The topics included social emotional learning, the search for a new Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, the school budget and whether it was too high, a new policy about challenging materials, and declining test scores in the district. All important issues for parents and caretakers to understand.
The group believes the primary goal of Darien Public Schools should be promoting academic excellence for all of its students.
It also believes strongly in parental rights, and that parents and caretakers should have the "fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education and care of their children” and "the right to know what their children are being taught, who is teaching them, and which organizations/individuals are receiving school contracts and taxpayer funding.” Transparency and community engagement are essential.
Darien Parents also want schools to be apolitical, reflect community values and beliefs, and protect children’s privacy, especially their personal data.
Like many parental rights groups, Darien Parents is also concerned about social emotional learning (SEL). In fact, one of the key concerns sited by the group is about introducing books that would otherwise be considered pornographic and lacking in educational value. However, under the guise of inclusivity and SEL, these books have been permitted in school libraries across the state.
In Darien, this includes books that, for instance, depict a brother and sister demonstrating how they masturbate to one another, a 6-year-old child performing oral sex on adult men, and an adolescent encouraging his friend to ejaculate into a bottle and drink the contents.
The group believes that parents should have the freedom to choose what books children read at home, but that sexually-explicit content with "unclear learning value" should not be made available in Darien High School and Middle School libraries.
Darien Parents has crafted a sample letter for anyone wishing to contact the Board of Education to express concern about the presence of inappropriate materials in Darien Public Schools.
With such reasonable and worthy goals, it’s no wonder the group is taking off so quickly.