Let’s Protect our School Children in the New Year

As I am thinking of the New Year, like many of you, I am thinking of goals for 2022. Specifically, I am thinking of Goals for Education in Texas. In order to set education goals accurately, we must know where we are beginning and have an accurate picture of what is currently happening in education. Then we need to look at what is the mission we want our goals to accomplish. The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to us.” 

Article 7 of The Texas Constitution tells us the purpose of a free and public education is to preserve our liberties and our freedoms. I believe a noble mission in education is to seek God’s ways which are peace, love, joy, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, justice, and temperance while teaching our children the importance of freedom and liberty. There are threats to this noble mission that we need to identify and pay close attention to

The first threat is Critical Race Theory. CRT is being taught across our state to our children in classrooms and through teachers and administrators Professional Development courses. Critical Race Theory is the belief that our government, social, religious, and economic institutions are built on systemic racism and should be torn down and rebuilt to ensure Equal Outcome. 

Equal Outcome and Critical Race Theory are Socialism/Communism and will fundamentally change America and kill The American Dream forever. My primary goal is to eradicate CRT in all areas of education for students, teachers, and administrators. The Texas Legislature has already laid the groundwork for accomplishing this goal by passing Senate Bill 3, which Governor Abbott signed into law. Now, it will be up to the State Board of Education to implement the CRT Ban in curriculum and in Teacher Professional Development for all public and charter schools in Texas. We must work to preserve The American Dream for future generations.

The second threat to our noble goal is the redefining of family and genders. The new proposed definitions and health education standards are aimed to sexualize children. For many people, including myself, it takes time to wrap our minds around the concept of sex education starting in kindergarten in order to teach our children genders and preferred pronouns. Currently, there is a push for school districts to adopt The National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES) and a few school boards in Texas have chosen to do so. 

The NSES curriculum states that we must not teach divisive words such as male and female, that all living things can reproduce, and that homosexual and heterosexual sex techniques can be taught as early as the 3rd grade, among many other inappropriate and flat-out wrong education standards. Health textbooks are being written to align with The National Sexuality Education Standards and The State Board of Education needs to reject all curriculum and textbooks that align with NSES. Also, the SBOE needs to ensure that health textbooks are aligned with Texas state law, which says we teach abstinence as best practice and children participate in UIL activities based on their gender on their birth certificate.

Last, but not least, we must protect parents’ rights. Children belong to their parents, not the government. When Jesus said, “Children are a gift from The Lord; they are a reward from Him,” I really do not think He was saying Children are a gift to the government. There is a high level of trust parents place in our education system every day and that trust needs to be honored and protected. Schools should strive to protect parents trust with transparency in the classroom, respecting parents voices, and allowing parents on school campuses and in board meetings.

There are several great studies, including a Harvard Literacy Study, that proves parent involvement in their child’s education is critical to their success. With the current performance gaps in education due to COVID school closures, we need all hands on deck for our children. Also, we should consider new pathways and look at technology that will increase transparency in education and make it easier for parents to get involved in our schools and their child’s education. Additionally, I will form volunteer groups made up of parents, grandparents, and retired teachers to review textbooks and curriculum for the State Board of Education to make sure Texas values are represented in education and we set standards of excellence.

I look forward to serving children, parents, teachers, and taxpayers on The Texas State Board of Education. God Bless Texas.

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Julie Pickren

Julie has long-standing educational leadership experience while serving in many forms. She is a former Board Member of Heritage Christian Academy, current Board Member of Fresh Impact Christian Academy, and was an Alvin ISD Trustee from 2015-2021. Her six-year tenure as a Trustee saw many successes and awards. Also, she has been a policy advisor on The Critical Race Theory Ban Bill and The Protect Girls' Sports Bill. Julie believes that together we can ensure that each child’s education prepares them to achieve the American Dream with Texas Values. She also understands that every child is unique and has different educational needs that she will protect, including home school, private, charter and public education. Julie is running for State Board of Education to serve all children in Texas, and that is why we must elect her to SBOE, Position 7.