Critical Race Theory and Sex Education Out of Control In Public Schools, Geoff Diehl Says 

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Homeschooling is on the rise because school officials aren’t listening to parents, Geoff Diehl told NewBostonPost.

The Republican nominee for governor also decried the way public schools in Massachusetts are handling race and sex education during an in-person interview at his office in Plymouth.

Diehl, who supports various forms of school choice,  said that decreased public school enrollment in recent years should be of concern.

One of the reasons for it, Diehl said, is school committees not giving parents an opportunity to express their concerns and receive due consideration.  

“Something has to be done because there’s been a large increase in homeschooling,” Diehl said. “I support homeschooling, but if the public schools want to remain a place that’s competitive and a great place for students to have an opportunity to get ready for the future, they need to start taking seriously the fact that parents feel like they don’t have a voice about what’s going on in these schools. These school board meetings tend to be very hostile to parents. They don’t want to hear from parents or give them restricted time, or they go to Zoom meetings to shut them down.”

“I want to make sure that the schools are listening to parents,” he added. “My cabinet secretary for education is going to make sure that school boards understand that’s a priority. Parents having a voice is a huge priority.”

The number of homeschooled students in the Commonwealth climbed from 7,802 students during the 2019-2020 school year to 17,127 students in 2020-2021. While the number dipped down to 13,090 students in the 2021-2022 school year, it still marked a substantial increase when compared to the 2019-2020 school year.

While Diehl noted that many educational issues are handled at the local level, he does see a role for a Diehl administration to make what he sees as improvements in public schools.

He said that under a Diehl administration, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would not offer grants for what he views as politically-driven agendas like critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“The fact that CRT or DEI is currently what’s being forced on our kids, like my daughter’s situation, having to watch that implicit bias video to play a sport and then being told that she has an advantage because she’s white on the athletic field and in the classroom, that’s telling her that she’s benefitting from racism,” Diehl said. “I thought that we as a country and as a state and as a community are trying to get racism out of our lexicon. And yet, they’re telling kids that they’re guilty of racism for something 150 years ago.”

“I’m not saying that we don’t reflect the problems of racism in our history, but what we’re doing is still telling our kids hundreds of years later that they are the ones responsible for policy that they’re not even aware of,” he added.

As Diehl noted, he has two daughters. His older daughter has already graduated high school, but his younger daughter is still in school and had to sign the Diversity Equity and Inclusion pledge from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association to play school sports last year. She also had to take an online implicit bias course from the National Federation of State High School Associations, as was the case for all MIAA athletes.

On another topic, Diehl thinks there should be some changes to the way that sexuality and sex education are handled in public schools.

He expressed opposition to human sexuality being taught in kindergarten through third grade, saying that he thinks those children are too young to be discussing such topics.

“And then on top of that you’ve got content that talks about sexual preference at an age where it’s totally inappropriate,” Diehl said. “Kindergarten, first, second, third grade. This is way too young for kids to be getting a discussion about sexual preference.”

Diehl said it would be more appropriate for parents to talk to their children about sex rather than someone a child doesn’t know well. 

“In my family, I’ve got two daughters, and I was more comfortable with my wife talking to my daughters about the birds and the bees than me,” Diehl said. “And if I had my way, they would’ve heard about it when they were 21. That being said, my wife talked about it to them at the appropriate age when they were younger, but it wasn’t at that super-young age about sexual preference. And it was certainly most appropriate for my wife or for families to have that discussion – not for some person that you don’t know. A teacher that a kid has known for less than a year is now talking to young children about sexual preference? Totally inappropriate. Should totally be out of the schools.”

Diehl is running against Democratic attorney general Maura Healey for governor.


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