As progressive ideology becomes more prevalent in California education, parental involvement is more important than ever. Fortunately, one parent watchdog group in Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is setting an excellent example of how parents can take back control over their children’s education.
PUSD Community Watch (PCW) was founded earlier this year by a group of parents who aim to “create awareness, have a voice in our children’s education, and verify the district delivers the highest quality education to students.” Recently, the group discovered and exposed a deeply concerning math assignment at Del Norte High School. The assignment presented the following question to students: “Are abortion access and abstinence in sex education related?” In the corner of the assignment, there are drawings of a penis, a condom, a pride flag, and other doodles. The group noted that parents did not receive notification of the lesson so they could opt their child out.
After PUSD Community Watch uncovered this issue, the DNHS principal addressed community concerns about the lesson with the teacher. Had this group of parents not been proactive and vigilant, this deeply concerning issue may have gone unnoticed.
Now, the parent watchdog group is encouraging parents and students to continue to speak out. “PCW would like to encourage students who were given the controversial math assignment to advocate for themselves,” a recent PCW email stated. “A new trimester may reduce fear of retaliation, so a written statement to school administration can be turned in. It’s incredibly important to communicate with your principal. It’s their job to oversee classroom instruction, enforce district policies and procedures, and foster student success. If the principal is not doing that, please let us know.”
PCW continues to be a vocal advocate for transparent decision-making and parental rights. They attend school board meetings and request public records. Additionally, they engage in constructive dialogue with district officials, ensuring decisions reflect the best interests of students and the community.
The group has organized rallies and put out press releases to foster open communication between parents, educators, and district administrators. These events provide a platform for constructive discussions on educational policies, curriculum changes, and other matters affecting the students’ learning experience.
Co-founder Lenice Sechrist says many teachers, parents, and students tell her how scared they are to speak up. So she tells them, “We will be the megaphone for you.”
Further, the PCW has conducted thorough investigations into the allocation of funds within the school district and makes the district’s financial information easily accessible to parents via its website. They have also uncovered several inappropriate lessons taught to PUSD students at various schools including multiple CRT and gender identity lessons.
These kinds of controversial and inappropriate assignments are being presented to students throughout California. Like PUSD Community Watch, parents need to get involved, pay close attention to what their children are learning, and hold their districts accountable. This is one way California parents can take back control of their children’s education.