Faced with contentious changes within the public school sector—including the introduction of ethnic studies in some districts—some California parents are searching for alternative options.
“I don’t want my daughter exposed to any type of sex education at any grade level, and I don’t want her introduced to any type of critical race theory at any grade level,” Denise Ramirez told The Epoch Times.
Ramirez is a mother of three children, with two enrolled in the Tustin Unified School District and another recently enrolled in private school.
With concerns mounting over critical race theory (CRT) being taught in classrooms—coupled with mask mandates for public schools leading into the coming curricular year—Ramirez began to seek other options for her children.
She enrolled her daughter at a private Christian school to attend kindergarten. The facility remained open during the pandemic, and did not require kindergarteners to wear masks.
Ramirez said she wants her daughter to have an education that doesn’t involve sex education and critical race theory. She said her boys were exposed to a “comprehensive sex education” in Grade 7.
“What we want for her education to look like is that she can go in person, and there won’t be any interruption,” she said.
Increasing Private School Enrollments
At Aliso Christian Academy, principal Kaelyn Peterson said she is witnessing an increase in enrollments.
Before enrolling families into the school, Peterson provides them with a tour of the facility. Based on information she’s gleaned on the tours she’s led, parents are reaching for more in-person instruction as they see it more suitable for their kids, she said.
She also said that more conservative families are searching for alternative education options as different ideas and agendas that go against beliefs are being “pushed down” into the public education spectrum.
“The majority of them say is they want their kids in-person and they also want them in an environment where they feel like what’s being taught to them aligns with their values,” Peterson said.
The school took safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but remained open.
As some families turn toward private schools, others decide to stay put and wait for their children to finish out their public education.
Jon Schank, whose son is an incoming high school senior at Tustin Unified School District (TUSD), said that he disagrees with the decisions being made in public schools but doesn’t intend to move his son.
“I do not like the direction of education…the introduction of ethnic studies,” he told The Epoch Times.
“I think the school board does not act in the best interest of the students.”