Tim Barto: Parents turn out full force at Anchorage School Board meeting

Alaska Family Council's Jim Minnery talks with reporters at the Anchorage School Board meeting on Tuesday. Tim Barto photo.


Parents across the country are showing up at their local school board meetings to reclaim their parent advocacy rights, and last night Alaska joined the crowd by turning out en masse at a meeting of the Anchorage School Board. Bolstered by common frustrations that public schools are going too far by advocating policies that exclude parents and common sense, over 50 people attended the meeting, the vast majority of whom were there to support parental rights.

Prior to the meeting, about two dozen supporters stood outside the ASD headquarters, holding sign that read “We Do Not Co-Parent With The Government” and “Parental Rights Are Essential.”

Alaska Family Council spearheaded the call to action, and President Jim Minnery was pleased with the turnout, as well as the civility and articulate testimonies of those who chose to voice their opinions directly to the Board during the public presentation period.

Student testimony, which Minnery expected to be high, resulted in only two speakers, one of whom was the sibling of a transgender student and appeared via telephone, and one well-spoken and courageous transgender student who appeared in person. Both students spoke about the difficulties transgender students face in public schools and the need for understanding.

The student testimony was followed by 22 public speakers who were given three minutes to make their case. Seventeen of them spoke out strongly in favor of parental rights, two expressed sympathies with transgender and queer students, one spoke of overcrowding at Eagle Academy, one spoke of the need for the strong family units he saw while working overseas, and Dustin Darden discussed his great dislike of Pfizer vaccines.

The comments geared toward parental rights centered around the district’s policy that secondary students’ parents need not be notified of their child’s desire to live life at school as a member of the opposite sex.

Near the end of the meeting, Board member Andy Holleman pointed out that this is a difficult and rare situation, something he didn’t have to deal with as a teacher back in the 1990s. He questioned what would happen if a parent called a school asking if their child was being allowed to use a name or pronouns inconsistent with their sex, admitting he did not know the answer and further stating that is an issue that needed to be clarified by the counseling staff.

Minnery read a proposed resolution he would like to see implemented by the district. It requires that a parent or guardian be notified within three school days if their child requests to:

  • Be identified as a gender other than their biological sex or gender, 
  • Use a name that differs from the child’s legal name or use pronouns that to not align with their biological sex or gender, 
  • Access to sex-segregated school programs and activities, bathrooms, or changing facilities that do not align with their biological sex or gender. 

Seems pretty common sense to let a parent know those kinds of things.

The crux of the matter is that government institutions, which include public schools, do not have the right to keep information about a child from that child’s parents.  A government that intervenes in the moral upbringing of a child by asserting or even encouraging values that are contradictory to those of the parents is putting the government above, and in place of, the family – the most important structure in any society. 

When tyrannical governments want to subjugate a population, they drive wedges between children and their families. In the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, children were encouraged to report family members, including their parents, if those family members’ beliefs went against Marxist or fascist ideologies.  

There’s a very telling scene if the movie The Killing Fields, which shows the brutal oppression of Cambodian citizens by the communist Khmer Rouge. The scene takes place in a re-education camp, where a child is called to a blackboard where there’s a drawing of a stick figure family – father, mother, and three children all holding hands in a line. The student who was called up to the board draws an X through the parental figures and erases the holding hands linking the parents and children. The symbolism is obvious:  State and party ideology have authority over the family.

These oppressive governments wanted – above all else – to have universal, unquestioned allegiance to their ideologies, and the key was in indoctrinating their youth.  They were convinced they knew what was best for the greater good and they, not parents or families, would be the enforcers of morality for the collective.

And this is what is happening when the Anchorage School District excludes parents from knowing what is going on with their children.  It is a gross usurpation of parental rights.  

Children belong to their families, not the school district or individual teachers.  Parents, in a free society, make the rules and set the moral standards for their families.  It is certainly not the job of the schools to impose sexual morals on students, and it is never proper for public schools to keep important information about a student’s mental/emotional behavior from parents.  

It is fully understandable to have a confidential conversation with a child when there is obvious reason to believe that physical or sexual abuse is occurring in the home, but the fear that a parent might not agree with a child’s decision to identify as a member of the opposite sex is not a valid reason. It is not abuse for parents to expect their sons to act like  boys or their daughters to act like a girls, and it is no business of a teacher, school counselor, administrator, superintendent, or board to claim that it is. 

Tim Barto is Vice President of Alaska Family Council and attended and provided testimony at the board meeting.


    • Yes but they don’t know how many undercover agents that were there. Plus the bureau of incompetence couldn’t find the coke owner.

      • This is sad to think about repercussions at this time in our world. If we don’t get this nonsense stopped, along with all of the other nonsense, we are all going to be exterminated and that will be a repercussion finality! We have everything to lose if we do not get out and make our voices heard!

  1. Great. Now continue to do so. Go to PTA meetings. Volunteer at the school. Sue them if necessary.

    Recruit and support sane people for school board races.

    And above all, get off your lazy backsides and vote in school board elections.

    • Well said, TMA.

      Too many chronically lazy Americans (lazy in both a physical and an intellectual sense) believe that their vote does and should constitute the sum total of their possible political involvement. In reality, voting should be the last and LEAST possible political action that a citizen takes. If you are relying on voting alone to change or improve society, then you have already lost the game.Just ask all those neo-Bolsheviks who have ensconced themselves via their “Long March” into every major institution — they’ll tell you.

    • Have you ever tried to sue a school district of assembly? It’s nearly impossible to get a lawyer to help except in the most overt cases of clearly illegal activity.

      Here’s how they prevent you from suing them: these government entities systematically hire every administrative law firm in town to do some routine task from time to time so that the school district is a “client” of every attorney and none of the firms will take your case because of the Rules of Professional Conduct for the Alaska Bar Association. They say like things like, “we are not accepting any cases against the school district at this time.”

      Someone needs to change the Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct to allow citizens to be represented against their government even when the government has been that attorney’s client.

      It would be better to continually point out how Holleman admits in his comments that he (and the other ASD School Board members) are completely out of touch with what’s needed in an educational system and they have utterly failed students and families at every turn. And for the sake if everything good, vote in the next election and show them what you think.

  2. The best and easiest solution for parents and grandparents is to figure out a way to educate children using any method other than ASD.
    They are just stuck on stupid.
    Starting with too many TT’s Bryantt and the woke school board.
    Teens between the age of 16-18 can be admitted to AMYA – Alaska military youth academy at no cost to the parents for the best educational experience of a lifetime!
    It is an investment in your childs future .
    The only future ASD can offer is substandard proficiency in all subjects upon graduation.

  3. What Minnery and the AFC are requesting violates the Alaska Constitution privacy clauses. This nonsense distracts from the need for improved school funding and student outcomes

    • That’s a load of baloney. Until children reach the age of 18, they are wards of their parents, not the state, and have no adult rights under the State Constitution. It remains illegal to provide drugs, alcohol or porn to kids, regardless of the “privacy rights” enshrined in the State Constitution, or did you miss that part?

    • Oh “Frank”…

      Are you in a race with yourself to hit bottom?

      But it is typical a statist/leftist thinks parents demanding transparency is bad for education. Or students. Or America.

      How dare parents want information and input in their kids lives.

      • This is just rouse to enshrine religious fanatacism into the public education system. Minery is the leader of that cause here in Alaska. And Tamara is a sue happy trumper

  4. Parents whose LGBTQ+ teenagers are so afraid of their parents’ reaction that they confide in school personnel instead of their parents should look in the mirror to see who is to blame. Who created the home environment that is so hostile and scary that a child feels unsafe to share such an important element of growing up with their parents? If you, as a parent, do not know when your kid is struggling with identity, or struggling to come out as LGBTQ+, or is being bullied at school because of their identity, you have failed as a parent. You shouldn’t have to rely on the school to tattle on your child. You should have paid more attention to your kid, should have known something was up, should have asked questions, and should have listened with a caring and empathetic heart. Such uncaring and hostile parents do not have any legitimate claim to “parental rights.”

    • The kids are taught this transgender, LGBTQ+ crap
      in the early grades and not to tell their parents anything
      about what is being done to them.

      Population control?

      The parents have not failed, the government
      system has.

    • What percentage of these LGBTQWERTYWHATEVER+ kids have parents like that?
      Provide a stat, plus source.
      Otherwise, you are just speculating, and instituting a school wide policy based on speculation is dangerous.

    • Good parenting or bad parenting, schools have no right nor legitimacy in usurping the rights of parents over their children. Using schools as a weapon in the government’s war against the family is sickening and evil.

  5. Another heavily biased opinion piece from the conservative front. Children are human beings, not property. As a society we are creating a generation of ignorant citizens who are so sheltered in the name of parental rights that they face extreme shock at having to cope with facing their encounters with the real world. Perhaps some day we will realize that the educational system is as poor as it is because parents do not wish their children to be educated – in reality parents won’t and can’t teach their offspring concepts that they themselves are so woefully ignorant of. When we ban books and suppress freedom of intellectual thought it is little wonder that we already have a generation of young adults who can not count change, much less read or write. I get it, Alaska is a primarily a state of backwards looking Bonanzaland citizens who are afraid of ideas that are beyond their ken. Are we really so surprised that there are shortages of available talent for skilled careers? It is not the schools that are the problem – it is the parents who would have us know next to nothing and who force all others to follow suit.

  6. In every safe children training everywhere, other adults hiding information from parents, or telling children to hide that information, especially with regards to sexual matters, is taught as a huge red flag. Those hiding the information are engaging in clear grooming and sexual predation behaviors.

  7. Question for those who support minor children to “Transfer” to a gender that is not related to their DNA reality and demand that society should affirm the minor child position.

    Would you demand parent’s of a child suffering with Anorexia nervosa and forces themselves to vomit?

    Would you demand that the parents should affirm and support the child’s views….to the child’s grave???

    Or would you get medical and mental health for your child???

    Also, what if the school supported the child self image behind the parents back???

  8. How many of the attendees actually had / have kids enrolled in ASD schools? Parents who want to see change need to put their kids into the public schools and spend time with their kid’s teacher, classmates, principal, PTA, and fellow parents. A main reason ASD schools are going to ____ in a hand basket is because 1000s of solid families homeschool or private school their kids. You have no real voice when you are shouting from the sidelines, and you don’t slow the cultural decay.

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