In less than a month (this week in Rio Rancho), kids across the state will return to their classrooms and face the most confusing environment that has ever existed in New Mexico public schools.
This is due to recent changes in state law that were made by progressive legislators and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
House Republicans have initiated an effort to notify parents of these changes which strip parents of their right to know what their kids are being taught, and what medical procedures and/or medications can be provided to children without their parents’ knowledge. We are distributing a form that parents can use to inform school administrators of their demand to be involved in their children’s education and healthcare decisions.
You need to know the Public Education Department and Department of Health are taking the position that you don’t have the right to know what your children are learning or what health care choices they may be making, specifically in regard to abortion, mental health and gender-altering care. We are encouraging parents to notify the schools that you want to be contacted anytime very personal topics are going to be discussed with their children. I know this is a strange concept since schools should be focused on teaching math, science and history — which they are failing miserably at. Why are our public schools so preoccupied with teaching someone else’s values to our children under the guise of health care? This is not their responsibility nor is it their right! The response from the Secretaries of the Public Education Department and the Department of Health to our Parental Notification Form should anger every New Mexican. Their response is that “school leaders” should ignore parents who claim to have a right to this knowledge. They state that the notification form has “no legal effect.” As if parents demanding to have some say in their children’s education and health care choices is a foreign concept.
They then try to confuse the issue by stating — “schools do not provide abortions or ‘gender affirming care,;” yet in the very same sentence admit they would “refer children to health care professionals who provide such care.” They are encouraging teachers to have discussions with your kids on the very sensitive subjects of family planning, gender surgery and hormone blockers, then referring them to third-party providers without parents knowing anything about it.
These extreme policies, passed by progressive politicians and enforced by powerful state agencies, have reached dangerous levels. Do not let PED (or your local school administrator) tell you that you have no right to be informed. Don’t give up on your kids.
If your child’s school has a school-based health center, an adult will likely be having conversations with your kid that have nothing to do with their physical health, but rather gender, identity, sexual practices and who they are having sex with. Would you allow a neighbor or even a close family friend to have such intimate conversations with your under-age child?
When you think about it, teachers have been put in an awful position as well. Can you imagine being told that you must direct confused kids on how and where to get abortion services and gender-altering “care,” and that you have to hide it from their parents or be in danger of losing your job?
No matter what they say, parents have a right to know what their children are being exposed to. Fortunately, there is plenty of time to instruct local administrators of your wishes and to get a response from them.
The Parental Notification Form can be found at NMHRCC.org/parentpower.
State Rep. Rod Montoya is a Farmington Republican serving District 1.