Ground Zero in the Culture Wars

Everyone wants the public school to reflect our values.  But we don’t agree on our values.  Thus it is inevitable that the public school becomes Ground Zero in our culture wars.  School board members, superintendents, principals, and other school leaders are bashed from the left and clobbered from the right.  We fight over what to teach, which student groups are allowed to exist, what historical figures we honor, and how we navigate our society’s rapidly evolving views on gender. 

Thus it is not surprising that the ACLU would push the public schools to adopt gender neutral dress and grooming codes.  That would be consistent with the ACLU’s agenda, and when they have a court case that supports their position, they will want to make sure you know about it.  Thus….a letter from the organization to 477 school districts about dress codes. Did you get one?  If not, ask your neighboring district. 

It is also not surprising that Texas Values would push back from the other side.  This advocacy organization describes its mission as “to preserve and advance a culture of family values in the state of Texas.”  Like the ACLU, Texas Values sent a letter to many school districts, encouraging them not to adopt parts of the latest Policy Update issued by the Texas Association of School Boards.

TASB is caught in the middle of this, seeking to provide evenhanded, accurate information to its member districts about legal developments and policy options.  So it is not surprising that TASB also sent out a letter to its members, staking out its position in this kerfuffle.  Here is the one sentence in the TASB letter that stood out to me:

Like the ACLU, Texas Values employs lawyers known to sue school districts.  Letters from sparring advocacy groups should not be substituted for the advice of your district’s school attorney.   

That’s all I have to say for today.


Tomorrow: Election Day at last!