Parents group prepares to 'meet the enemy' Schools criticized as invasive, liberal

August 13, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

A group of dissident parents, unhappy with some public school programs, briefed each other last night on how to challenge them.

Most of the concern among members of the Carroll County Citizens for Quality Education was over programs that address child abuse, drug education, sex education and self-esteem. About 25 parents attended the meeting in Westminster.

Laura Albers of Sykesville said some of the programs amount to self-hypnosis and mind altering. She distributed a list of programs she said treat all children as if they come from dysfunctional families.

"It doesn't matter if your child doesn't have problems. If you have good children, they don't need these programs and they shouldn't be taking them," Mrs. Albers said.

Mrs. Albers said the programs violate family privacy, such as by telling children they can report their parents for physical abuse. Bill Bowen of Westminster distributed sheets titled, "Meeting the Enemy," which contained detailed instructions telling parents always to take a tape recorder and a witness with them when they meet with school officials. He also passed out a sample script parents could use.

Mr. Bowen said he was not criticizing the teachers, but rather the "edu-crats and educationists," such as administrators and consultants.

The citizens' group formed last spring out of dissatisfaction over the "exit outcomes" adopted by the Board of Education. The outcomes list what students should achieve, such as being able communicators, collaborative workers and perceptive problem solvers.

Teachers and administrators say the outcomes will lead to higher academic standards and accountability in the schools. The citizens' group says the outcomes focus on behavior and liberal politics.

School Superintendent R. Edward Shilling, contacted by The Sun after the meeting, said, "All we can do is continue to try to provide facts and try to involve them in the process as we move forward."

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