By Brad Dacus
President, Pacific Justice Institute
With a new school year already under way for many of us, and just about to start for others, I wanted to make sure you were aware of the resources and help that are available from PJI. (This would also be a great e-mail to forward to your youth pastor, friends who are educators, friends with kids, and just about anyone else!)
Students have always been one of our top priorities at PJI, so it’s hard to fit all of our resources and recent successes into one e-mail. Here’s a quick list of what you need to know going into the school year:
• This past school year, PJI won two significant federal lawsuits on behalf of student evangelists. This means students should feel more confident than ever to share their faith on campus and invite their friends to church! Click here for more details and video about these cases.
• Our two major resources for students, parents and teachers are now fully online! You can visit our website and download my book, “Reclaim Your School,” and our shorter booklet on students’ rights, completely free of charge. I’m humbled to say that these two resources have helped countless families and even led to the creation of new student ministries. Make sure you’re as informed as you can be!
• Check out our opt-out forms and privacy notices to protect your children as much as possible in the public school environment.
• We now have developed school opt-out forms for 11 states, covering all of the West Coast, as well as some states in the Midwest and South.
• We have advised a number of principals, teachers and school board members this past year on handling difficult issues involving transgender students.
• We continue to fight in court for the referendum against AB 1266, the notorious school bathroom bill.
• Our attorneys drafted the new privacy initiative now in circulation, and we are a proud part of the Privacy for All coalition.
• We continue to help a number of teachers assert their rights to steer union dues away from their unions and toward causes they believe in.
• Our attorneys worked with parents to fight shocking sex ed curriculum being presented in schools by Planned Parenthood.
• We stopped two different principals in Southern California from retaliating against families who exercised their rights to decline common core testing.
• We are currently defending a school district in federal court against a lawsuit by atheist groups.
• Over the last few weeks we’ve been advising a number of families and Christian schools about their options in light of the new vaccine mandate, SB 277.
• We will be launching a major new offensive to enforce state laws protecting common core objectors in the coming weeks. (Stay tuned!)
Friends, I hope that you know we are here for you and your family in the coming school year. Each year we respond to hundreds of questions—many of them school-related — from parents, teachers, and community leaders seeking to understand their legal rights. Most of these will never make it into the headlines, but everyone is important to us.
We expect more intense battles — and incredible opportunities — in our schools this year. Please help us spread the word so students, families, and educators know where they can get help and resources this year.