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Legislators continue to hear from countless parents, guardians, and concerned citizens about what can be done to push back against their school districts on the content being taught, the way it is being taught, and other school district decisions. But more and more it seems parents are feeling empowered to take a stand. Some teachers and districts are only giving one side of an issue, skewing an issue, or misrepresenting facts. Some districts are even making teachers and students afraid to voice their opinions or concerns. Some districts continue to ignore parents when making decisions that directly affect these parents’ children.

News stories from around Iowa show parents choosing to show up to school board meetings and push back. Earlier this week in Johnston, a full house of parents, students, and community members showed up to a school board meeting voice concerns over a new Diversity and Equity coordinator. Last month, hundreds showed up to a North Scott school board meeting regarding curriculum and school assignments. Earlier in the year we saw Ankeny parents get active and more recently Ames families get active in voicing their opinions to the school boards, districts, and our own legislators. It seems almost every week we hear of another school or instance where politically biased curriculum is showing only one side or simply not factual. AEAs have been questioned on whether they have been providing curriculum on divisive concepts to schools. On an AEA google doc linked via Twitter, there is a whole page discussing resources for anti-racism, bias, and white privilege. Remember, there are things parents, guardians, and educators can do to push back.

First, parents, guardians, and licensed teachers may file a complaint with the Board of Educational Examiners if there is a violation of the code of professional conduct and ethics. A teacher cannot deny the student, without just cause, access to varying points of view. A teacher cannot deliberately suppress or distort subject matter for which the educator bears responsibility. A teacher can not fail to make reasonable effort to protect the health and safety of the student or create conditions harmful to student learning. A teacher can also not conduct professional business in such a way that the practitioner repeatedly exposes students or other practitioners to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement. More info on how to file a complaint may be found here: https://boee.iowa.gov/about-us/complaints.

Second, parents and guardians can always contact their teacher, principal, superintendent, or school board. Formal requests can be made to the school board on things such as curriculum. If a school board makes a decision on a formal request it may be subject to administrative review by the state board or the director of the Department and/or to further challenge in district court. If the issue is not resolved, or at any time in the process, you can contact the Department of Education and your area School Improvement Consultant. Parents, guardians, and community members may formally or informally bring their issues before the state board if they have exhausted their local remedies. There

Author: Press Release