What is "United Parents"?
In a nutshell
We are a growing network of concerned parents, interested in promoting laws or practices that would defend and support a parent's right direct the learning of their own children.
Our mission is a three-part call to action.
Wake Up: Let's learn about legislation that affects our families and our family values.
Step Up: Let's work together by joining UnitedParents.net and linking our own coalitions to better educate and help one another.
Speak Up: Let's take action by attending board meetings, writing letters, calling elected officials, and respectfully making our voices heard through those we elect to public office.
how we got started
In January of 2018, a small group of parents learned that a Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum, called Teen Talk, was about to be adopted in their school district. One heard from a fellow teacher who would be required to teach it, another heard through a friend with whom she had briefly worked on a dress code issue the year before.
Dress Code Success
A key factor in the success of that dress code issue had been the parents’ genuine efforts and a willing Board. The school district was persuaded by parents who spent time meeting with them face-to-face, who engaged the community, wrote letters, spoke at school board meetings, and developed relationships with key Board members.
On to Teen Talk
Having developed relationships with and respect for some of these Board members, and having seen a difference made as a result, the group of parents pursued the new issue of Teen Talk. A board meeting in February demonstrated that its Board members were not all fully aware of the details of Teen Talk, even as they were preparing to approve it. The parents mobilized as many friends as possible and within a few weeks the Board had decided to delay their decision to approve the curriculum for one month. All month, this new network continued to educate people about Teen Talk, so that parents could express informed objections to the program. As a result, the Board soon agreed to table the Teen Talk decision until the Fall of 2018, giving voice to the parents and learning more about it themselves.
A working solution
In May 2018, a task force of 20 people — staff, teachers and parents — started working together to review the current sex ed curriculum and fill in the holes created by the 2016 California Healthy Youth Act, to make it compliant with new law. They will write and present a new curriculum to the Board in the Fall of 2018 for implementation in Spring 2019.
We are hopeful that the new curriculum will follow the letter of the law while also providing our children with:
- A more comprehensive understanding of the emotional and physical benefits to teen abstinence.
- Gender education that is based on medically accurate fact.
- Anti-bullying education that acknowledges the broad reach of this problem.
- Sex Education that is not salacious or inappropriate for the age group to which the material is being presented.
But, for this to happen parents must participate in the process.
Our next steps
We, a small group of concerned parents, formed an organization called United Parents, because we love its strong simplicity, as well as the acronym -- UP!
Sharing what we've learned
The natural next step was to share what we knew. We found that emailing links and files to people who wanted to learn about CSE became more overwhelming than helpful for the email senders and recipients.
So we created a website to gather and present information to those interested in learning more. This website is meant to share information about the issues parents are encountering today, by posting a variety of articles from credible sources, along with our quick take on each article.
Forming a Network
The next hurdle was, and is, forming a network of parents who can unite behind a common cause to defend shared values. We have seen success in the past with a united front of concerned parents who were willing to act, so our goal now is to expand and connect these networks of parents and make our voices heard.
To form this network, we are gathering names, emails and school districts in a private newsletter software. We will send updates not more than once a week, and if we hear of key meetings or events in your school district, we may send you a quick note as well, in a format presentable to your own local network.
We want to help parents Wake Up, Step Up and Speak Up together.