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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Will SDPC Eliminate More Books From the Curriculum Monday At the School Board Meeting?



The Pickens County School Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, November 28, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. for the Oath of Office Ceremony followed by the regular board meeting at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Board Room of the Curtis A. Sidden Administrative Building at 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley, SC. 

The swearing in of the 2022 elected board members will take place at 5 pm. Here are those elected in November to serve:

(District 4 Brad Dover, District 7 Amy Williams; District 6 Karla Kelley; District 2 Randy Robinson)

Please see the agenda for the meeting at this link: 

Active Meetings - 1348 Griffin Mill Road | Easley SC, 29640 | 864-397-1000 | f 864-855-8159 BoardDocs® Pro

This is one meeting you won't regret attending, as you will get to see our present school board's critical thinking skills on display and hear their reasoning skills as well. This gives you great insight into these elected officials you have put in charge of protecting children from indoctrination and sexualization.

This meeting also gives you a great insight as to whether or not any other school board member needs to be removed as a board member and replaced with a better candidate at the next election cycle in 2024. Below are the members up for reelection 2024.

 (District 1 Betty Bagley, District 5 Betty Garrison, District 3 Shannon Haskett)

Folks, if you attend this meeting in person you will get to witness the body language as well as the critical thinking skills of the present board members as they discuss whether or not to eliminate the literature curriculum choice of books which teachers are assigning. You will also hear their discussions on how they are spending YOUR money and get a sense of where our district's priorities are heading.

Below is the link to the recent op ed article SDPC Board Member Amy Williams has written about the book that will be under consideration for keeping or removing, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, for you to read before coming to the meeting Monday.



https://www.conservativesoftheupstate.com/2022/11/school-board-member-speaks-up-about.html
https://www.conservativesoftheupstate.com/2022/11/school-board-member-speaks-up-about.html?m=1


If you can speak about your thoughts on removing inappropriate literature being used in our curriculum, you will need to sign up when you arrive outside the meeting room door on the podium. (Suggest you sign up by 5:30 pm) 

Last month saw nearly 20 liberals speak about NOT removing books that inappropriate for children...they called it "banning". But it's not banning at all, parents can still purchase those controversial books if they think it is appropriate for their child. 


ATTEND THIS MEETING IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!

If you cannot attend in person, please use this link to view the meeting.

https://youtu.be/Ekq_9Zn0WJg



Monday, Nov, 28 @ 5 PM YOU ARE NEEDED

 


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

School Board Member Speaks Up About Inappropriate Books in SDPC

 


Amy Williams, School Board SDPC District 7

Dear Editor,
 
Under Title 59 of the code of laws of South Carolina, the school board is given executive, legislative and judicial authority over the school district. The School Board Trustees will once again vote on a challenged book, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, during our next board meeting 28 November.  A parent challenged this book when it was assigned to a then 14-year-old student in 9th grade English at Daniel High School based on objectionable content and profane language.
 
When asked to vote on a book or resource as a school board trustee, I support selecting the highest value educational materials that are age appropriate. Materials need to support the student in being successful raising their own families, preparing them for community life and finding gainful employment whether heading directly to the workforce or pursuing trade or college education after high school.
 
The book Dear Martin is not without its merits as a young adult novel chronicling the main character, Justyce, an African American student in an exclusive prep high school coming of age in a difficult world.



A negative in this book can be found in the author’s gratuitous use of four-letter words from start to finish.  There are 142 curse words contained in this short novel as follows:  A--:(26x); A--hole:(14x); B-tch:(4x); BullSh-t:(4x); D-mn: (23x); Eff-ng: 149(1x); F-ck:(8x); G-dD-mn: (3x); H-ll: (16x); Jack-ss: (2x); MotherF---er: (3x); N-g-r: (9x); Punk-ss:(4x); Sh-t:(25x).  A person could not remain employed in any job nor be a member in good standing in any community using this language, and this is not the example we want to set in schools for students.
 
Additionally, adult sexual content including objectification of women as follows also detracts from the value of the book:
 
From Pg 31:
Jared: If you ask me, she wants Justyce to pop her little cherry.
Kyle: Well, seeing as you never did it...
Jared: Shut up. We were in eighth grade.
Blake: You still totally wanna tap that, bro.
 
From Pg 90:
“There’s this fine-a-- Black girl here from Decatur Prep, and I was thinking you guys could wingman
it up for me and sh-t. Homegirl’s got the fattest a-- I’ve ever seen, and I think if she meets my nig--s,
I’ll have a good chance of getting her upstairs. You feel me dogs?”
 
In light the Harvey Weinsteins, the Jeffrey Epsteins and the “Me too” movement in today’s world heightening awareness of sexual assault today, I find these passages very objectionable to a wide audience.
 
The District Level Committee has ruled as follows: “This novel should not be used as assigned reading, whether whole class or in book clubs/literature circles. This novel may be included in the teacher's classroom library as a student's choice for independent, non-instructional reading.”  Thus, the decision to uphold this recommendation or remove the book from the classroom libraries or media centers now falls to a School Board vote.
 
If the School Board choses to remove this book from the media center, classroom and/or supplemental educational materials, this is not a “book ban” according to Eugene Volokh, an instructor at the UCLA School of Law. Mr. Volokh is also the author of the textbook The First Amendment and Related Statutes (5th ed. 2013).  Mr. Volokh recently wrote an article posted 09 August 2022 for Reason titled, Removal of Books With “Lascivious Content” from School Libraries Likely Constitutionally Permissible, in which he cites the recent landmark court case C.K.-W. v. Wentzville R-IV School Dist., (2022) saying,

“The District's policy does not ban the District's students from reading the books at issue here. Nor does it ban students from acquiring the books or lending the books to others. Students may borrow the books from the public library or from a friend or neighbor. They likewise are free to purchase the books. The policy does not even ban students from bringing the books at issue to the District's schools. Nor does it ban students from discussing the books at school during their free time or encouraging others to read them…. [T]he "overwrought rhetoric about book banning has no place" in this case. Cf. Bd. of Educ. v. Pico (1982) (principal case on which Plaintiffs rely that, despite similar facts, does not use the word ban or any similar language to describe the board's actions). A school district does not "ban" a book when, "through its authorized school board," it "decides not to continue possessing [a] book on its own library shelves."

SDPC Policies such as:  ACD- Tobacco free school District; JICH- Drug and Alcohol Use by Students; IHAM – Health Education; IJNDB- Use of Technology in Instruction; GBEE- Internet and Electronic Communication; JICDA-R- Student Code of Conduct and GBEB- Staff Conduct all work in concert to demonstrate the SDPC District’s commitment to the goal of “exhibiting healthy behavior for all students, staff, contract or other workers, visitors, and the entire community.”  These policies address expectations for student and staff interactions and behaviors. This book appears to give students mixed messages that are in conflict with its own policies and standards regarding everything from substance abuse to profanity to sexually explicit or derogatory language.
 
For all of these reasons I ask myself, does this book belong in one of the best school districts in South Carolina?  I do not believe it does. 

All school board trustees need to know the law, read the books they are approving and not be afraid to vote to uphold the educational standard of Pickens County Schools.  Written by Amy Williams, SDPC, School Board Member District 7







Saturday, November 12, 2022

Thursday, November 17th We Welcome Sheriff Candidate Tommy Blankenship as our Guest Speaker



Join Conservatives of the Upstate members as we welcome Tommy Blankenship as our guest speaker. Tommy has announced he will be running for Sheriff of Pickens County in the next election cycle.

This meeting is open to the public and will be held at Cafe' Connections, 319 E. Main Street, downtown Pickens, SC 29671 on Thursday, November 17th at 7PM... please bring a friend, a neighbor, a family member and a church member with you to find out more about Tommy's reasons for running and what his goals are for our community. 

We also will be discussing local election results, and what is taking place in our school district as well as the present ordinance on Hwy 11 that our county council is considering. 

See you there! Please share this article with all you know!




 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Important Message for Your Edification

 

                                              

Michael Reed, Editor of THE STANDARD


Six years ago, just following the 2016 general elections I wrote the following in response to what I was seeing. I think this message is even more important today following the just held 2022 Mid-term elections and the results. I think it is imperative that we recognize that the Almighty God is trying to get our attention before he totally abandons us to the evil of this world and our own devices so that we will either be destroyed as worthless or recognize who our Great king and father is and obey him and his Word and then go have dominion over the evil and wicked in his name!


I will probably have some disagree but as I read scripture, we will not be whisked away from our problems in what many call “rapture”. I notice that many throughout history were martyred, and civilizations were overrun with wicked men. In fact, the Alpha and Omega didn’t take them out of the trouble, the flames, or the flood! He left them there in the middle of the problems to stand on his Word and deal with it!

Psalm 37:9 says, for evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 

Additionally, were we made that God should glorify us? No!! We were made to glorify the Great I AM in all we say and do and think, and in the victories we accomplish for the Almighty! 

Read the scriptures in Isaiah for how the Word made flesh works in this world for our benefit when we overcome the world system with his Word and for his glory. Jehovah changeth not! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! And even Noah saw the wicked people who created it removed from the land. Were the Egyptians removed from off the face of the earth when they sought to destroy the children? Didn’t the children seek him and cry out to the LORD, and he parted the sea to make a way for them and a trap for pharaoh? Like a good father He doesn’t “bail us out” like the spoiled brat by the wealthy father may do. No, our God does not remove us from the problem, he empowers us with his Word to face the problem we allowed and created and overcome it! 

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
Isa 43:3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
Isa 43:4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore, will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
Isa 43:5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east and gather thee from the west.
Isa 43:6 I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.
Isa 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

The LORD has created us to be mighty valiant men of God! Warriors for our King and his kingdom! He didn’t create us to fail as wimps in the land, but rather as mighty victors on the land. As soon as we decide to take up his mantle, obey him and follow him and compel our countrymen to do the same we will realize that the victory is in the LORD our God and he grants victory to those who overcome in his name!

Ask Noah, Moses, Joshua, and a whole host of others right there in your Bible! The plan and victory is right there in plain sight. We’ve just got to see the truth and not have scales on our eyes and behave as weak lambs for the slaughter. Rise up mighty men of valor, purify yourselves and proclaim victory in the power and authority of the God of Israel!

Michael Reed 11-9-22

Below is what I posted in 2016: 

"For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people." Psalm 89:18-19

There is much jubilance following the victory of Trump over who has been described as "evil Hillary". And I believe rightly so! 

Time and again we have seen reported the evil this woman has been associated with and participant in. This was a victory over evil of sorts.

BUT, and that's a BIG BUT, we must remember that it is GOD ALONE who is our defense, our shield, our protector, our Saviour, and THE ONE we must return to! 

I noted that the people across the country have been in heart felt prayer for these elections unlike any I have witnessed in the recent past. The day before the election I was aware of no less than 15-20 prayer meetings in my community to pray for the elections and our wellbeing. I am certain my community was not alone in this call to prayer and that this was probably taking place everywhere in the land. Obviously, the congregation was concerned for our wellbeing regarding this election.

So, the people were so concerned that many prayer meetings were called for that day, but isn't that what the people are called to do every day? Every week? Aren't God's people to beseech the LORD for his forgiveness, for their repentance, for their hands to work daily righteousness and for his protection, provision and blessing throughout the land? If we haven't been doing this in such fervency in the past, then in Mr. Trumps famous words we should be "fired"! 

This election is a warning of a kind I believe is from the LORD himself. The warning is this: American Christians you have been slack, you have been lazy, you have sought after everything and everybody but the ONE who alone can do anything for you, until it became clear that you could do nothing, so in desperation you remembered the LORD. Isn't that the way it really is? Haven't most of the "church" done this? That only in our weakness, desperation and fear that we then turned to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

Yes, this is a wakeup call to where we really stand in our corporate spiritual life. Contrast today and the prevalence of evil and wickedness to days gone by when wholesomeness was more the norm in every phase and sector of America. The difference? A Godly people on their knees beseeching the LORD of hosts gathered together midweek in public meeting houses for the righteousness, guidance and Godliness of those chosen to lead them, on a weekly basis, versus a people crying out to God in desperation who have generally ignored the Almighty until they are backed into a corner because they sense they have nowhere to go but unto the Great I AM!

I know, I can hear it now, "But pastor, we go to church and our pastor prays and we pray in agreement with him." And "we pray at home too." Certainly, this does occur, but I'm talking about PRAYER! Barna Research discovered 20 years ago that "the average Christian spends only 1 minute a day in prayer... and the average Pastor only spends 5 minutes" a day in prayer. That has not increased since then.

What kind of prayer could I be talking about? What used to be called 'getting a prayer through', the kind of prayer that beckons the wallpaper to peel off the wall, the kind of prayer that commands attention from outside your house like Daniel did with his windows opened to be sure everybody heard him afar off, the kind of prayer that God cannot ignore, and man cannot mistake. The kind of prayer that makes mountains quake and move, the kind of prayer that commands the attention of God and moves him to answer. The kind of prayer that intercedes on behalf of whatever and whoever and we see immediate answers! Yes, these things really actually happen with a God fearing and praying people!

Our problem is we Americans had rather get our instructions from Helli vision than spend that hour or two or three with the Almighty King of the universe!! Our problem is we say, "I've married a wife" and I'm too busy or too concerned with other things I would rather do than get on my knees in corporate prayer to bring down the power of God on my life and on my country. 

Our problem is we are probably too embarrassed to even suggest prayer in a public meeting. Why? Because the masses are ashamed of the God they claim to know, so ashamed that we have allowed the godless to remove the Commandments of our God and prayer to him from the public arena, from the public school, from the public discourse and from our public life, so that the will of the godless prevails in this once holy and Christian country!

It is apparent who many people spend their time with, especially traveling through neighborhoods in the evening. You can see the warm blue glow from their windows as they commune with their god, hour upon hour.

Yes, this election is a wakeup call to those who call themselves the "church"! The cry out to the LORD, and his not allowing a woman as Jezebel to gain power over this country is part of that evidence. Apparently, we gained the ear of the LORD through humility and prayer regarding the trust the people have put in Mr. Trump to lead this Heavenly Kingdom known as America. But it is still not Trump, he's barely a band aid on a total body scab.

That same Barna Research group discovered that the mass of people is spiritually being bankrupted by, please sit down and get ready--what we call the "church"! In fact, the survey says 94% of all church goers get nothing from attending their church other than socializing with others! What we call the church today is basically become useless, accepting any worldly doctrine or court ruling that comes down the pike. 

Case in point, many "churches" immediately accepted "gay marriage" when the US Supreme Court so ruled it ok, including openly welcoming them into the pulpit. They declared the truth of God a lie when they did so, in fact they declared they no longer represent Gods church at that time. Same thing with adultery, and other Sins, which are rampant IN THE CHURCH and most other things the Word of God declares as sin. Perhaps we should post "Ichabod" over their doors.

We are living in the Valley of Dry Bones: no spiritual Life from Jesus Christ, no solid truth from the pulpit, no solid biblical teaching in church assemblies, no light being shed from Gods Word, no pastoral leading of the men of the church teaching them how to lead and guide their families. I think this because so-called "pastors" don't know the Word of God and many probably don't know God himself. Dry Bones, that's the very least you can get by with for absolute actual survival, if that. 

This is our call for revival! This is our call for new birth! This is our call for Spiritual reformation! We have an opportunity now, to set things right with our God, if we will.

Our initial verse says, "For the Lord is our defense". The original word rendered “defense,” is 'shield' (Compare Psalm 33:20 and Psalm 59:11) from the Hebrew as recorded in Strong's Concordance #4043, meaning a shield or buckler. 

The understanding is that protection is to be found in GOD ALONE. The construction of this verse is, “For to Yahweh (belongs) our shield, and to the Holy One of Israel our king.” That is, not only is our protection, but the king or president himself belongs to and is in the hands of YHWH. All that we have, and all that we rely upon as a defense, belongs to God, or is of God; indeed, our very protection and defensive forces are themselves protected by Yahweh. We have no other defense; nothing else on which we can depend!

Has God changed? Is he still the Almighty? The protector and supplier of his people? If he is, and He Is, then why don't we as a nation behave like it? We see the answered prayers of Gods people in those we have chosen to lead the nation, as flawed as they are.

Even today there is a different spirit in the air. You can feel a much lighter spirit in the people. Could that be because the people have called on the LORD in prayer? Could that be because the people have declared unto themselves repentance? Could that be because the people have seen the mighty working of God in answering the prayers of the people? 

Now, the real work must begin. Now, that America sees that God can and will hear the prayers of his people when they humbly call on him in repentance, it is time for us to regularly, habitually, systematically, cry out to the King of presidents and kings, for Christianity to be revived and the Word of God be restored into the fabric and public spheres of this land. It is time for you and me to seek the LORD with all our heart, all of our soul and all of our might, and when we do, God himself will make America great again!

Michael Reed 11-9-16

Follow Michael's newspaper @ https://www.thestandardsc.org/

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

November 2022 Newsletter from COTU

 Happy Fall to All! And Happy Thanksgiving! 


Let's begin our newsletter with a prayer,

Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you at this hour to praise your Holy Name and recognize that YOU alone are our source of freedom. YOU want all of us to be free from slavery to sin. We profess our sins to You Dear Lord and believe You will forgive us as long as we profess them with sincerity. Our elections are on our minds Dear Lord, and we ask that you motivate our citizens to vote according to Your will. We know that Your will is the best will for us. Our hearts want Godly men in leadership positions Lord, we ask you to bless this upcoming election and provide us with that Godly leadership in all positions.  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, Amen.

Folks, you have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday left to vote early, after that the only time left to vote is Thursday November 8th. Times the following places are open to you voting early are from 8:30 AM till 6:00 PM. The early voting is at 3 locations, 222 McDaniel Ave, Pickens at the Main Elections Office, 304 Biltmore Rd, Easley at the Hampton Library, and 105 Commons Way, Central at the Clemson Library.  You can view your sample ballot ahead of time at https://scvotes.gov
A meme I saw on social media the other day made me laugh out loud..."even dead people vote...surely you can get up and go vote!" LOL

Special THANK YOU to all our members who have gone out door to door to help get those Godly men elected, or who have donated to their campaigns. If you are interested in doing sign waving for a Godly candidate, please respond to this email. We need volunteers! 

Below I have listed important dates this Month which give you an opportunity to be informed as to what is going on in our county, state, and nation:

1. November 7th at 6:30 PM at the Administrative Complex located 222 McDaniel will be the regularly scheduled County Council meeting which also allows PUBLIC INPUT. You can sign up ahead of time to speak about any concerns or praises you wish to let our elected know about. Call Meagan the Clerk to County Council to sign up @ 864-898-5856 (or you can sign up when you get there if you get there before 6:30)

2. NOVEMBER 8th.... GO VOTE! if you don't know where...
call the Elections Office @ 864-898-5637.  Important decisions are being made and don't forget it's not just State positions that matter...Local School Board Seat matters... County Council Seat matters...we have a great opportunity to get true conservatives in those positions.

3. November 17th is our monthly COTU meeting! Candidate for an upcoming election for Sheriff Tommy Blankenship will be our guest speaker. As you know Sheriff is A VERY IMPORTANT election, as they are the last line of defense for our Constitutional Rights. So please bring a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a church member with you to hear his stances on issues and ask your questions.
We also will hopefully hear a report from volunteers who selected a book to read that was on a list of possible inappropriate books in our schools to see if we need to file a form with our School Board to object to its use in the curriculum.
Tommy Blankenship for Sheriff.JPG

4. November 28 is the next School Board Meeting to be held at the Board's meeting room located at 1348 Griffin Mill Rd, Easley, SC 29640... WE ENCOURAGE YOU to speak up and praise the school board for their recent decision to remove the book STAMPED from the curriculum. As you know... almost 20 speakers fussed at them at the last meeting for making that decision...so we need to show them WE ARE PROUD of their vote!  Also, there are plenty of other books that are on the slate in the months ahead for the board to consider removing from the curriculum, so we need to stay informed!  If you will speak...we do have a reward for you!  See photo of this hat you can receive for taking the time to talk to our school board. We only have 3...so the first 3 to sign up and speak will get one! You should arrive by 5:45 to sign up to speak. You CANNOT call ahead to sign up. If you are interested in speaking, please respond to this email as soon as possible. 
hats.JPG

5. EVERY SINGLE DAY... check our website ( www.conservativesoftheupstate.com ) and social media accounts! ( We are on Facebook, MeWe, Gab, Twitter)  We post important articles for you to read.  And now that Elon is in charge on Twitter we have a better chance of not getting deleted or censored.  For those of you who are on Facebook...you know Johnnelle's Facebook page was deleted...but thanks to our member Ken Butt, she has a chance to post relevant articles for us to read. 

6. EVERY SATURDAY... we pray at the Pickens Courthouse at 9:30 AM.

Folks,
We won't be meeting in the month of December, as we reserve that month to honor our Lord and Savior and spend time with our families and friends...but I will be sending out a newsletter for December to inform you of any important issues that affect our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Our next scheduled meeting will be JANUARY 19, 2023... if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise!

Friday, October 14, 2022

Speakers for October 20th COTU Monthly Meeting Focused on Education


 We have an exciting line up of speakers focusing on education at our Thursday, October 20th, 7 PM meeting of Conservatives of the Upstate to be held at Cafe' Connections, 319 E. Main Street, downtown Pickens, SC 29671. You won't want to miss this one. 

Come out and learn about what YOU can do to help solve the wrong turns going on in our tax supported school system!

Come to hear what school board candidate Brad Dover and Moms 4 Liberty leader Heather Mitchell have to say and ask your questions!

Bring a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a fellow church member and share this on your social media posts!

See you there! Thursday, Oct 20th, 7 PM, Cafe' Connections! 


Testimonies to Legislative Committee on Children

 



Today is the deadline for submitting testimony to the Joint Citizen & Legislative Committee on Children. 


Please email this important committee about your concerns over public supported education of children at the following address:

comments@mailbox.sc.edu. 

Their website is https://www.sccommitteeonchildren.org/.


Below are 3 emails that have been sent to this committee that you may want to read as well as share with anyone else who needs to be encouraged to write their own personal thoughts to these legislators who serve on this committee. Lord knows...they need guidance from WE THE PEOPLE.

Email #1 

Dear Committee Members:


I am gravely concerned at the perverting, indoctrinating and dumbing down of our children in SC public schools (and throughout our country).  Test scores for math and reading are dropping significantly.  Educators are trading traditional, classical education for political and social indoctrination.  Teachers are getting instruction and guidance from the state as well as from the federal department of education which promote and encourage instruction in Critical Race Theory, Critical Gender Theory, LGBTQ studies, and social activism.  But blindly following orders from above without considering the irreparable harm to our children and our country that will likely ensue is wrong, lacking in integrity, and quite honestly, criminal, as Nazi soldiers found out during the Nuremburg trials.  Even more importantly than what the Nuremburg court said, those who are entrusted to care for our children should listen to what Matthew 18:6 has to say: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”



CRT is a perversion of history and promotes hate and division (see attached Power Point Presentation that I created and used to help have the book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You removed from use and all shelves in School District Pickens County, SDPC).  I sounded a call to action in Pickens County against the use of this book which has no place in any reputable educational institution.  I was overwhelmed at the response I received from all over the state of SC.  Parents are waking up, standing up and speaking up.  Together, We the Parents fought to remove this book from our school district and won. These are our children.  Parents have the God-given responsibility to raise them, protect them (their minds, bodies and souls), and oversee every aspect of their education. 



We want SC and USA students to be able to compete globally while promoting national self-sufficiency in all requisite areas.  We need to invest now in necessary changes in our educational system to prepare the next generation for these challenges.  On the international PISA tests of student achievements, at age 15, the US falls between 17th and 31st out of 65 countries.  According to these PISA tests, the world’s top performing educational systems are Singapore, Finland, and Canada.   The US ranks behind Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia in a 2019 Trends in International and Mathematics Science Study. (1)  Another ranking to be aware of is that SC ranks 43 out of the 50 United States.  In order to compete globally and to become more of a self-sufficient country, education needs to focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).  We need to decrease or even eliminate our dependence on other countries for essential goods we can manufacture at home.  STEM proficiency for the US has been declining since the 1980’s.  A recent study shows that non-STEM entry level careers have a median annual wage of $38,160 and STEM entry level careers have a median annual wage of $86,980.  Education should also prepare students in areas of economics and global trends, manufacturing, domestic energy production, capital sourcing, human resource management, health/medical careers, law, farming/domestic food production, psychology, and trades, to name a handful of useful, meaningful and needed services.  STEM (and the other topics listed) will serve each student and our community, as a whole much more effectively and productively than wasting precious time and resources teaching CRT, SEL, DEI, and LGBTQ studies while turning the next generation into political, social justice warriors. 



We are entering into some very uncertain times with a war waging between Ukraine and Russia while Russia threatens use of nuclear weapons.  There is a threat of mass starvation heading into the fall and next year as fertilizer needed to grow sufficient crops is not being produced in adequate amounts due to the rising cost of natural gas, needed to produce fertilizer.  Other forms of energy are in short supply and at significantly inflated prices which is causing hardships around the world, with many Europeans expected to freeze to death this winter as they will not be able to heat their homes. 



Our country, as well as the rest of the world, is facing very serious and potentially disastrous challenges most of today’s citizens have never experienced.  But I guess we can all sleep easier at night knowing that our children have been taught to hate our country and its founders, to hate each other because of their skin color, and that they can be any of 52 genders they choose to be.



If this sounds absurd to you, then please rid our schools of harmful, indoctrinating, perverted materials.  Insist that our children receive a high level, classical education that will allow the next generation to be successful and secure the future of our country.  Let South Carolina lead the way.  Let’s put South Carolina at the top of the list for quality education rather than remaining at the bottom. 



Amanda

Mother of three teenagers

School District Pickens County


Email #2 


Dear Committee Members:

We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis with our schools – a crisis of trust. Over the last decade or more, public schools and those who run them have squandered whatever trust parents had in the system. How did this happen and what’s going on?

All we have to do is look at what’s happening in our classrooms. Here are just a few examples:

·         Pickens Middle School recently held race-segregated lunch sessions. According to the school principal, this was done to “help students cope being in a predominantly white school.”

·         The 2022 SC Teacher of the Year, which many of you proudly paraded around the Statehouse, is busy bragging on Twitter: “We about to get real disruptive in English class this year. My kiddos will be analyzing privilege and oppression with an anti-racist framework. Critical consciousness is about to be a 10. We have to attack systemic racism – my activism is in the classroom.”  Activism? In the classroom?

·         The book Stamped, by Ibram Kendi – the “anti-racist” guru – is in most public schools, and being assigned in English classes. The book is an endless, and rather racist rant, largely distorting and fabricating history. Here are some quotes:

o   “…the only thing extraordinary about white people is that they think something is extraordinary about white people.”

o   “Racist ideas …were born in Western Europe in the mid-1400s.” Really? Racism did not exist in ancient Egypt, Athens, or Rome?

o   “…using words [like] minority, as if black people are minor, mak[e] white people major.” I would expect this kind of infantile logic from a four-year-old, not from an adult author.

The writer says his book is not a history book, so by his own admission it has no historical value. Then what literary value does it have that it’s assigned in English class? And what books are teachers removing to make room for this nonsense? Shakespeare, Orwell, Dostoevsky? But if parents dare to ask the question, the response is, “Trust us – we’re expert educators.”

·         Charleston’s curriculum openly calls for “advocating for change,” how to be a “good agitator,” and a unit on doing a “library race and gender diversity audit” where students fill out a spreadsheet classifying authors by skin color and the content of their…pants!

·         A teacher in Mt Pleasant showed his class how to do a privilege walk – an exercise of lining up people to compare their so-called privileges and shaming them.

·         On James Island, students are shown videos explaining white privilege and then writing papers about systemic oppression and defending riots.

·         Richland School District 2 took to Facebook pushing queer theory and gender ideology, explaining non-binary pronouns, gender multiplicity, and promoting videos on Amaze.com, a website specializing in packaging sexualized content and queer theory for young children.

·         Teachers are being brainwashed through staff trainings with seminars like: “Unpacking White Privilege,” “Becoming a Revolutionary Educator,” and being instructed about oppression matrixes. Teachers have sent me screenshots of daily prompts they receive from administrators for using in class, like, “Decentering Whiteness,” and “Fostering Racial Resiliency.”

·         York County schools and throughout the State, stock and promote books for children with adult content and pornographic scenes. Here’s an excerpt from All Boys Aren’t Blue – “He reached his hand down and pulled out my d*ck. He quickly went giving me head.” Pornography and pedophilia for 12-year-olds, why not? Some books have actual cartoon images of sex acts. Books given to kindergarteners teach them they can pick their own gender. Do you even let your 5-year-old pick their own food for lunch? “But hey,” we are told, “we’re trained librarians and media specialists – trust us.”

·         An activist school counselor testified at the Statehouse recently that she regularly has confidential discussions with students about their gender identity and sexuality. “Don’t like wearing dresses or playing with other girls? Well, you may be queer or trans, and here’s a nice book and a website that tells you all about it. Oh, and don’t tell your parents about any of this.”

·         With SEL (Social Emotional Learning), children are being subjected to emotional therapy and psychological interventions – in front of their classmates and by teachers with just a few hours of training on the subject. Any seasoned child psychologist will tell you: you’re playing with fire – you need to really know what the hell you’re doing lest you screw up that kid. CASEL, the provider of most SEL programs, says SEL is a “lever for equity,” “awareness of racial, classed, and gender identities,” “collective agency,” and “distributive justice.” Is that what we’re sending little Susie to learn in school? SEL also scores and tracks your child, building a permanent social record. “How’s Susie doing with social awareness of systemic inequities? Does she exhibit the correct values? Hmm?”

·         Combine this with data mining gathered through student surveys, like Panorama, that pry into family life: “Oh, Johnny doesn’t have enough diverse friends? His parents don’t talk enough about race at dinnertime. — Flag him as a potential bigot! We’ll have to keep our eyes on this one.”

“But don’t worry,” we’re told, “this is for their own good – we’re the experts. Trust us.”

How many of you are aware of all this? Would you trust these schools with your child? And if you do know what’s going on, then why are you allowing this to be done to other children?

Since when have schools become our children’s legal guardians, moralists, therapists, sex coaches, doctors, confidantes?

Our school system has been hijacked; hijacked by social activists from top to bottom, and their mission is not to teach academics, or art, history, science, or mathematics, but to turn children into agents of change to advance their social justice agenda. Look at any mission statement from any teacher’s college and that’s what you’ll see. Don’t believe me? The ASCD – a teachers’ organization providing curricula and teacher training in all 50 states – proudly says the following on its webpage:

“As educators, there is much we can do to help students meaningfully pursue a passion for social change. The English Language Arts classroom is an ideal place to do that. ELA teachers … can build a classroom culture that empowers students to be great change agents.”

Change agents? Is that what school is for?

In case you’re not aware, the social activists that have infested our schools are part of a multi-billion-dollar industry. And they come to speak with committees like yours to peddle their garbage and play you for fools. Most parents are now seeing right through these lies; I truly hope you are too.

How many children are we willing to sacrifice to this toxic ideology? This very costly and dangerous experiment on our children has failed everywhere it’s been tried, at every school. By all measures, students are now doing worse, not better. Academics, behavior, standardized testing, even student and teacher satisfaction have suffered, everywhere. Edina Schools in Minnesota – one of the top performing school districts there and in the nation -- went fully woke in 2017, the result: all students did worse, and black and Hispanic students – the supposed beneficiaries of this agenda -- did worst of all. Edina Schools dropped from 5th place in reading proficiency to 29th, and from 10th place in math proficiency to 40th place in the state. In a once coveted school system, the result of the woke agenda is that now one in five students can’t read at grade level, and one-third can’t do grade-level math. Meanwhile, at nearby school districts that did not adopt the woke agenda, reading and math proficiency went up during the same years.

Enough already. It’s high time for the adults – and you are supposed to be the adults – to call bullsh*t on this scam. To purge our schools of this malignant infestation of activism and indoctrination and return schools to their once respected and trusted role of teaching academics. And if you don’t put an end to this, the parents with the ability to pull their children out of public schools will. And who will be left for the activists to indoctrinate? The truly poor and downtrodden, who don’t need it, and don’t want it, but who will remain trapped there.

This is the crisis of trust that you must reverse, starting right now.

Sincerely,

 South Carolina Parent

Summerville, SC


Email # 3


Dear SC Committee on Children,


My name is Johnnelle Raines, and I was unable to attend the hearing in Greenville this past week but wanted to share what I would have shared with you.

I am a veteran first grade teacher with 30 years' experience teaching in the NC Public School System. I also have a master's degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been very active since retiring trying to educate the public and elected leaders on my concerns about how important our adopted standards are and what impact they have on what teachers are teaching children.

Our present adopted SC College/Career Ready Standards are failing students due to the fact they are over 90% in line with the failed Common Core Standards. Our own Educational Oversight Committee confirmed the fact that our present standards are over 90% in line with Common Core.

In my opinion, we must give local school districts the ability to adopt Traditional/Classical Standards. At present, all of our standardized testing is aligned to the Common Core Standards and therefore we have not escaped the failure of these inadequate standards that teachers use to develop their lesson plans and set their curriculum.

I propose legislation be developed as soon as possible to allow individual local school districts to opt out of these SC College Career Standards and return to Traditional/Classical Standards. If the US Dept of Education won't let the states opt out of these in line with common core standards, then it is imperative we challenge that and if need be quit accepting Federal Funding from them. As you know, education should be entirely left to each individual state with no pressure from the Federal Government. Our US Constitution clearly leaves education as a state's rights issue.

It is my firm belief that nothing we do will improve education until we address the fact that the present standards that teachers are using to teach by are a root cause of this failure we are seeing in children's educational outcomes.

Before Common Core Standards were pressured on the states, Massachusetts had quality Traditional/Classical Standards in place, and I think we should revisit those standards and give our local school districts the ability to adopt standards that do not lend themselves to teachers being able to indoctrinate students to a certain political ideology. 

A return to a basic, classical education is so needed now. These in line with Common Core Standards we have in place have just caused more divisiveness as they pretty much allow a teacher to teach ANYTHING they want to teach by justifying quoting the standards in place. 

Teachers need more guidance in what is age-appropriate curriculum and what is not. They need more guidance in what the difference between indoctrination is and what is education. 

Classroom teachers are not trained psychologists or social workers or counselors and should not be forced to accept the responsibility of tending to a child's Social Emotional Learning. A return to basic teaching is so very needed. 

Please consider focusing on legislation to allow individual school districts the freedom to choose quality Traditional/ Classical Standards as opposed to forcing them to teach from standards that are in line with Common Core.

Thank you,
Johnnelle Raines