Critical Race Theory’s pervasive indoctrination has allegedly spread to mental health programs in K-12 schools, according to parents across the nation.
Conservatives call the so-called social emotional learning, or SEL for short, a “Trojan horse” for Critical Race Theory or gender identity (i.e. LGBTQIA+) indoctrination.
In Southlake, Texas, the Southlake Families PAC criticized the Carroll Independent School District for overpaying mental health counselors and instituting mental health programs, instead of focusing on bread-and-butter education issues such as college preparedness and college advisement. The PAC sent an email to its activists that the district should “leave mental health and parenting to parents.” An example of the PAC’s efforts manifesting itself in the district occurred during a school board meeting in which parent Tara Eddins said that the district was “actually advertising suicide” and that children are generally “not thinking about these issues.”
Southlake is not the only place where parent activism is ginning up support against SEL’s. In the wealthy Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, Indiana, parents demanded that the local district fire its mental health coordinator because the position was a “dangerous” and “worthless” job.
In the northern Virginia suburb of Fairfax County, a parent activist group criticized school officials for sending a mental health survey to its students which asked, “During the past week, how often did you feel sad?” Asra Nomani, a parent and activist in the county, claimed that SEL’s have been hijacked by progressive activists in the name of “social justice activism.” She said that SEL’s have become “a vehicle for this quote-unquote ‘social justice activism’ and the indoctrination of controversial ideas related to race, sexuality and even gender and identity.”
Right on cue, NBC News blasted parents’ criticism as instigated by right-wing, bigoted, misguided, and transphobic parents and activists. In its article, it extensively quoted a parent of a transgender minor who pulled the child out of public schools after being bullied about his sexual preference. NBC News ignored the degree to which the establishment education bureaucracy has become more bloated than in the past and is paying a pretty penny for administrative positions, while keeping teacher and aide salaries low (despite the reality that teachers and aides do most of the work in education).
Yet these parents are concerned that school districts are asking questions that are too personal, invasive to their children’s privacy, and an attempt to indoctrinate children about gender identity in an effort to allegedly brainwash their children. Parents’ rights are being trampled, these parents say, in the name of the education bureaucracy’s attempt to “data mine” their children. Data mining is often associated with Big Tech, where clicks on social media platforms inform these platforms and their advertisers of user preferences in order to send these users specified types of advertisements.
But education bureaucrats and officials disagree with their constituents, these concerned parents. They point to the importance of SEL’s because of rising rates of emotional distress and anxiety in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2019, 2,756 minors committed suicide, which made it the second-leading cause of death for children. In early 2020, CDC data found that the number of children who visited an emergency room for suicide attempts increased by 31 percent.
However, these bureaucrats failed to acknowledge that their school shutdown policies instigated the worsening trend of student mental health, such as a spike in youth suicides. Similar to politicians, these bureaucrats attempted to seize the moment and install progressive SEL programs under the guise of improving mental health. But these same bureaucrats are not being held accountable for the policies that caused a mental health crisis in the first place.
Mental health is an important issue, especially for children in the digital age. Studies and research have shown that increased social media and smartphone use have led to worsening mental health conditions of children. One way that parents can improve their child’s mental health is to unplug them from social media.
But it is not up to unelected education bureaucrats to invade a child’s privacy without explicit parental permission nor to teach about mental health or “social emotional learning” without prior parental approval. Hiring therapists and counselors are important as a plan to handle mental health challenges among children, but pushing SEL’s without much parental oversight is concerning.
One of the main developers of SEL’s is the group CASEL, a non-profit organization. After the George Floyd-spurred riots in summer 2020, the organization updated its website to define SEL’s as “a lever for equity,” a left-wing or progressive buzzword.
Equity is the opposite of equality, where the latter intends to make life fair for all through equal opportunities. Equity blames certain segments of civil society for inequality, but forces the entire civil society to give so-called unprivileged segments more benefits, which is not equal opportunity.
Like everything in education, progressive and left-wing ideology has taken hold and it is up to concerned parents to retake America’s classrooms to make them less “woke” and more laser-focused on education.