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Atlanta Follows Seattle’s Lead by Installing Permanent Rainbow “Pride” Crosswalks

Add Atlanta, Georgia, to the list of cities with rainbow crosswalks celebrating LGBT pride.

After 20,000 people had signed a petition in support of making temporary rainbow crosswalks permanent, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced last week that the city would oblige their request.

Atlanta isn’t alone in sporting “pride”-themed crosswalks. Seattle was one of the first cities to install permanent rainbow crosswalks, which were unveiled by Mayor Ed Murray two years ago during Pride Week. It cost the city—whose politicians often complain that they don’t have enough money to provide supposedly essential services to citizens—at least $66,000 to paint the eleven crosswalks.

The crosswalks are intended to showcase the historic role played by the LGBT movement in Seattle. Murray told reporters at the time that the crosswalks show that Seattle is a “tolerant and accepting city.” This is the same “tolerant and accepting” Seattle that has banned minors and their parents from seeking biblically based therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction.

Several other cities across the country also have permanent rainbow crosswalks, and many more temporarily paint their crosswalks multicolored in support of annual Pride festivals.

Supporters say rainbow crosswalks recognize the important contributions of the LGBT community.

Critics believe the crosswalks celebrate alternative lifestyles that many taxpayers don’t support. The homosexual lifestyle has been “associated with negative physical and psychological health effects” and is “harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large,” according to social scientists.

It’s ironic that many of the strongest supporters of rainbow crosswalks oppose nativity scenes and other symbols of faith on public property because they worry government might give the impression it “endorses” those views, yet they don’t bat an eye at cities erecting rainbow crosswalks in praise of the LGBT movement and alternative sexual lifestyles.

Should cities endorse the LGBT movement by using public funds to finance rainbow crosswalks celebrating LGBT pride? Let us know in the comments below.

WA School District Spends Remaining Budget on Pro-LGBT Safe Space Training

A month ago, FPIW reported on the Snohomish School District‘s payment of over $14,000 to a group that advocates transgenderism in children.

Now, according to documents obtained through a public records request, FPIW has learned that North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) spent money last year on “safe space training,” provided by the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The money was frantically spent at year-end to avoid losing budget resources for the next year.

Funds were also used to purchase GLSEN student resource kits that were placed in school nurse offices.

The GLSEN safe space training contains questionable content for high schools. The kits encourage teachers to become LGBT allies (the student resource kits presumably include the same information):

  • Teachers are told to integrate pro-LGBT material into their classrooms by adding “positive representations of LGBT people, history and events” and “LGBT literature” in the curriculum.
  • Teachers are instructed not to assume a student’s gender and to use gender inclusive language (i.e., “partner” instead of “boyfriend/girlfriend” and the pronoun “they” instead of “he/she”).
  • Teachers are encouraged to “validate [their students’] gender identity and expression.”
  • Schools are urged to adopt gender-neutral locker rooms and bathrooms, “Valentine’s Day celebrations inclusive of LGBT and non-coupled students,” and “proms, homecoming and athletic events that allow for gender-neutral alternatives to ‘King’ and ‘Queen.’”

Additionally, in an email to a state education official sent in June 2015, an NTPS district official lamented that they weren’t able to purchase and assemble Planned Parenthood “birth control kits” for health teachers before the deadline.

The NTPS official stated that the birth control kits would be purchased from Planned Parenthood in 2016. It’s unclear whether the District ended up buying the kits this year. We’ve reached out to the District for comment.

The American Family Association has identified GLSEN as promoting “anti-Christian bigotry” and intolerance toward Christianity. With this in mind, it’s troubling that NTPS seems to have a close relationship with GLSEN.

We agree with GLSEN that students struggling with same-sex feelings or gender dysphoria deserve to feel safe at school. Of course all students deserve respect.  However, public schools shouldn’t teach young children that these behaviors are healthy and normal – and that’s exactly what GLSEN student resource kits do.

Moreover, many North Thurston parents who hold traditional values contrary to those presented in GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits would be shocked to find out what their children are being taught.

The GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits were purchased with NTPS grant money from Exemplary Sexual Health Education (ESHE), an initiative that is partly funded through grants from the Center for Disease Control and administered by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Fourteen school districts in Washington State are part of the ESHE initiative.

What in the World is Going on at UW?

CNBC Contributor and University of Washington student Benji Backer sat down with Joseph Backholm and Zach Freeman this week for a discussion on the University of Washington and their efforts to ensure that every students gets a button to wear that clearly shows their preferred gender pronoun.  Teachers are also being asked to add their preferred pronoun to their email signatures.

Of course, the University of Washington has not been known in recent days to have the most discerning policies in regards to privacy and safety, nor do its students appear able to take a stand on, well…anything.

October: Seattle Children’s Hospital to Prep Children for Gender Transition

Seattle Children’s Hospital will open a clinic for transgender youth sometime in October.

Doctors trained in “transgender care” will provide puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone therapy, and mental health support to children struggling with their gender identity. The Gender Clinic will refer children seeking sex reassignment surgery to other medical providers.

The clinic, which is funded by a grant from the Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority, will serve children between eight and 21 years old.

Seattle Children’s claims that treating transgender children early in life allows them to better integrate into society, despite growing evidence that treating gender dysphoria with puberty blockers and hormone therapies can irreversibly harm young children.

In a statement entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” the American College of Pediatricians outlines the risks associated with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone therapies.

Puberty blockers prevent a child from beginning puberty. Children using puberty blockers find their growth and fertility inhibited, sometimes permanently. Their sexual organs never fully mature, leaving them deprived of the ability to reproduce and without the physical characteristics associated with either sex. Heartbreakingly, this can leave them feeling as if they belong to neither biological sex.

There are also health risks associated with these treatments. Puberty blockers decrease bone density and may hinder brain development. Cross-sex hormone therapy increases the risk of high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, and cancer.

Dr. Paul McHugh, the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, likened these medical interventions to “child abuse,” noting that “close to 80% of such children would abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated.”

Other research summarized by the American Psychiatric Association suggests as many as 98% of boys and 88% of girls who struggle with gender dysphoria as children will no longer identify as the other gender after finishing puberty.

Troublingly, the majority of adolescents who will stop identifying as the other gender may be unable to revert to their biological sex if they received puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone treatments.

The American College of Pediatricians warns that “children and adolescents are incapable of making informed decisions regarding permanent, irreversible and life-altering medical interventions.”

We agree. Activist doctors shouldn’t encourage children to undergo unnecessary and potentially harmful and irreversible medical treatments – and that’s exactly why the news about the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic is so concerning.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Bremerton School District to Use Taxpayer, Classroom Funds to Fight Kennedy Lawsuit

 

The Bremerton School District is lawyering up.

After filing a federal lawsuit against the District, Coach Joe Kennedy’s legal team made one thing pretty clear: Coach Joe just wants his job back.  “All we really want for him – is to be back on the sideline coaching those kids – and nothing more,” said Michael Berry, one of Kennedy’s attorneys with the First Liberty Institute.

Kennedy was fired last year after refusing to submit to the District’s demands that he stop praying before and after football games. His prayers, the District said, constituted an endorsement of religion, and were in violation of the separation of church and state. When this story broke last year, there was overwhelming support for Coach Kennedy from across the country, standing in support of continued protections under the First Amendment.

He didn’t stop praying, and the District put him on leave before ultimately firing him.

But there’s a new twist to this story: Bremerton School District must use taxpayer money to fight the discrimination lawsuit that Coach Kennedy has now brought against them in federal court.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the Bremerton School District has made the decision to pull needed legal funds from the general fund in order to beef up its legal team to fight this lawsuit in court.

Translation: the Bremerton School District is pulling funds from the classroom to keep Joe Kennedy off the field.

The District spent $6,600 in September of 2015 to cover the cost of legal work related to the Kennedy issue.  That amount increased to $10,512 in October 2015.  At present time, the District has dumped an additional $190,000 into its legal fund — all from the general fund — for legal work “in anticipation of legal costs for JK.”

As a taxpayer, how do you feel about this?  Sound off in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Washington Primary Results Analysis: What Does it Mean?

 

Tuesday night’s primary election in Washington pushed a number of candidates through to the general election in November, where a number of district- and state-level seats are set to be filled. The balance of power in the Washington legislature is almost certainly in play as well.

These numbers will change as more votes are counted from late-mailing voters. In 2012, the Republicans gained some ground after the counting of late-mailed ballots; however, at present, the ballots counted are certainly a majority. We’ll keep you updated as the updates become available.

Here are some of the races to pay attention to as the election draws nearer.

Balance of Power in the State Senate

Several state senate races may well determine if the Republicans are able to maintain control in that chamber.

In the 5th District, incumbent Democrat Mark Mullet clings to a very narrow, 45-vote lead over challenger Chad Magendanz. Both will, of course, advance to the general election. While in the House, Magendanz voted against for the abortion insurance mandate and for the legalization of gay marriage, but also claims to support parental notification for abortion. Current Score: Mullet (D) 50.15%, Magendanz (R) 49.85%.

In the 10th District, incumbent Republican Senator Barbara Bailey gathered 51.4% of her district’s primary vote; however, both of her challengers were Democrats, who split the remaining 48.6% of the vote. If failed challenger Nick Petrish’s supporters consolidate behind Democrat Angie Homola, this could shape up to be a tight race in a district that has elected both Democrats and Republicans in recent years. Current Score: Bailey (R) 51.4%, Democrats 48.6%.

In the 17th District, Senator Don Benton is retiring, leaving the seat up for grabs in a narrowly contested race. Former Democrat Rep. Tim Probst holds a few hundred-vote lead over current-Rep. Lynda Wilson, who has vacated her seat in an attempt to keep the 17th in Republican hands. Current Score: Probst (D) 50.67%, Wilson (R) 49.33%.

In the 41st District, incumbent Republican Senator Steve Litzow holds just a 169-vote lead over Democrat challenger Lisa Wellman. Third-party Libertarian challenger Bryan Simonson picked up 590 votes in the race. If the numbers hold at present, Litzow will hold the seat. Litzow was one of the three Republican Senators that defected from the ranks to strike down Senator Doug Erickson’s attempt at reversing the Washington Human Rights Commission’s open-bathrooms rule. Current Score: Litzow (R) 48.72%, Wellman (D) 47.69%; 3.59% of votes cast have gone to Libertarian Bryan Simonson.

At present, Republicans hold a 26-23 lead in the Senate, including Senator Tim Sheldon from the 35th District (Shelton), a long-time Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans. If current results of the primary held through the general election, the Republicans would lose one seat, but retain leadership of the Senate 25-24. If Litzow loses control of the election in the 41st District, however, and Magendanz can’t overtake Mullet in the General, the Democrats would reclaim the senate majority by the same margin. However, if Litzow can hold his seat, Wilson holds the seat vacated by Don Benton in the 17th, and Magendanz could pick up Mark Mullet’s seat in the 5th, the Republicans would gain a seat.

In summary, the balance of power in the Senate is up for grabs.

 

Balance of Power in the State House

The primary elections in the Washington State House appear not to have an impact on the overall balance of power. Democrats, who hold a 50-48 majority, would retain the majority if the primary results carried over to the general election in November. After Tuesday night, Republicans are at risk of losing as many as six seats, while Democrats appear only to be at risk of losing one. Here are the races to watch:

District 5, Seat 2: The race is on to fill the seat vacated by Chad Magandanz, who is running for Senate in the District. Republican Paul Graves brought in 47.17% of the vote in the primary, however, his two Democrat challengers, Darcy Burner and Matt Larson, brought in a combined 52.83% of the vote. Graves will have his hands full keeping the seat in Republican hands.

District 6, Seat 1: In the race to replace a vacant seat left by Kevin Parker, Democrat Lynnette Vehrs pulled in the highest number of votes during the primary; however, three of four of Verhs’ challengers are Republican, meaning that Mike Volz will be the candidate to run to keep the seat in Republican hands. Current ballot counts show Democrat and Republican turnout to be almost a dead heat. Current Score: Vehrs 44.29%, Republicans 51.58%.

District 17, Seat 1: This seat, vacated by Rep. Lynda Wilson when she decided to run for the district’s Senate seat, will be a close race between Republican Vicki Craft and Democrat Sam Kim. In a crowded field, Republican candidates received 47.04% of the votes, while four Democrats split the remaining 52.96%.

District 26, Seat 1: Gig Harbor Rep. Jesse Young faces a tough re-election, capturing the primary lead by just 141 votes over Democrat challenger Larry Seaquist. In the field of four candidates, Republicans received 49.41% of the vote while Democrats received slightly more at 50.59%.

District 28, Seat 2: Incumbent Democrat Christine Kilduff captured a majority of her district’s vote Tuesday night, barely crossing the 50% threshold. However, her remaining opponents, all Republican and Libertarian, captured the remaining votes, separating the Democrats from the Republicans by only 264 votes.

District 30, Seat 1: Incumbent Republican Rep. Linda Kochmar trails Democrat challenger Mike Pellicciotti by 419 votes, nearly a four-point margin; currently 52-48%.

District 30, Seat 2: Incumbent Republican Rep. Teri Hickel currently trails Democrat challenger Kristine Reeves by just 55 votes. (50.23-49.77%) While late arriving ballots could change the final outcome of the primary, it appears this will be a very close race in November.

Statewide Office

Governor: Incumbent Governor Jay Inslee captured less than half of the votes cast in Tuesday’s primary. Republican challenger Bill Bryant came in second place, ahead of all other candidates by a wide margin. The race will likely come down to voter turnout; Republicans captured 43.5% of all votes cast while the Democrats and other minor parties captured the rest.

Lieutenant Governor: In a bit of a surprise race, the top two candidates to emerge from this race are Republican Marty McClendon and Democrat Senator Cyrus Habib. McClendon bested Habib by a full percentage point in a race that featured eleven candidates.

Supreme Court, Position 5: Chief Justice Barbara Madsen enjoyed a healthy showing in the Primary, besting opponent Greg Zempel by a wide margin. Both will head to the general election. Current results from the primary: Madsen 64.16%, Zempel 29.28%.

Seattle City Council to Vote to Ban Same-Sex Attraction Therapy

 

The Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee of the Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a measure that would outlaw all therapy or counseling for minors that does not fully affirm their chosen sexual orientation.  The legislation is expected to be approved by the full Council at its August 1 meeting.

The therapy in question, often called sexual orientation conversion therapy, or conversion therapy, generally involves a licensed therapist or counselor working with a client who is experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction.  This move by the Seattle City Council would block parents and guardians from allowing their children to participate in this type of treatment.

Mayor Ed Murray stands in full support of the legislation.

Once adopted, the City of Seattle would levy fines of $1,000 on any licensed therapist caught offering any sort of counseling or therapy to children that doesn’t affirm their chosen lifestyle and sexuality.

With passage, the City of Seattle would join just three other cities in the country — Cincinnati, Ohio, Miami Beach, Florida, and Washington, D.C. — in efforts to remove the rights of parents to seek proper and appropriate treatment for their children.

Seattle residents and concerned citizens are encouraged to contact the Seattle City Council to share thoughts on why this ban would be harmful to children and to the promotion and benefit of healthy sexuality.  The public is also welcome to attend the Seattle City Council meeting on August 1st from 2-3pm.

 

 

Snohomish School District Adopts Radical Changes to Gender Policy, Parental Rights

 

Parental rights and student privacy suffered another setback Wednesday night when the Snohomish School District voted 6-0 to change its policy on how its schools manage student gender identity issues.

The school board voted in favor of opening up all locker rooms, showers, changing facilities, and bathrooms to students of any gender or biological sex.  You can read the entire policy change here.

Furthermore, the district will not be notifying students or their parents about other students’ usage of the facilities, in an effort to protect the privacy of those students.  This means that young girls will not be notified that a biological male plans to use the same showers and changing areas as they do, and parents will be left unaware that biological males may be showering or dressing with their daughters.

As it stands now, the policy requires no medical proof for being “transgender,” nor is there a requirement that a student must observe a trans- identity at all times.

Additionally, “The District will provide all students the opportunity to participate in physical education and athletic programs and opportunities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identities,” according to the policy document adopted by the school board.  The decision comes after students in Alaska voiced their frustration after a biological male won third and fifth place in events at the girls’ state track championships.

This policy change also undermines parental rights.  Though the school district’s procedures allow for contacting and involving a gender transitioning student’s parents when the student permits, or when it is legally necessary to do so, parents may be left out of the process altogether.  A student who begins to identify as the other gender will be given “support” by school officials, with or without the involvement of the student’s parents.

Furthermore, school officials will now use the student’s preferred name and gender, regardless of whether parents are notified or what gender is listed on official documents like birth certificates.  The purpose of these changes, according to the district, is “to maximize the student’s social integration and equal opportunity to participate in social, athletic and academic opportunities, ensure the student’s safety, modesty and comfort, and minimize stigmatization.”

What about the safety, modesty, and comfort of females who will now be unwittingly showering and changing with biological males? By changing their policies to ensure the “comfort” of transgender students, the school district is sacrificing the privacy of the vast majority of students who are uncomfortable with the idea of showering and changing with students of the other biological sex.

What happened yesterday at the Snohomish School District meeting should function as a wake up call to parents throughout the state.  It is time to become involved in your child’s school district by attending school board meetings. Find out whether your local school board intends to adopt similar policies, and if so, raise awareness among other parents and share your feelings with your school board.

If this concerns you, or your children, please contact the Snohomish School District immediately and let them know what you think.  Their next meeting is Wednesday, July 27th, at 6:00pm.

Dr. Bill Mester, School Superintendent | 360-563-7280 | bill.mester@sno.wednet.edu

Scott Peacock, Asst. Superintendent of Leadership & Learning | 360-563-7284 | scott.peacock@sno.wednet.edu

School Board Members

Jay Hagen
School Board President
Director District #5: Cathcart, Little Cedars, Totem Falls, Glacier Peak
Phone 360-668-4635
E-mail Mr. Hagen

Leah Hughes-Anderson
School Board Vice President
Director District #2: Cascade View, Emerson, Centennial
Phone 425-308-1252
E-mail Ms. Hughes-Anderson

Shaunna Ballas
Board Member, Foundation Representative
Director District #1: Riverview, Seattle Hill, Snohomish High School
Phone 206-715-0283
E-mail Ms. Ballas

David Johnston
Board Member, WIAA Representative
Director District #4: Central, Valley View, AIM High
Phone 360-568-0228
E-mail Mr. Johnston

Josh Seek
Board Member, Legislative Representative
Director District #3: Dutch Hill, Machias
Phone 425-377-2466
E-mail Mr. Seek

Washington Schools to Teach Gender Identity Curriculum in Kindergarten

 

Kindergarten used to be a place for children to learn how to add, subtract, and read.  Next year, Washington school children as young as five years old will instead be learning about gender fluidity and the differences between gender and sexual identity.

The newly-minted health and physical education standards, released by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), will be implemented in schools across the state for the 2017-2018 school year.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the new standards require students to learn about gender identity and expression beginning in kindergarten.

  • Beginning in Kindergarten, students will be taught about the many ways to express gender.  Gender expression education will include information about the manifestations of traits that are typically associated with one gender. Crossdressing is one form of gender expression.
  • Third graders will be introduced to the concept of gender identity.  These children will be taught that they can choose their own gender.
  • Fourth graders will be expected to “define sexual orientation,” which refers to whether a person identifies as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual; they’ll also be taught about HIV prevention.  Children in fourth grade will be told that they can choose their sexual orientation.
  • Fourth and fifth graders will learn about the relativity of gender roles and why such roles are social constructs that are not inherent to who we are as male or female human beings.
  • Seventh graders will be expected to “distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”
  • High school students will critically “evaluate how culture, media, society, and other people influence our perceptions of gender roles, sexuality, relationships, and sexual orientation.”

These changes to education standards will transform public schools into a conduit for promoting the latest gender theories plaguing universities across the country.

Perhaps the most concerning element about the new standards, however, is that OSPI has no plans to notify parents of these controversial changes.  In a phone call this morning with FPIW, OSPI communications manager Nathan Olsen confirmed the changes and said that the state does not plan to issue a press release or otherwise inform parents of the changes.

When asked by The Daily Caller “whether a student who rejects the idea that ‘gender identity’ is distinct from ‘biological sex’ could end up failing a course on account of their beliefs, Olson replied that it “would be handled at the district/school level.’”

Parents should be concerned about whether these standards are age-appropriate, as well as whether the manner in which these topics will be taught may undermine the values held by their family.  It is frightening to think that students who hold traditional beliefs about gender and sexual identity may have to choose between accepting politically correct talking points or failing assignments and being ostracized by school administrators.

We encourage all concerned parents to attend the next school board meeting in your school district (find information on your school district here).  Ask if your local school board plans to implement the state’s radical new curriculum for elementary school classes in your child’s school and, if you aren’t satisfied with the response you get from the school board, we’d encourage you to run for the school board and to let us know of your intention.

You can sign the petition to show your opposition at this link, and support FPIW as we work to return sanity to the classroom and culture.

Opinion: Distracted colleges fail to equip workforce, hurt families

Seattle University students are occupying the lobby of the school’s college of humanities, demanding the resignation of its dean.

The offense? According to the students’ petition, the college’s faculty and curriculum “traumatize,” “tokenize,” and “pathologize” students, resulting in a “profoundly damaging” student experience that has “lasting effects on [their] mental and emotional well-being.”

The students contend that the problems they are facing will only be corrected once the Seattle University humanities curriculum is replaced with a “non-Eurocentric interdisciplinary curriculum,” taught by staff from “marginalized backgrounds,” and “especially professors of color and queer professors.”  They want the college to “radically reinterpret what it means [for the college] to educate teachers and leaders for a just and humane world.”

In their minds, this can only be achieved by “centering dialogue about racism, gentrification, sexism, colonialism, imperialism, global white supremacy, and other ethical questions about systems of power.”  In other words, they want education to be rooted in the victim theories popular in the leftist culture of the modern academy.

FPIW’s most recent video, filmed at Seattle University, illustrates perfectly what happens when proper education takes a backseat to leftist social justice causes.

Higher education’s undue emphasis on elevating social justice, diversity, and tolerance diverts attention and resources away from the traditional purpose of education, namely, to prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become productive citizens in a dynamic economy and society.

The recent events and video filmed at Seattle University are manifestations of the prevailing trend in higher education that seeks to indoctrinate students with a perspective that leaves them wholly unprepared for the workforce, and thus harming families in the long run.

Students of today and employees of tomorrow suffer when education is disproportionately devoted to topics arising from postmodern academic thought.  The University of Washington, for example, offers an undergraduate major in “Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies,” which features course offerings such as “Queer Desires,” “Feminist International Political Economy,” and “Lesbian Lives and Culture.”  It goes without saying that most students who devote their academic studies to classes like these will likely be unprepared for the modern workplace.

There is little doubt among employers that colleges and universities are failing to properly prepare students for the workforce. A Braun Research survey of 500 senior executives indicates that nearly 60% of them believe that higher education is inadequately preparing students for today’s workforce.

Where is the skills gap most apparent? The senior executives who participated in the Braun Research survey mentioned soft skills (44%), including communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, as well as a lack of technical skills (22%). A robust study of humanities in core curricula would address the former while additional STEM programs and technology integration in the classroom would alleviate the latter.

Simply put, students whose education focuses primarily on gender and race studies, cultural and moral relativism, and anti-colonialist, anti-American, and anti-Western sentiments are far less prepared to make a living for themselves, let alone provide for a family.

Even students who don’t major in gender or race studies experience a lower quality education when taught by liberal academic institutions.  The National Association of Scholars publishes a list of the books most commonly assigned by universities as required reading for incoming freshman.  Their study found that the majority of assigned books are recently published and politically progressive, with topics focusing on victimization and oppression.

It appears that instead of encouraging their incoming students to familiarize themselves with enduring literature or books that will prepare them for academic and professional success, schools have been using texts to advocate progressive causes.

In recent years, universities began hiring diversity officers and other administrators to ensure compliance with prevailing conceptions of political correctness. Nonacademic administrative employment at U.S. colleges increased by 60% from 1993 to 2009, according to data from the Department of Education. This administrative bloat drives up tuition costs, increases student loan debt, and crowds out valuable resources that could otherwise be used for instruction and research.

With total national student loan debt nearing $1.25 trillion and graduating students facing an average debt of $37,172, colleges and universities have an obligation to provide students with a quality education that prepares them to enter the workforce. Without these skills and knowledge, both individuals and families suffer.

This ballooning burden of student loan debt increases financial insecurity.  Quality education leads to sustainable employment, providing the economic foundation without which many millennials will not enter into marriage.

Improving the quality of education will increase economic opportunity and strengthen families. To accomplish this task, colleges and universities must refocus their efforts on providing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the modern workplace, without the added distractions of diversity and social justice advocacy.


Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington.  He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.