***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

Last night I was working on two different stories that are much more related than I realized when I began working on them.

On one hand, I was watching the nearly 90-minute subcommittee on the school choice bill put forward by Gov. Kim Reynolds. And I still plan to watch the full committee hearing on the bill.

On the other, I sat through a school board meeting that started at 6:30 p.m. and did not wrap up until six minutes before midnight.

The topics of the board meeting that took up most of the time were returning to school and the Ames School District participating in the Black Lives Matter Week of Action.

To be clear, the Black Lives Matter Week of Action is much more and far worse than just a week in which the school emphasizes what we all can agree with – that black lives matter.

No, the district is going to push the envelope. It is going to teach that white people hate protests. It is going to teach the principles of the Black Panthers. It is going to teach preschoolers the definition of the words “transgender” and “nonbinary.” It is going to teach elementary students that everyone has a “right” to choose their own gender and that they can choose to be a boy, a girl, both, neither or something else.

I was struck at the raw, honest, emotional testimony offered by Angel Silva – a father of two who immigrated from Chile.

He has experienced racism. He has close friends who are black. He has LGBTQ friends and family as well.

Yet he cannot understand why the school is teaching his elementary-aged children about homosexuality and transgenderism.

Silva was incredibly honest and insightful, discussing how teachers are “heroes” to young children and the kids will believe anything a teacher says.

And he cannot understand why the school believes it has to teach his kids about something that is so inflammatory.

After listening to Angel’s presentation a second time, it dawned on me that his three-minute presentation proves why Iowa parents need school choice. Why dollars should follow students.

The Ames public schools are superseding parental rights. They are overstepping their bounds. They are teaching something that is not morally acceptable to a sizable population of parents and children and normalizing it in preschool children.

This is evil. This is child abuse. And it should be criminal.

And, whether or not Mr. Silva’s children learn about it, should be his choice – not the school’s choice.

Mr. Silva’s children belong to Mr. Silva – not the school, not the state. Period. The end.

Teaching kids that everyone has a right to choose their own gender is not something that is morally neutral. It is not something that is accepted by the majority of the American population.

Yet the Ames district is hellbent on making hell bound behavior normal.

As I listened to Mr. Silva’s testimony, I can honestly say I felt sadness and hurt for him. He came to America and is seemingly doing everything right – working hard, trying to raise a family.

He sends his kids to school every day.

And now the school is usurping his parental rights and will indoctrinate his kids against his wishes.

This is shameful.

My advice to Mr. Silva is simple – keep your kids home that day or that week. If you are not comfortable with your kids learning about such things without you in their presence, don’t put them in that situation.

Or, go to school with them. Sit in on the classes. Record the lessons.

Mr. Silva, I wish I knew more about your story. But based on the sliver that I do know, I have nothing but respect for you.

You are right – the school has no business teaching your children about these issues.

Thank you so much for your courage in speaking out and standing up for your children.

It showed many how a father should show his love and concern for his kids.

You have our admiration.

Iowa legislators — this is why our state needs school choice. Because districts are overstepping their authority and usurping parental rights in the process.

Iowans deserve school choice in every county and every district.