They are Our Children, Not the Government’s

The following is a letter I sent to California Attorney General Rob Bonta. My letter was in response to a weekly newsletter Bonta sends to Californians. In his letter, he argued that children have the right to feel safe, respected, and protected while at school.

I couldn’t agree more.

Then the newsletter goes off the rails.

“The protection of every student’s privacy and safety is of utmost importance, and that includes protecting their right to choose when, how, and with whom they share their gender identity. That is a personal decision for them and them alone. This week we informed the Chino Valley Unified School District that by passing a policy requiring the disclosure (to parents) of a student’s gender identity  without their (the student’s) consent, the district strips them of their freedom, violates their autonomy, and could potentially put the student in a harmful situation.”

That hardnosed and radical stance has caused thousands of California parents to balk and mutiny —including those in the above-mentioned Chino Valley Unified School District and several other school districts across the state.

The fact is, the students referenced in Bonta’s letter are minor children. State law says they can’t smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, drive a car, or vote. Yet, Bonta says it is perfectly okay for them to make irreversible life-altering decisions about their bodies in school while keeping their parents in the dark.

There is something VERY wrong with this picture.

Hence, my letter, which begins here:

Dear Attorney General Bonta,

When the state decides it is a better mother or father than a child’s biological or adoptive parents and feels entitled to make unilateral decisions about rearing them, we enter a totalitarian Brave New World anathema to our nation’s founding principles.

Big Brother has no right to snatch impressionable and vulnerable children away from their parents and families in order to appease the perfidious cult and industry of transgenderism.

Teachers and schools don’t have the right to keep parents in the dark about their children by refusing to disclose to parents a child’s new gender identity, his or her decision to transition to a different gender, or in the most extreme cases, a child’s unilateral decision to use puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or to undergo irreversible sex reassignment surgery.

Parents rights supporter Nicolette Yonchelle celebrates with others after the Chino Valley Unified School District voted 4-1 on a policy requiring schools to notify parents if their child changes their pronouns following a heated board meeting Thursday night. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

These are not YOUR children, and no governmental threats and bullying will ever change that fact. Transgenderism and gender dysphoria are NOT the civil rights issues of our time, as some leftists insist. They are just the latest weapons used in the ongoing war to destroy America’s families—a war that the Democrat Party has been waging for decades. It is also a war the state will lose, but only after it has left the battlefield strewn with shattered families and thousands of broken and confused children.

Please keep your totalitarian paws off our children. They are not yours. They do not belong to the State of California, the governor, the Sacramento legislature, or far-left teachers’ unions such as the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, or the California Teachers Association.

Our children belong to us—the parents. We conceived them, birthed them, and nurtured them. And now, as we work to instill in them the tenets of mutual respect, healthy social skills, emotional well-being, wholesome relationships, love of country, and appropriate ethics, we are being undermined by teachers and bureaucrats who want to normalize the sexualization of young children by subjecting them to pornography, obscene and explicit sexual content, and LGBTQ indoctrination in the classroom and school library.

Drag Queens in the school library.

Parents send their children to school to learn math, science, history, reading, and writing—not to be used as human guinea pigs in left-wing extremist social engineering experiments. Our children have fallen behind because of California’s draconian COVID-19 school closures and restrictions. Shouldn’t communities and educators be focused on bringing children back up to speed in these subject areas?

Instead, schools have become Ground Zero for sexualization and indoctrination. We don’t need drag queens indoctrinating and sexualizing our children in the classroom or school library. We need principled teachers who expose children to critical thinking skills, not to twerking drag queens.

When parents learn that schools require children to read books containing sexually explicit material, including graphic pictures of sexual acts between boys and adult men, or that preschoolers are taught about transgender ideology, or that first-graders are encouraged by radical teachers to experiment with their pronouns, it is little wonder there is a backlash against woke and leftist school boards.

That elected officials and unelected bureaucrats at the local, state, and federal levels refuse to recognize or respect the rights of parents when it comes to their children’s education is indefensible.

As a parent and grandparent, I am appalled that conversations, which for decades have taken place between parents and their children in the home, are now being hijacked by far-left educators who do not have children’s best interests at heart. Like many frustrated grandparents, I am concerned about how pervasive sexualization in schools undermines parents’ authority to decide what is and is not appropriate for their children.

Angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Parenting is difficult enough without having to fend off agenda-driven teachers and intrusive government officials who seem bent on destroying conventional families by removing parents from their traditional role of child-rearing.

That is a dangerous formula for the future of our nation. It doesn’t take a “village” to rear our children. All it takes is caring and loving parents—and loving a child is not something a callous school board or an unfeeling governmental body will ever be able to replicate.

So please butt out. Parents and grandparents don’t need your advice, indoctrination, or your lectures regarding rearing our children.

We’ve been doing it for millennia—long before the cults of transgenderism and gender dysphoria gained control of our schools and distorted traditional education into contentious proselytization and dangerous brainwashing.

Please leave child rearing to us, the parents.

Meanwhile, you, the governor, and other state officials might want to concentrate on California’s horrendous homeless problem, escalating crime, out-of-control inflation, recurring wildfires, gridlocked freeways, skyrocketing home prices, and the open border just south of San Diego.


Ronald Yates,

Professor Emeritus

University of Illinois

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About Ronald E. Yates

Ronald E. Yates is an award-winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Read More About Ron Here

3 thoughts on “They are Our Children, Not the Government’s”

  1. Ronald,
    This is a great letter that should be the type written by every parent to every school board across America. Covid opened the door for the government to take over parenting and schooling because they propagated fear. Now they claim parents are unfit to raise their own children. Next we’ll be having reeducation camps!

    We are going down a terrifying, communist road. My fear is that the young voters who have not been taught history properly will vote these idiots in continually. We’ll end up with a Hunger Games world.

    God help us!

    • I have the same fear you have, Erin. Young voters who far-left/socialist teachers have indoctrinated with lies rather than history and a fundamental understanding of civics will vote for any name with a “D” after it, and we will have entered a Brave New World. I pity my grandchildren.

    • I have the same fear you have, Erin. Young voters who far-left/socialist teachers have indoctrinated with lies rather than history and a fundamental understanding of civics will vote for any name with a “D” after it, and we will have entered a Brave New World. I pity my grandchildren.


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