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Parents must look closer at social-emotional learning in schools

By Mecca Fowler

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.

When parents send their children off to school, they most likely do not think anything of it besides hoping their kids have a good day. When children get home from school, parents may help them with their homework, but many do not peel back the layers to critically assess what their children are being taught. This passive way of parenting is one of the reasons that a concept called “social-emotional learning” (SEL) has infiltrated schools and is being used to push progressive and liberal ideologies.

SEL is the brainchild of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Through social-emotional learning, teachers and schools are teaching kids what to think instead of how to think. 

SEL is defined as “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” 

In theory, this definition seems like a wholesome approach to fostering children to become good citizens of the future. However, the use of SEL in classrooms has been utilized to introduce concepts to children that are normally reserved for parents, families, and therapists. CASEL allegedly uses a bait-and-switch tactic to indoctrinate children into specific ways of thinking. It is a trojan horse to skew children’s ideologies to be more progressive. It has allowed education to move into subjects such as critical race theory and gender ideology. 

An important fact to note is that teachers’ unions have moved to the left-wing throughout the years. Between 2004 and 2016, their donations increased from $4.3 million to more than $32 million, overwhelmingly given to Democrats. With this knowledge, it should be of no surprise to know that many teachers have left-wing biases that may even leak into education itself. It is no wonder that young voters have mostly voted for leftist candidates and policies because they are inundated with leftist ideology throughout their school years.

Schools are forgoing teaching traditional academics such as reading, writing, and mathematics and instead teaching them their own values under the guise of SEL. They are instilling in them the “correct” attitudes and ways of thinking. It is social engineering. Schools are overriding children’s capacities to discern what is right and wrong for themselves. This disruption to traditional teaching is systemic and purposeful. School spending on SEL curriculum has grown to $765 million as of April 2021.

Under the pretense of promoting mental health, many of the lessons seem more like molding the child to embrace worldviews regarding sexual identity, racial attitudes, and other social issues. These programs are available in different ways throughout 29 states as of 2020.

In Utah, parents have come forward to detail how a social-emotional learning program called Second Step has overstepped its boundaries by promoting links with concepts such as self-managed abortions, BDSM, same-sex relationships, and more. They are also supplying students with resources sometimes without the consent of parents and caregivers. The Utah parents then outlined a list of concerns with an 8th grade curriculum that was rife with sexual education. The program was consequently suspended

These programs also enable and encourage teachers and schools to play the role of therapists without having any of the certifications or qualifications to do so. It allows teachers to overstep parents and actual therapists by planting seeds in their students’ heads. They are assessing students for social and emotional issues without parental consent.

The psychological manipulation happening to students has to stop. SEL is increasingly seen by some parents as an undesirable incursion into lessons and activities that are typically carried out by families, places of worship, and other organizations in American society. Parents are on to this and that’s why schools and their associations are trying to prevent more parents from finding out what their children are being taught.

If more parents do not object to this, schools are only going to get bolder in trying to implement these curriculums. CASEL has already moved on to advance its agenda with “transformative SEL” which blatantly pushes its goal of incorporating “issues of race, class, and culture” into schools. These programs need to be reevaluated and parents need to start digging deeper into what their children are being taught in classrooms.

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Mecca Fowler


Mecca Fowler is a passionate writer with a background in journalism and social media management. She is a free-speech advocate who hones in on her ability to reach across political spectrums to have engaging and transformative conversations to push the conscious of American culture forward.

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