Insights Into Teens

Insights Into Teens: Episode 176 "Distorting Parental Rights"

August 14, 2023 Madison and Joseph Whalen Season 5 Episode 176
Insights Into Teens: Episode 176 "Distorting Parental Rights"
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Insights Into Teens
Insights Into Teens: Episode 176 "Distorting Parental Rights"
Aug 14, 2023 Season 5 Episode 176
Madison and Joseph Whalen

Are your parental rights being hijacked for a political agenda? Brace yourselves as we unravel the increasingly controversial issue of Parental Rights in Education. We're going to tear apart the initiatives that are drastically transforming the history and culture of our nation under the guise of parental rights, and scrutinize the politically influenced ideologies that could be damaging our children's futures.

In the first half, we're going to expose how the concept of parental rights is being distorted to control what's taught in classrooms, what books are accessible to students, and to challenge the professional authority of our educators. We'll also take you back to the roots of this ideological shift in the parental rights movement with Michael P Ferris, and examine the crafty switch in tactics to lobby for laws that favor their agenda. But that's not all, we'll also delve into the growing influence of organizations like parentalrights.org and the new Parents' Bill of Rights laws in Florida and Georgia.

Fasten your seatbelts for the latter half as we explore the implications of these fear-driven laws and underscore the significance of open communication with your child. We'll walk you through Florida's ongoing battle over AP Psychology and the political nuances of parental rights in the state. We'll shine a light on the hypocrisy and potential impacts of these laws, and wrap up by highlighting the importance of subscribing to and providing feedback for podcasts like ours - 'Insights Into Teens', 'Insights & Entertainment', and 'Insights Into Tomorrow'. You won't want to miss this!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are your parental rights being hijacked for a political agenda? Brace yourselves as we unravel the increasingly controversial issue of Parental Rights in Education. We're going to tear apart the initiatives that are drastically transforming the history and culture of our nation under the guise of parental rights, and scrutinize the politically influenced ideologies that could be damaging our children's futures.

In the first half, we're going to expose how the concept of parental rights is being distorted to control what's taught in classrooms, what books are accessible to students, and to challenge the professional authority of our educators. We'll also take you back to the roots of this ideological shift in the parental rights movement with Michael P Ferris, and examine the crafty switch in tactics to lobby for laws that favor their agenda. But that's not all, we'll also delve into the growing influence of organizations like parentalrights.org and the new Parents' Bill of Rights laws in Florida and Georgia.

Fasten your seatbelts for the latter half as we explore the implications of these fear-driven laws and underscore the significance of open communication with your child. We'll walk you through Florida's ongoing battle over AP Psychology and the political nuances of parental rights in the state. We'll shine a light on the hypocrisy and potential impacts of these laws, and wrap up by highlighting the importance of subscribing to and providing feedback for podcasts like ours - 'Insights Into Teens', 'Insights & Entertainment', and 'Insights Into Tomorrow'. You won't want to miss this!

No Credits Rolled, where we play the games you love but rarely finish them!

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

An original podcast by a husband and wife team of self professed pop-culture geeks. It is a discussion about all things entertainment from movies and music to television and pop culture. We examine some of the more obscure aspects of the entertainment industry.

Create Harmony

This is a podcast about setting an intentional rhythm, savoring life’s blessings and...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Speaker 1:

Insightful Podcasts by Informative Hosts. Insights into Things a podcast network. Welcome to Insights into Teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today's youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Insights into Teens. This is episode 176, distorting Parental Rights. I'm your co-host, your host. What am I the host? I'm the host right. I'm the host, Joseph Whalen, and my intelligent and in touch co-host, Madison Whalen.

Speaker 3:

Hi everybody.

Speaker 2:

How you doing today, Maddie.

Speaker 3:

I'm doing alright. How about you?

Speaker 2:

Doing alright. So today's topic is going along with a series that we had tried to kind of stick to a theme of controversial topics, yep, and I think this is probably the hottest one that we've had to deal with so far.

Speaker 3:

Yep, I would also probably tend to agree.

Speaker 2:

And this one is kind of ripped right out of the recent headlines too, so I thought this was worthwhile having a discussion about.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So there had been a lot of talk about parental rights from prominent conservative personalities. This is a topic often associated with LGBTQ rights, the history of slavery in our country and other sensitive topics. Laws are being passed in some states that are essentially changing the history and culture of our nation to fit a false narrative in the name of parental rights. Today we're going to talk about some of these initiatives, what they're based on, what reality really is and how these politically motivated ideologies are adversely affecting our kids in the name of political agendas. But before we do that, I want to take a moment to actually thank our audience for pushing our insights into things podcast beyond the 50,000 download mark. Yay, we hit that earlier this week. Thank you very much for that.

Speaker 2:

So that means I won't bug anyone to subscribe to the podcast, because apparently people obviously are. Yeah, I would, however, invite you to give us your feedback right in tells how we're doing, comments on some of the topics that we're talking about. We're willing to discuss anything that the audience wants to talk about. You can email us at comments, at insights into thingscom, you can find us on Twitter at insights underscore things, or you can find links to all that and more on our official website at wwwinsightsintothingscom. Shall we get into it?

Speaker 3:

I think we shall.

Speaker 2:

Here we go, let the fur fly. For kids in school, the focus should be on math, science, reading, history and the other subjects and learning habits that will set them up as good, productive citizens in the world. I think most parents would agree with that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

These efforts have been sidelined by campaigns mounted in the name of, quote, parental rights. Some parents are demanding that books be banned from curricula and school libraries, targeting teachers and administrators based on viewpoints and fighting for control of various boards of education. There are no questions that parents deserve a say in shaping their children's education. They have moral and legal responsibility for their children and the freedom to make fundamental decisions for their families. But the rallying cry of parents' rights is being wielded to do far more than give parents the rightful voice. It's turning public schools into political battlegrounds, fracturing communities and diverting time and energy away from teaching and learning.

Speaker 3:

The current Parents' Rights movement goes well beyond the usual channels of dialogue between families and schools, such as parent teacher conferences, pta meetings and calls to the principal. The movement is an organized nationwide effort waged by advocacy groups including Moms of Liberty, the Parental Rights Foundation and no Left Turn in Education. Their aim is to activate parents. No advocate.

Speaker 2:

No activate.

Speaker 3:

Their aim is to activate parents to contest what is taught in the classroom, what books are available to students and the professional authority of teachers, administrators and librarians to carry out their work. This campaign goes well beyond a judicious effort to prompt reconsideration of controversial aspects of certain school curricula and questions of age-appropriateness of certain materials and narratives. Rather, it's methods center on censorship and our chilling speech in classrooms across the country.

Speaker 2:

So it's worthwhile pausing there just for a moment to kind of talk about that. So when they say they're talking about activating parents, basically what you have is you have a bunch of special interest groups out there that have their own agenda and in order to get that agenda passed, they're riling up parents with this false narrative of well, if you don't do something about it, it's going to ruin your children's future.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and that's something I've certainly seen a lot. Currently, it's like the main focus is now on the children, for some reason, when it comes to literally everything, and now the topics that are being popular now are things that we have to worry about the children.

Speaker 2:

And you know, the rallying cry of it's for the children has been one that is being used and abused by politicians for generations now, because it's one of those things where, well, if I'm doing this for the children and you're against me, then you must be against the children, and it's a case of basically gaslighting, and we've talked about gaslighting in the past.

Speaker 3:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

The idea of if you're not for me, then you're against me. It's used as a divisive metaphor. Basically tear down any type of organized opposition by saying well, if you don't support this, then you don't support kids, so you must be a terrible person.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and that's something that both sides can kind of have problems with in the way that they try to find. Like anybody that kind of argues politically can like it can go south if you try to find a reason to think that the person that you're arguing against is morally wrong because what you stand for is technically morally right.

Speaker 2:

Right, you know. That's like saying well, I'm for world peace and you're not, so you must be a warmonger.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And it's like if your idea of world peace is just giving in and submitting to tyrannical rule Ukraine not to get political. But Ukraine is a great example of that. People that are supporting Ukraine and Ukraine's freedom to exist against an illegal war that's being waged by Russia are now having the tables turned on them, saying they're warmongers, because Ukraine should just go to the negotiating table and and cut a deal with Russia so that the fighting stops.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And the people that are saying that are basically saying well, you just need to give Russia what they want, and if you don't do that, then you're a warmonger, you want this war to continue.

Speaker 3:

Yeah and that's like and obviously, while it's a less extreme example here in the US, it's still something that's being waged in the ways of like oh well, if you're not, I'm doing this for the children, exactly, and it's not like you're doing it for the children.

Speaker 2:

It doesn't mean that, if well, I don't know, it's just, it's what's called a straw man argument. Basically, you're propping up a what if? Hypothetical situation out there and saying, well, if you don't support that, then you're terrible, and it's a form of psychology that has been used in the past, but it's being used by some very not nice people like the Nazis, for instance, and fascist Italy have used these type of techniques, and the scary thing is that our political system today and these special interest groups are now turning to these tactics because they're very effective tactics.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because, like with straw man arguments a lot of the times, like they can't be debated with and that's like the problem with it. It's like I'm all for people debating different topics, but when you use straw man tactics of saying, well, I'm completely in the right because I'm supporting this, so that means that if you're trying to argue with me, then you're completely wrong.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 3:

And you're not going to leave any room for debate because you, because, apparently, that you're the person that's supposedly in the right, so you can't really be debated with.

Speaker 2:

Right, and there's no chance of reasoning with people that go down that path anyway. It might be worthwhile for us to do a topic podcast on straw man arguments and where some of the flaws are. But let's get back on topic.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So in Alpine, utah, 52 books including Judy Blooms, forever and Jody but called 19 minutes were pulled from school library shelves after an internal audit initiated by the school board determined that they contain sensitive material and lacked literary merit. Now, who makes that determination is kind of really what's up for debate. After an outcry, the district pulled back slightly, limiting access to the targeted books to students whose parents opt in and make them available to their kids, which makes sense, you know. If the, if you, if the whole thing is about parental rights and parents having power to determine what their kids can and can't say, then the parent should be making these decisions.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You shouldn't be getting legislatures and politicians involved.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

However, in Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and other states, campaigns have spurred the passage of new laws to limit the availability of books and schools, sometimes under penalty of steep fines for teachers or punishment for librarians. Librarians, there's an extra R in there somewhere.

Speaker 3:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

I don't know you understood what I said. I didn't need that extra R. I'll save that one for another word.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

PEN America has documented more than 2,500 book removals in the nine months between July 2021 and June 2022. The accelerating pace of book bans across the country might suggest that such measures are popular, but, surveyshow, I feel like I'm doing a game show. Surveyshow says SurveyShow that upwards of 70% of Americans, including both Democrats and Republicans, oppose these bans. A 2022 Harris poll revealed just 12% of respondents favor banning books on divisive topics In the name of vindicating their rights. Parents with special interests are pursuing tactics that the overwhelming majority of parents and citizens reject. And let me pause there again just for a second. In the 1930s and I want to keep going back to this and people probably are not going to like it, but in the 1930s, when the Nazis were coming to power, the first thing they did was start banning and burning books. As soon as you control the knowledge that people get, you can define what history is and what your place in history is. There's no such thing as bad knowledge, regardless of what the church may tell you.

Speaker 3:

And I'm not going to lie, I'm going to go back even further. I remember when I was learning about ancient Egypt and that whenever there was a new pharaoh, they would basically like the hieroglyphs from the other pharaohs. That would pretty much like destroy them and like paint and like hammer and hieroglyphs over them to basically rewrite the history and make the history lost to the other pharaohs.

Speaker 2:

Anytime you look to control the knowledge that's disseminated to your population, it's an attempt to control history and all it is. It's an attempt to control the population, really. So this is why we learn history. We learn history so that, when history repeats itself, we have a reference point that we can go back to and say see where we went last time. We allowed this to happen and it's a warning sign so that we don't go down that path again. Because we already had one Hitler in history, we don't need another one the Nazis to have no place in our society anymore. So we have to keep that in mind when we talk about these things.

Speaker 3:

So the origins of the parental rights movement reveal why its new focus on restricting school curricula and reading lists is so distorted and counterproductive. Michael P Ferris, the driving force behind the Parental Rights Foundation, was an architect of the homeschooling movement, advocating for parents who wish to educate their children privately at home. Following one adherence in the 1970s and 80s, as court rulings, including in a 1986 Tennessee case in which Ferris was an attorney, rejected parents' efforts to get certain books, including McBeth, removed from the curriculum on the grounds they offended families' religious beliefs, when these lignits failed to enlist the support of courts to impose their religious preferences in public school classrooms, ferris and his allies shifted tactics, seeking to be quote, left alone by the government to educate their children as they saw fit.

Speaker 2:

So they want to be left alone by the government, but now they're lobbying the government to pass rules in their favor.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right, and if you have books out there that offend families' religious beliefs, don't read them. It's wonderful having choice and having choice in society.

Speaker 3:

I know right.

Speaker 2:

The new efforts of the past few years represent a return to Ferris' original approach. In 2007, ferris launched parentalrightsorg, a group that is now at the forefront of mobilizing parents against what its website describes as expert agents of the state, namely teachers, librarians and principals. He says that as though they're a terrible thing. Expert agents of the state oh, you mean teachers? Oh yeah, those teachers have nefarious intent, right, okay sure.

Speaker 2:

Parentalrightsorg's current president, will Estrada, has celebrated the movement's rising influence, saying, quote we've been speaking into the void, whereas now, suddenly, everyone cares about parental rights. Parentalrightsorg played a key organizing role in passing parents' Bill of Rights laws in Florida and Georgia, which impose heavy administrative burdens on teachers, make it easier for individual parents to challenge curricular materials for all students in a school district and target LGBTQ affirming practices because why not, yep? Many similar bills have been proposed in other states and may well become law in the coming years.

Speaker 3:

The Parental Rights rhetoric campaigned by Ferris has become a staple of some conservative attacks on public education. At a conference of the conservative mom's for liberty, florida, governor Ron DeSantis spoke about the importance of parents being able to challenge the books available at schools. The conference included a session on quote gender ideology in our schools. A movement that for years sought to prevent the government from controlling how they educated their own children now seeks to decree what entire student bodies and school districts can and cannot learn and read. The rhetoric of parents' rights has morphed from a movement aimed at constraining the power of the government over education to one that is mobilizing politicians and legislators to extend the heavy hand of the government into the classroom.

Speaker 2:

So you just look at the name of these organizations, right? So you look at moms for liberty oh, they must be genuine good. You know God-loving American people, right? Just because you put it in your name doesn't mean that you're looking for liberty. These are people in an organization with liberty in the name who are deliberately looking to restrict what other people can do. That's not liberty, that's dictatorship.

Speaker 2:

You know the parents' bill of rights, because it's all about the parents. It's a bill of rights that restricts what parents can and can't choose, because the people that are writing these laws are the ones that are choosing for the parents. So it's really a bad job of hiding. Propaganda is what this is. It's people who want control and the vast majority of people who are active in things like this. It's all about control. You're going to sit there and tell me that, well, parents deserve the right to choose, but here's a law that tells you what you have to choose.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's what we call hypocrisy.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and it's just like. It's like one parent can complain about one book and then it's ruined for everybody.

Speaker 2:

Exactly If something offend you, don't read it, don't have your kid read it, but don't ruin it. Make best. Okay, there isn't a like. Shakespeare is like the penultimate source for everything since his time. It's a banned books that he wrote is a pretty desperate ploy and it's the subject matter in McBeth because it's a good portion of its anti-conformism. And they don't want things that that spark people's thoughts. They want control, they control the thinking and they control the population. Yeah, we're going to take our first break here and when we come back we're going to talk about more good news about parental rights.

Speaker 3:

We'll be right back.

Speaker 2:

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Speaker 3:

Welcome back to Insight and the Teen. Today we're talking about distorting parental rights. So recently we're for Exactly. Words are hard, so a recent report from PE and America on book bans documented how groups organizing under the banner of parental rights curate and publicize lists of books that they view as quote indoctrination.

Speaker 2:

Which is the ultimate irony here, really?

Speaker 3:

Yep, certainly. They then present those lists to district officials and then administrators remove the challenge books from school shelves. Those processes for reviewing challenged books objectively to determine if concerns are founded are swept aside as books are banned wholesale. The report found that proposed or enacted legislation, as well as political pressure from lawmakers, played a direct role in over a thousand and one hundred bans across the country, or in at least 40% of the bans. Spontaneous sweeping book bans have become an alarming new norm in which titles are removed at the slightest site of complaint from parents or lawmakers.

Speaker 2:

You know, this reminds me a lot about the 1950s red scare of Joseph McCarthy, where he saw communists everywhere, had didn't have a shred of evidence to anything and wound up ruining people's lives, all in the name of more political power for himself. And that's exactly where this is going here. A stakeholders in the school system and simply a citizens parents should participate in deciding how schools are run. Their voices deserve to be heard alongside the expert judgment of principals, teachers and librarians. But to use legislation in mandates to declare certain stories and ideas off limits violates the compact underpinning public education.

Speaker 2:

Parents who opt out of public schools rather than private academies or homeschooling are signing up for a system who opt for, not opt out of, sorry parent. Basically, parents who choose public schools are signing up for a system designed to serve entire communities and general interests. They're pulling their resources with other families to raise future generations. You ever hear the idea takes a village to raise a child. Yep, that's what this is. There's one thing to believe the parents have the right to forego regular schooling in favor of imparting an individual belief system to children at home. It's quite another to insist that school, public school curricula and libraries be remade to match those predilections.

Speaker 3:

These tactics also risk denying and defeating children's own sense of educational and intellectual agency. Students by parents dictate what books their teens read and subjects they study stand in the way of allowing children to develop the autonomy and judgment they will need in adulthood. Schools should breed critical thinking such that no book or lesson has the power to indoctrinate a worldview. A major purpose of a library, a broad curriculum and of the protection of free speech itself is the notion that exposure to the penoply of available ideas and narratives is what enables us to form and test our own opinions and beliefs.

Speaker 2:

The same tensions provoking these battles are also roiling society more broadly. Social and generational shifts in thinking about racial justice, sexual orientation and gender identity have stoked concerns in some quarters about how marriages, families and society at large may be changing in unrecognizable or irreversible ways. The impulse of parents to shield their children from what seems like an alien social force and values is age-old. The challenge is compounded in an era in which traditional geographic boundaries that demarcated communities are eroded by online platforms that make traditional controls on what children see, hear and know virtually impossible to enforce. Some parents who find themselves raising children in an information ecosystem run amuck have sought to more aggressively police the arenas they can control, training their sites on the public school classroom and library.

Speaker 3:

Self-proclaimed parents' rights organizations play on those fears. They have turned their backs on time-honored models of dialogue and partnership between parents and schools, stoking the belief that the threats they perceive demand government intrusion. In some communities, frustration over pandemic school closures and learning loss has bred resentment and distrust of administrators and teachers, fueling confrontational approaches. The American Federation of Teachers has reported a Precipitous jump in the number of educators quitting their jobs over the last few years. Meanwhile, children who suffered learning loss and mental health challenges during the pandemic find themselves in school environments wrecked by tension, where their own rights and interests are often an afterthought.

Speaker 2:

In an era of intensifying polarization and fragmentation, public schools are among the few unifying institutions with the potential to help solder together a diverse, rising generation of Americans ready and equipped to live together, solve problems and help build a better nation.

Speaker 2:

If parents are worried about the books their children may find in school, they can speak to a teacher or librarian and, even more importantly, engage with their child about the values and stories they wish to emphasize.

Speaker 2:

The phrase parents writes may have a nice ring to it, but the agenda now afoot in its name should sound alarmed for all those who care about the future of public education.

Speaker 2:

Now they make a very interesting point in the last half of this article here that a lot of the anxiety that parents face and I'm one of the ones that face it as well is that you get to the a certain age and I don't know what that age is, where you look at the world today and you say, well, this isn't how it was when I grew up. And when I grew up you know you didn't have the internet or you didn't have computers or you know whatever it was. And they make the point that it scares parents. You know the information that is available to you today is vastly more expansive than what I had as a kid, and there's a certain amount of censorship that that I impose on you and have imposed on you, you know, for your own protection, and when you get to the technology that's in schools now, you start losing a lot of that control. So they make a valid point about that. What are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 3:

Personally, I do understand the idea of parental control.

Speaker 3:

Like the world can be a very scary place and the idea of it changing from how you had once known it is certainly understandable in the ways that you're not able to control your kid as much as you wished you normally could and, you know, in a way to more protect them rather than basically looming over them about literally everything. So I certainly understand why parents have like the concern that, like their kids are going to be raised in a world that they don't personally understand and with values they don't personally know or personally believe in. So I can certainly understand, you know, the point that parents are trying to make in the ways of actually having parental rights and a say in what their kids learn, because some parents might not want their kids to learn about certain topics until they're a certain age or they might not want them to learn about certain topics ever. And, like I can certainly understand at least that viewpoint because, yeah, it can be scary. Who knows what the world's going to look like in like 10, 30, 20 years?

Speaker 2:

even it's like Not necessarily that over.

Speaker 3:

Well, yeah, I should have gone for a moment first. I don't know. I'm trying to you know.

Speaker 2:

No, but you make a very valid point, and they reinforce this fear by pointing out the fact that you know things were really screwed up during COVID. You went through it as a student. You know how screwed up it was. You thrived in it, though, fortunately, and I think that's a testament to your intelligence and personality. But a lot of kids suffered, a lot of kids did not learn at the pace that they needed to learn, and the world just paused. But these kids schooling continued, and it continued in a way that took all of these tools that parents are afraid of because they don't have control and threw it at them, and there was no organization to it. There was no controls that were put in place, there were no safeties that were put in place, and then, all of a sudden, the pandemic is over and you, you know the genie is out of the bottle. You can't pull back from these things now.

Speaker 2:

So you have a lot of people parents that are kind of frazzled by that and scared, and what you're seeing now, I think, is really a knee-jerk reaction to a lot of that stuff. I don't know a better way of dealing with it. You know, society tends to be a pendulum right, so it swings to the left, it swings to the right. It spends some time in the middle there. As long as you don't swing too far to either side, society pretty much goes on as normal.

Speaker 2:

When you start making these changes out of fear and anxiety and their knee-jerk changes and you're putting them into law, that's where you start swinging too far, because it's easy to make a law compared to how hard it is to recall a law. And when you start making laws that are pulling, because really what we're talking about is taking decision-making out of the hands of the parents, except for this few that are lobbying the politicians to make these laws what happens when the shoe is on the other foot and when these people who convince these politicians to make these laws realize in a few years that these weren't the best laws to make? And now it's hindering our children, what are we going to?

Speaker 2:

do then what are the consequences to it?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and the one thing that I've certainly kind of taken away from this. So, yes, I understand that parents would want to, possibly especially due to the pandemic and them having a lot more resources to see the broader aspect of the world. I understand that some parents are fearful because they don't want their kids learning about the world just yet. They don't want their kids to really be experiencing all that stuff just yet. And while I understand that concern, I'm also of the mindset that at some point they're going to have to learn about it, and obviously when they learn about.

Speaker 3:

It is certainly up for debate what's the best age to teach them about certain topics? I can certainly understand the constant struggle of when is it okay to teach this and when is it okay to talk about this and especially, specifically, what age would be best. And really it's hard to determine that because everybody like everybody. While a lot of us can kind of be similar in the ways of how our mental structure is formed, as we get older, everybody's different. At that point we can all like I could have somebody the same age as me and we can be on totally different like mental spectrums when it comes to being able to take certain things and not being able to take others. So really defining the idea of when to be taught about this kind of stuff is something that's incredibly difficult to really determine. However, it is important to keep in mind that at some point that well, that point's going to come eventually you never really know when, but it's important to keep in mind that it's going to happen.

Speaker 2:

Right and I agree, and you know I'm one of those overprotective parents when it comes to you. There are certain topics that we've had on the docket to talk about on this podcast for some time now that I just haven't felt we were ready to talk about those things sex and drugs, but not rock and roll. We're not going to talk about rock and roll, but you know there are topics out there that we're getting to that point where we have to talk about them, because if I don't, then I'm doing you a disservice.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But I'm going through that anxiety already of oh my God, you're growing up, I have to deal with it. How do I cope with it? I'm not running out and convincing people to pass legislation so that I can deal with my own fears. That's a little extreme.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and especially now that I am growing up, I've learned that learning about the world and finding out about all these different things and different people and what they believe in and what really just goes on in the world is part of growing up. And I'll be the first to admit I don't want to grow up Like I don't like Want to be a tourse rescue.

Speaker 2:

Oh wait, can't do that anymore.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's just like I have the fears as well of growing up, much like protective parents might have over their kids growing up and like, yeah, I'm getting to the point where I'm having to think about things like college, I'm starting to have to drive, I'm getting to the age where I'm going to be able to eventually vote, and like I'm going to be accepting all these responsibilities at like a certain time and a lot of people aren't really ready for that sort of thing Like it's technically like a set time almost, where, like every responsibility is thrown at you, they just drop it right on your shoulders all at once.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, basically, they just drop it all on your shoulders and you're just supposed to deal with it. And that's what I think a lot of these parents kind of have to understand is that at some point, all that load is going to be dropped onto your kids, and most of the time, your kids probably aren't ready for it either. So the best thing to do, like they mentioned, is to communicate with your child, and that's really the best thing you can do, because you're both technically going through a similar experience. You're watching your kid grow up into a world that you're fearful of, how they're going to react to it, and your kid is forced to have all this burden on their shoulders as they get to just this certain age where all this grown up stuff is just implanted into their minds and that, oh wow, I have to deal with all this right now, when I don't even think I'm ready for it.

Speaker 2:

And that's a very good point and this is why this podcast works so well is that perspective, because, as parents, our job is obviously to keep you alive, but also to get you ready for that, and if we don't, then we're failing as parents. So I have to overcome my desire to protect you so that I can get you ready for that, so that you can be, like I said at the top of the show, productive citizens in society, and everything that's going on here with parental rights is not doing that. It's doing the exact opposite. So we're going to take our last break and we're going to come back and talk about more good news the ongoing effects of catering to conservative propaganda in our schools. Yippee, we'll be. We're going to bash those conservatives on this one. We'll be, we'll be right back.

Speaker 1:

Insights into entertainment, a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Our husband and wife team of pop culture fanatics are exploring all things, from music and movies to television and fandom. We'll look at the interesting and obscure entertainment news of the week. We'll talk about theme park and pop culture news. We'll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions. We'll give you a deep dive into Disney, star Wars and much more. Check out our video episodes at youtubecom backslash insights into things, our audio episodes at podcastinsightsintoentertainmentcom, or check us out on the web at insightsintothingscom.

Speaker 2:

Welcome back to insights into teens. Let's talk a little bit about the ongoing effects of catering to conservative propaganda in our schools. This actually comes from a CNN article. They say that recently an email was sent to the parents of several school districts in Florida making an announcement about AP psychology courses availability to students in the state. The letter reads, quote as you may have seen in the news, the Florida Department of Education has determined that under Florida administrative code, select content cannot be taught in Florida classrooms. The College Board AP Psychology course contains such content. College Board requires educators to teach the entire curriculum for an AP course college credit consideration. Therefore, ap psychology is no longer a potential course option for Florida students to receive college credit. These decisions came after the College Board which administrators the Advanced Placement Program announced that the state had effectively banned AP psychology because state legislation, commonly referred to as Florida's don't say gay law, doesn't permit instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity, which the College Board considers essential for completing the course.

Speaker 3:

Florida officials have countered that AP psychology hasn't been banned, rather that the College Board is playing politics by telling school districts they can't offer the course unless it's taught in full.

Speaker 3:

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Mandy Diaz Jr issued a statement that AP psychology can still be offered quote in its entirety in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate, and Florida counties are rushing to figure out what this guidance means before students begin the new school year. As Florida continues to serve as a model for other conservative states looking to overhaul their public education systems, it's vital to understand what led to the standoff over AP psychology and what this controversy reveals about the politics of political no, the politics of parental rights in the supposedly quote free state of Florida. It isn't Florida's first scuffle with the College Board. Earlier this year, the state banned AP African American Studies from its public schools after Republican lawmakers asserted the course taught critical race theory. That decision led the College Board to revise its AP African American Studies curriculum, but the changes didn't appease Florida, nor did it stop several other states from putting the course under review.

Speaker 2:

In the current fight over AP psychology, the College Board has indicated it doesn't plan to negotiate with Florida. Some Republican lawmakers in Florida have predictably responded by accusing the College Board of being quote so committed to wokeism that it's willing to sacrifice the course rather than adjust it to comply with Florida's rules. I think it's hilarious when politicians accuse someone who's not a politician of being political on a topic that they inflame themselves.

Speaker 3:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

Again, hypocrisy. The AP psychology has even been caught in that. Ap psychology has even been caught in the crosshairs of the. Don't say gay law may surprise many Florida parents when the controversial legislation officially titled the parental rights. Again, let's stick to false names here. The parental rights and education act was first proposed in 2022. It only pertained to classroom instruction for students in kindergarten through third grade. How does AP psychology get involved at third grade? That narrow designation helped inoculate the bill against much of criticism directed at it.

Speaker 3:

But critics recognize that Florida's restrictive legislation wasn't really intended for only its younger students. Instead, as some educators and LGBTQ activists contended it, it was the opening wedge of a broader assault on LGBTQ rights and public education in the state. In April, that plan became clearer when Florida State Board of Education expanded its ban on instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity through the 12th grade. The bill, sold to Florida voters as a sensible measure to ensure kindergartners wouldn't hear about sex in the classroom, would now prevent high school seniors from being able to learn about the psychological basis of human sexuality and possibly also from earning college credit for such coursework.

Speaker 2:

So here's another classic example of misdirection and gaslighting. So they got the initial law passed by saying oh, this is so that children between kindergarten and third grade don't have to learn about sex. Well, what horrible person would want to teach a third grader about sex? So everyone jumped on board and said, oh, you're right, we shouldn't be teaching these kids about sex, even though there wasn't a single course or anything in the curriculum that had anything to do with teaching kids about sex at that age.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, like while we aren't in Florida. When I was in kindergarten, through third grade, I never learned any of that stuff, not about, like, any sort of sexual orientation, whether it be straight, gay, lesbian. I didn't learn about any of that.

Speaker 2:

And this was put on the books preventatively, so that we didn't distort our children. And if you said no to it, well then you're a horrible person. You want to expose these young kids to sexual education. What's wrong with you? What kind of monster are you? So it was again that that dominant philosophy of you have to go along with this, or you're a terrible person.

Speaker 3:

So you're not allowed to debate with it either.

Speaker 2:

Right. So that got it passed. Well, shortly after it got passed, they went in and they revised the bill. So now it's not the third grade, now it's the 12th grade. And they did all that behind the scenes, behind closed doors, the public taking a chance of vote on that. They didn't even get notice of it. It just happened because that's what they had planned to do all along, from the very beginning. Let's convince people, let's lie to people to get the bill in, and then we can manipulate the bill however we want. That's how these politicians are thinking. People need to keep that in mind.

Speaker 2:

In light of all the talk in Florida and around the country that parents should have a greater say over their children's education, it's worth noting that the AP Psychology class apparently has generated little objections in Florida in the past. Quite the opposite. It was the fifth most popular AP course in the state in 2021. For the 2023 to 24 school year, about 30,000 Florida students plan to take the class. Who can't now? Now, what kind of effect is that going to have on their future college, now that they can't get those credits? Given both AP Psychology's popularity and its uncontroversial reputation in the state, the dust up over the course exposes the lie of the Paramele Rights Discourse in Florida and elsewhere. Some Florida parents have voiced their anger that the course may be canceled, just as they've protested the ban on AP African American studies.

Speaker 2:

Rather than empowering parents and this is really the moral lesson of this podcast rather than empowering parents, florida's overreaching legislation always seemed to be just a play for power by the state's Republican lawmakers and especially a publicity stunt by a small-minded governor who wants to be the next president. And that's where it is. He's trying so hard and failing miserably, by the way at becoming the next president that he's doing everything he can to get what he perceives are wins in his column that say he should be president, and really what it's doing is it's showing the rest of the country how screwed up Florida is getting at this point in time. So in a separate aside, just to kind of emphasize the impact here the state of Florida is losing. It's a huge convention state. People of tourism, conventions, businesses come in all the time. They're losing over a billion dollars over the next seven to ten years from conventions that are explicitly pulling out. Conventions that have held their conventions or national annual conventions in Florida for decades are pulling out of the state because of these practices, and the state has no income tax. They depend on tourism dollars, which is what conventions are classified as.

Speaker 2:

So if a billion dollars is coming out of that that coffer, who do you think is going to foot the bill for that? Your taxpayers are going to, just like he's in the middle of a battle a very personal battle to Santas is with Disney, and that's costing the state over a billion dollars as well. Who's going to pick up that tab? The taxpayers are going to also that he can garner some kind of I don't know what kind of attention, because it's all negative attention he's getting so he can be president. It's costing the Florida residents a fortune for him to be president.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this also was the man, by the way, not to cut you off, but this also was the man who had the laws in Florida changed that would have forced him to resign from office when he declared that he was going to run for president. He had those laws changed just so he could still be governor of Florida and run for president. That law was on the books specifically because when you're running for president, you can't dedicate the time to your job as governor that you need to.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I find it interesting that some, that the person that that law restricts is able to overturn that law for their own benefit, pretty much.

Speaker 2:

Right. So that's sort of the state that we're at here. This is another situation where people are using the children parental rights. It's all a smokescreen, it's all politics. Parental rights is the right for parents to make the decisions, and when you're lobbying and you're using third party groups to get laws put in place to take that right to choose a way, that's the exact opposite of parental rights.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's like what does Santas is doing pretty much. How many parents are actually being okay with this? Some select parents are, obviously, but parents as a whole. You're taking the option away from them. You're literally controlling every aspect of the schooling system to what. The parents have literally no say in anything, and it's all just to fit one personal minded view.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and every survey that they've taken that has addressed this has shown. You're looking at, maybe 12% of the population approves of it or somewhere in that amount Certainly nowhere close to a majority of people. But the Republicans right now are doing everything they can to restrict what people can do.

Speaker 3:

what the power of people have is which, again, despite the fact that they say that we're a quote unquote free country and that we're for liberty, and claiming themselves as a party for liberty, they're restricting anybody's right to do anything outside of what they want.

Speaker 2:

That's right. That's called hypocrisy.

Speaker 3:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

If you can spell it, I'll show you one. So that was all we had today. I think I've poked enough sticks and people's cages with this one today. Yeah, we're going to take a very quick break. Come back and get your closing thoughts.

Speaker 3:

Oh boy, okay. So to everybody out there, I just wanted to say that the concern for parental rights to an extent is a reasonable one. The idea that you don't want your kids to learn certain things at certain ages, yes, it's respectable and it's understandable considering the vast changes that the world has been going through. But I think a lot of parents who are worried about that, and also kids, need to hear that eventually that's going to happen and the job of the parent is to be preparing their kids to become adults. And it's a scary thing for everybody.

Speaker 3:

Parents are scared that the kids are going to go. Parents are scared that the kids are going to grow up and are going to have to face the world, because they're just worried that they're going to face it in a way that they don't really understand, because they don't personally understand the world from when they were originally children and had to face it themselves. And children themselves are terrified about growing up because they're going to be thrusted with all these responsibilities that they may not feel like they're ready for. And I feel like the whole point is to really not think about it politically, but think about it in the ways of how do you think it'll help to actually benefit your child rather than to push any sort of political agenda. Communicate with your children, communicate with the board. Don't just try to get. Don't get politics involved with it, don't get legislators involved with it. If it does have to come to that, as like a really extreme example, sure, but in reality legislation shouldn't have to dictate what schools can and can't do.

Speaker 2:

Sage words, as always.

Speaker 3:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

It's also worth noting that one of the things that we try to do here is educate, inform and, to a certain extent, entertain. Don't take what I'm not asking anybody to take what we say as gospel. Don't take what we say as what you should believe. I want to enable people to go out, do your own research. It takes us a little bit of while to do the research for each of these podcasts and I would encourage people to go out and source your own information. Fact, check us, go out and think for yourself. All we're really trying to do is to spawn people to action.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and that is one of the good things about having all these resources now is that.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely so. Think for yourself, always think for yourself. We're happy to be here as a resource, but we don't want to be the only resource.

Speaker 1:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

Anyway, with that in mind, I want to once again thank our listening and viewing audience for getting us to that five fifty thousand download mark, but I would also invite everyone who's listening at this point to subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio versions of this podcast listed as insights into teens. Both audio and visual of video of all of our podcasts can be found listed as insights into things and we're available anywhere you get a podcast Apple, spotify, google Stitcher, etc. I would also invite you to writing give us your feedback, tell us how far off my rocker I really am. You can email us at comments and insights into thingscom. You can find us on Twitter at insights underscore things. On Facebook, we're at Facebookcom slash insights into things podcast. We're on Instagram at Instagramcom slash insights into things. Bring it links to all that and more on our official website at insights into thingscom and you.

Speaker 3:

And don't forget to check out our other two podcasts insights and entertainment, hosted by you and mommy, and insight into tomorrow are not really monthly podcast anymore, hosted by you and my brother, sam.

Speaker 2:

Fair enough, that's it. Now we're in the books.

Speaker 3:

Woah.

Controversy Surrounding Parental Rights and Education
Distorting Parental Rights in Education
(Cont.) Distorting Parental Rights in Education
Effects of Conservative Propaganda in Schools
Florida's Standoff Over Parental Rights
Promoting Podcast Feedback for Teen Insights