Navigating through the intricate framework of educational policy, one stumbles upon the South Carolina Transparency and Integrity in Education Act, H3728, during the last legislative session. This controversial legislation is an offshoot of H5183 from Legislative Session 124. Firstly, H3728 continues to keep control of what is really taught in the hands of leftists and change agents by perpetuating the authority given to those who (sometimes almost secretly) write the standards, the State Board, the LEAs, etc. It allows parents to review materials, but that is merely a deceptive way of letting parents think they have some say in what is used. In no way does this, or any other bill, give parents any control. And the general community, citizens, taxpayers (even if they don’t directly pay school taxes), residents, etc., are given NO rights to inspect the materials pursuant to this bill. This is a travesty because the people who graduate from our educational system, when they have been properly indoctrinated and sensitized, will have a significant influence on the entire social structure and communities in which they then reside. EVERYONE has a vested interest in ensuring that these students receive a proper education, and some of those excluded from access have the expertise to provide extraordinary guidance and feedback that should be allowed, as well as the right to know what’s happening in these indoctrination centers called “schools.” This bill reinforces exactly what is accepted—the limitations of access to anyone but parents and the limitations of even parents.
More Rules, But To What End?
The “Corrective Action Plan” introduced in Section 59-29-620 of the bill further muddies the waters. With the advent of Regulation 59-29-630, one must ask: Do we need yet another layer of rules? Who decides them? The language used seems to present gaping loopholes, particularly regarding issues like gender and diversity training. It presents a huge loophole when it states, “A student, administrator, teacher…may not be required to engage in any gender or sexual diversity training…UNLESS it is prescribed as part of a corrective action plan pursuant to Section 59-29-630.” Alert: “Unless” is the biggest gift you can give to the left. This begs the question of whether the bill genuinely seeks to address issues or merely provides vague guidelines that can be bent to fit various agendas.
The Question of "Appropriateness"
The bill's frequent usage of terms like "age-appropriate" and "grade-appropriate" signals a significant divide. There is a glaring disparity between how the educational establishment interprets these terms and the understanding of the general public. Furthermore, the term "fact-based," while seemingly straightforward, raises questions. For instance, discussions on sensitive topics like slavery can be skewed to portray a very specific narrative, not necessarily capturing the entire historical context.
Skewed Portrayals of History
The representation of slavery in the bill is particularly contentious. While slavery, in any form or time, is abhorrent, it's essential to approach historical facts with balance and understanding. To label an entire era based on the worst parts of its history without acknowledging different facets is a grave disservice. Such a portrayal perpetuates divisiveness, fostering negative sentiments based on an era long gone.
Questioning the Parental Pledge: A Flip-side View
The Parental Pledge of Expectations is still in the bill. Absolutely insulting to parents -- they are not the problem, and it's the school system that needs to earn the parents' trust. If any pledge is in order, it's for the teachers, administrators, school boards, SCDE employees, and the Superintendent.
Engaging with the bill reveals a tangled web of policy, intentions, and potential outcomes. The bill, in many ways, amplifies the left's influence, reinforcing certain narratives while sidelining others. While some conservatives may see the bill as a compromise, there's a deeper underlying concern: Are we inadvertently collaborating with an agenda that doesn't truly serve educational objectives?
What’s next for this bill? Hopefully, it doesn’t become law. Whether or not that happens will depend on the people of SC voicing their opposition to the passing of H3728.
Terms & Definitions
Legislative session: A period during which a legislative body convenes for the purpose of lawmaking.
Offshoot: Something that develops from something else; a branch or derivative.
Perpetuating: Making something continue indefinitely.
LEAs: Local Education Agencies, typically a public board of education or other public authority within a state that maintains administrative control of public schools.
Travesty: A false, absurd, or distorted representation of something.
Indoctrinated: What the left is doing well.
Corrective Action Plan: A detailed document outlining steps to be taken to correct identified deficiencies or noncompliance.
Loopholes: Ambiguities or inadequacies in the law or a set of rules, which can be used to evade or defy the law or policy.
Disparity: A great difference between things.
Narrative: A spoken or written account of connected events; a story.