Letter to the Editor: A Parent’s and Children’s Bill of Rights

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To begin, I submitted a previous editorial response to William D. Jennings’ editorial entitled, ‘Lit torches and pitchforks’, which broached the subject of proceedings at the Maine Republican Party Convention as a “chaotic mess” and hijacked by “Q-Anon fanatics”.

So in my previous response, I referenced Article IV, Sections 1-5 of the Republican Party Platform for the State of Maine as a Parent’s and Children’s Bill of Rights. The text of the Platform Article itself was too lengthy to include in the initial response to Mr. Jennings and would have strayed far off-topic. So, I would like the opportunity to present the text as originally written when it was put to the GOP Convention floor in the Augusta Civic Center on April 29, 2022.

I had assistance writing the Article from Maine House Representative, Heidi Sampson (R-Alfred), and Maine’s Primary Candidate for the United States 2nd Congressional District, Liz Caruso (R-Carratunk).

It reads as follows:

IV. Because the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and sexual health of our pre-teen, teenage, and young adult children are paramount to societal well-being, we pledge to enact legislation which:

Prohibits public school curriculum in pre-K through 12 from promoting the subject matter of hormone replacement therapy or surgical gender reassignment practices.
Defines as child sexual abuse in public schools, the teaching or promotion of biological genders other than those of male and female homo sapiens, while accepting those approximate 0.06% who exhibit physical intersex traits from birth.
Prohibits school district personnel from withholding or encouraging a student to withhold from a parent or legal guardian any information regarding school-provided or sanctioned healthcare services, identity changes, or group activities involving a student under 18 years of age
Prohibits school district personnel, volunteers, or hired special interest groups from presenting sexually-based material of any kind to students prior to grade 4.
Allows parents to bring legal action against a school district, its personnel, volunteers, or outside consultant who engages in child physical, mental, or sexual abuse activities from within the sphere of influence of the school district.
In order for such an Amendment to be heard, it needed to be ratified with the signatures of at least 10 credentialed delegates to the GOP Convention. I presented the Article to 38 prominent Republicans, and 37 signed it without reservation.

On the Convention floor, this Parent’s and Children’s Bill of Rights was adopted overwhelmingly when presented to the 1,800 delegates for a vote. Thus, Article IV became a Republican Party Platform Plank.

But it didn’t stop there. A motion was made by another delegate to amend Section 4 of Article IV to read:

4. Prohibits school district personnel, volunteers, or hired special interest groups from presenting sexually-based material of any kind to students through grade 12.

This section, as amended and approved to the Platform, overrode the original wording of ‘prior to grade 4.’

Though Republicans do not restrict the teaching of biological, reproductive, and health-related subjects, it is accurate to say that the base of the Republican Party has deep concerns about the Maine Department of Education’s promotion of sexually explicit material to our students.

For example, if the material which is found in the book, Gender Queer: A Memoir, was presented just a few short years ago to middle and high school-aged children from the side door of a van on campus, the occupant of that van could have been arrested, prosecuted, sent to jail, and required to register as a sex offender upon release. But that book is found in the Library of Dirigo High School in RSU 56 as revealed in a Rumford Falls Times article about parents’ complaints, published on May 11, 2022. Similar pseudo-pornographic publications are provided to children under the age of consent in several School Districts across our state.

In summary, there is nothing in the new Plank of the Republican Party Platform that disparages the LGBTQ+ community outside of our Public Schools, though I respect and accept that declaration could be challenged.

There is everything, however, in the new Plank that opposes the overt promotion of hyper-sexually charged subject materials, hormone therapy or reassignment surgery, covert indoctrination practices without parental knowledge or consent, and false biological gender presentations by MDOE Administrators, school district personnel, volunteers, or outside consultants AT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE STATE OF MAINE. Please have no doubt about this declaration

Thank you to the Daily Bulldog for the opportunity to respond in detail to false claims presented by William D. Jennings.

Matthew Martin

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