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Rear view of elementary student raising her arm on a class at school.
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Earlier this month the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District published the final draft of its new policies on transgender students. It was going to be presented officially on March 17, but with the COVID-19 panic the meeting was canceled. It remains to be seen when it will be presented and approved by the board. As I will show below, it reaches a new low for the Fairbanks School District, which says a lot since...

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued his eighth health mandate for the State of Alaska, closing all private, religious and public schools until May 1 in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus. “Given the increasing concern for new cases of COVID-19 around Alaska, the purpose of this mandate is to limit all close contacts (people outside of a family unit) to be farther than six feet from each other to prevent the spread of the...

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In late 2019 Alaskans learned that, despite spending more than 1.6 billion dollars every year on education, our elementary and high school students ranked at the bottom in terms of national test scores, with only 39% proficient in reading and 36% proficient in math. In fourth grade reading, a key benchmark, Alaska ranked dead last among all 50 states. This is a remarkable state of affairs considering Alaska ranks in the top five states for...

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In 1978, the Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), otherwise known as the Hatch Amendment was passed after parents were shocked and outraged to learn that trusted teachers were using the classroom for therapy instead of education. Teachers pried into the private lives of students and their family by asking sensitive information about political, religious and personal beliefs. Little did parents realize that teachers would overstep their bounds once again by asking questions of a sexual nature...

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Governor Mike Dunleavy is highlighting the opportunities Alaskans have to send their children to private, public, charter, religious or home-schools. In observance of National School Choice Week the governor issued a proclamation in support of educational options across the state. “All children in Alaska should have access to the highest-quality education possible,” Dunleavy said in his Jan. 26 proclamation. “We must exercise creativity in providing a multitude of excellent educational options for parents to choose...

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The big issue in Fairbanks this week was the pornographic LGBT curriculum the Fairbanks North Star School District’s curriculum committee is trying to add to literature classes. A lot of concerned citizens showed up for the Jan. 21 School Board meeting to testify. The room was standing room only with people out the door. They then found out that the school board only allows one hour of testimony, so most didn’t get to speak, and...

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With scores of religious schools scattered across Alaska, Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals and others could be impacted by a religious freedom case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday the high court agreed to consider whether the government can control who a church school chooses to teach its religion classes. In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and in St. James Catholic School v. Biel, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is defending two California Catholic...

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Earlier this week Alaska Watchman reported that all teachers who are certified by the Alaska Department of Education are now forced to abide by a new gender identity policy with regards to students. This is thanks to a revision to the “Code of Ethics” put in place by Alaska’s Professional Teaching Practices Commission last year. The revised “Code of Ethics” states that, “In fulfilling obligations to students, an educator may not harass, discriminate against, or...

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Many Alaska schools now mandate that teachers refer to students by their preferred gender identity, even when it contradicts the student’s biological sex. In 2016 the Obama administration instructed schools to treat students in accord with their preferred gender identity. While that instruction has since been repealed under the Trump administration, some school districts in Alaska mandate that students be allowed access to restrooms and locker rooms that align with their chosen gender identity, and...

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A leading national parental rights organization, with the mission to “educate and inform the public and policymakers regarding parental rights,” is in need of an Alaskan coordinator to help introduce legislation in the Alaska Legislature that strengthens parental rights in Alaska. Founded in 2014, the Parental Rights Foundation is a research and educational institution that aims to pass legislation to protect parents’ rights to “raise their children without undue government interference.” While Alaska has a...

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