We are not the enemy!
Last Monday morning, Senate President Jake Chapman opened his welcome speech to the Iowa Senate by stating that “One doesn’t have to look far to see the sinister agenda occurring right before our eyes. The attack on our children is no longer hidden. Those who wish to normalize sexually deviant behavior against our children, including pedophilia and incest, are pushing this movement more than ever before.”
Wait a minute. . . Senator Chapman is accusing teachers of having a sinister agenda and an attack on our children?
Think of your child’s favorite teacher or your favorite teacher. Do the words “sinister agenda” come to mind? More likely you think of caring, dedicated, giving, concerned, helpful, and loving. I am a teacher in the Marshalltown Community School District (MCSD). I have never seen a “sinister agenda” or any behavior to normalize pedophilia and incest among our students or staff. I worked for six years as a Teacher Librarian and three years as a Curriculum and Professional Development Leader. I have seen the books in the library and worked with the curriculum presented to children. There is nothing “sinister” about it.
Teachers are partners in learning along with parents. We welcome support and interactions with parents to maximize the learning opportunities for students. We have open methods of communication with families to understand and address any concerns.
If a parent does have a concern about a library book or something in the curriculum, the school district has policies and procedures set up to address these. A call to your child’s teacher or principal will bring the issue up for discussion. The MCSD has policy 605.3-E1 and 605.3-E2 which outline the procedures and allow for a formal complaint of any instructional material or library books. East Marshall School District has a flow chart on their website on how to proceed with a complaint.
Teaching is a partnership. Parents are the first teachers of their children. We appreciate and respect that. Teachers and all school staff want to work together to provide the best learning for students. The MCSD states “We develop learners who have the knowledge, skills, and positive mindset to successfully pursue a meaningful future through personalized learning experiences.”
This does not require making villains out of teachers and librarians. This does not require ranting and raving at school board members. Procedures are in place to allow parents to express concerns. This is an individual family issue, not a political issue. Please don’t make it that. We are not the enemy.
Sue Cahill is an American politician and
educator who is a member-elect of the Iowa House
of Representatives for the 71st district.