put through the scrutiny and protocols the school District has in place, that had been circumvented in this case.
The second requirement in the Boards’ decision was that an alternative viewpoint book would be chosen and taught alongside “Stamped” in the classroom. This verdict was due to the objective proof given regarding its educational unsuitability and because of the many loopholes and backdoors in district policy that allowed this book to enter the classroom without any vetting, approval or permission.
May God use this victory to bless and inspire you and others in your area!
Faith over Fear, trusting God with the outcome and taking steps to expose and shed light on evil is essential as God protects those who take on this Ephesians 5:11-17 mission! I’m not normally an outspoken or confrontational person. Together, by standing in defense of what is true, just and right, speaking truth and countering lies, shining a light on inappropriate materials, and exposing loopholes in policies, we the parents/We the People take back our rightful authority.
I have learned in this journey that it is imperative we present objective truth and take care not to engage in emotional drama, lies, and the attacks of the enemy. My hope is that my experience will serve as a blueprint and model for others to be emboldened and know we are not alone. We must continue this battle by taking little steps to combat lies and the woke agenda in each facet of society. Collectively, we make a difference.
We live in the greatest and freest nation on earth. We are called to be stewards of the liberty for which our founding fathers sacrificed their lives, fortunes and sacred honors.
Let us remember who we are as a nation and our heritage, and commit to learning the truth about our nation’s founding and ensuing history. We are by no means a perfect nation and must learn about the atrocities in our nation’s past along with the truth about how we overcame poor decisions and regional biases. We the People and our nation are still growing learning and working to become a more perfect union. Though we’ve had some big obstacles lately, there are more on our side than against. Let’s lock shields and be bold together.
It is my hope that you all are encouraged by how God can empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things to protect our children, to preserve our American heritage, and preserve a semblance of virtue in our society. If I can do this, anyone can. Let this be a blueprint for your success in your area.
…for Opting out, challenging a book or otherwise utilizing and knowing the policies and protocols in our schools to keep pour schools, teachers and policies accountable.
#1) 1st and best option for collective local impact…… OPT-OUT your child from any educationally unsuitable, pervasively vulgar or grade-level inappropriate book by emailing the principal and CC’ing the teacher. That request should be processed within a couple of days and your child should be given alternative assignments they can choose from. IMAGINE if 10 students in every class opted out of inappropriate material, the pressure put on an activist teacher might cause them to reconsider using the book if their workload becomes too heavy.
#2) With the Passing of SB 49, the Parents Bill of Rights, (click hyperlink) there will be more book review committees being introduced across the state and educational materials should be available for public access. Stay on top of that.
#3) Policy 3200 (click as hyperlink to policy webpage) in New Hanover County Schools describes policy and protocol for Instructional and Supplementary Materials to be introduced to classrooms, describes the forms and objectives a teacher must comply with and the muster the book must pass. No matter what county you are in, go to your county board of education website, click board of education, then the submenu should say policy. Click that, followed by the specific tab for introducing Instructional or Supplementary materials.
Our county states that all materials must be evaluated by the teacher and Media and Technology Advisory Committee at the school level using the Quality Review Checklist (I requested this through the School Public Records Request). Our policy needs revision because it says, “Before bringing in any material that has not already been approved at the school or district level, a teacher must determine that the material is appropriate for the classroom by evaluating the material using the Quality Review Checklist for Instructional Resources.”There is a loophole in New Hanover County because this book came in through a staff Read Aloud Initiative and managed to get into the library and into the classroom unchecked and unregulated. The book was requested by the teacher in question, which should be cause for concern. WE MUST CLOSE LOOPHOLES.
3a) To officially challenge a book as I did is possible. The process is drug out, time-consuming and tedious (on purpose), but should you feel led, GO FOR IT! Reference the School District Policy Page for Parental Objection (click link for New Hanover County).
3b) We the People have access to most public education files, forms, approvals, syllabi, emails, checklists, test scores and the like. PLEASE UTILIZE the PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST! Search “county name” schools public records request (Include “schools”). In New Hanover County the URL is – https://www.nhcs.net/divisions/communication/public-records-requests
I discovered the discrepancy between the syllabus the teacher submitted to the College Board to get her AP class approved and the different syllabus the students and parents got in class through this means of public record. The teacher never included the book, “Stamped” or “57 Bus” on her AP syllabi submission, plus she included a lot of other materials that were NOT covered in class. However, the two books listed above WERE included in the class syllabus she actually used. Did the teacher know the College board might not approve her course if she included those 2 ideological, controversial, 5th-grade reading-level books? A few minutes spent on a records request can reveal a lot of information!!!!
4) Find some other parents and share the workload. Encourage each other and pursue truth and transparency through calls, meetings, and emails to teachers, principals and the School Board. It will take a collective effort to defend against the advance of woke ideology and indoctrination in our schools. Remember to stick to objective proof and truth, as emotion, drama, and presumed ideology are too subjective to argue against. Remember that your correspondence with the school system employees can be released in public records.
Best of luck and blessings on your journey to lock shields, stand for what is true, right and just to protect our children and expose loopholes and agendas.
– Written by: Katie Gates
Please contact Tide Turners NC with any comments, questions, or successes you have had.