In a recent comment in CTMirror, Andrew Feinstein criticizes the parental rights movement, stating:
“The movement has proven its worth in spreading untruths: critical race theory is somehow a part of social-emotional learning; school-based health centers encourage young children to experiment with sex or question their gender; Public schools educate children in adult sexual activity. These canards have effectively put school administrators on the defensive and tend to degrade the quality of public education over the long term.”
Perhaps Feinstein is unaware of the following developments in Connecticut over the past year:
1. A Hartford school nurse was placed on administrative leave for posting on Facebook that teachers and school administrators were identifying transgender students and counseling them without parental consent or even knowledge.
2. An eighth grade class at Enfield was given the task of choosing pizza toppings as a code for their preferred sexual acts.
3. A Greenwich assistant principal stated in an undercover video from Project Veritas that he would not hire a teacher who challenges the transgender agenda
4. A Southington English teacher upsets parents by leading a discussion about white privilege, Indigenous people, transgender people, institutional racism, gender pronouns and the term Latinx.
He goes on to explain: “The parental rights movement is trying to destroy this [public school] Model. Using age-old tropes of gender and race, it tries to separate students.”
Has Feinstein ever walked into a Bridgeport classroom? If so, he will find that they are almost exclusively minorities. Has he ever walked into a Guilford classroom? If so, he will notice that it is lily white. The parental rights movement has nothing to do with segregation in Connecticut. This is due to complex zoning laws designed to prevent communities from changing. It’s the liberal white cities like Woodbridge — which voted 68% for Biden and 31% for Trump in 2020 — fighting tooth and nail to prevent zoning changes that would allow more minorities to live there. In fact, a group of Yale attorneys are suing Woodbridge to change that.
In addition, the private schools castigated by Feinstein are much more diverse, especially the parish schools. When my daughters attended a Catholic school in Fairfield, their friends were Black, Haitian, Asian, Indian, and Hispanic. But as they neared middle school age, my wife and I felt that Fairfield public schools offered a superior education and transferred it. But the school was lily white.
Feinstein goes on to explain that “The parental rights movement is a well-funded network of national organizations with the ultimate goal of making it possible for every parent to receive a government check to send their child to the school of their choice. “
Maybe. But their power pales in comparison to Connecticut’s teachers’ unions, which have been so powerful they’ve managed to get paid on dubious science while staying at home during the pandemic — leading to plummeting test scores for minority students . Connecticut does not have a voucher program that allows the poor and minorities to escape substandard public schools.
Feinstein is an attorney who has dedicated his life to providing quality education to students with disabilities. He has a child with cerebral palsy. His opinion must be respected. No doubt he represented different students, like transgender people, because they were being bullied mercilessly. And that has to change.
But parents who pay taxes to fund schools should have an impact on how their children are raised, not simply forced to accept the opinions of professional educators. As a doctor, I know more about the condition of my patients than they do. But I never force my opinion on a patient.
Why? Because the patient has the right to process the information about their condition and make an informed decision. It is the patient who suffers the consequences of my actions when they are wrong. Taxpaying parents deserve the same courtesy in raising their children.
Joseph Bentivegna MD is an ophthalmologist in Rocky Hill.