This is a time when many parents are wondering what is best to do for schooling their kids. If you’ve been listening to me for five minutes, you know I believe the answer to that is homeschooling. But we’re still fighting for the rights of our children in other areas, because if we don’t, no one else will. My friend Suzanne Gallagher is joining me today and we’re talking about specific ways to get off the bench and create a better future for our kids!
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Isaiah 66:1-2
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Suzanne Gallagher’s professional expertise is marketing and marketing management. She has been a corporate executive, and started a successful business Art and Interior Design business, Wall Design Diva in 1994. In addition, she wrote and published two books, The Fine Art of Wall Design, and More Than Prayer And a Vote. Suzanne’s Republican Party leadership experience includes serving as a Delegate and Vice Chair of Washington County, and Oregon Republican Party Chair in 2013. In 2004 she ran for the Oregon House losing by a small margin. No one escapes the reality of life’s challenges. In August of 2011, Suzanne was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Her treatment included 4 months of aggressive chemotherapy, followed by three surgeries. The loss of hair, finger and toenails were small inconveniences reminding her of the most important priorities as she embarked on the 2012 Senate campaign. Only three weeks aUer the Primary and one week aUer major surgery, she kicked off her general election campaign with a Flash Mob in Director Square, Portland the day aUer the Rose Fes7val Parade. Eighty volunteers participated and it appeared on television news 5 7mes. During the early 1990’s public schools implemented a K-12 health curriculum to “prevent aids.” Included were lessons on condom use for 12 year olds. Suzanne, President of Oregon Eagle Forum, motivated hundreds of people to a_end school board mee7ngs defending Parents’ Rights. She was also a ci7zen lobbyist in our state capitol and trained others to do the same. Why Parents’ Rights In Education? Suzanne joined with U-Choose, an Issues Forum in 2009. She moderated the forms and gave talks about sexuality education in public schools. She met a teacher who wanted to form an organization and encouraged them to call it Parents’ Rights In Education. Later she participated in creating videos which were used to expose the controversial Adolescent Sexuality Conferences held at the Seaside Conference Center. When the group needed a Director in 2018, she volunteered. Suzanne and her husband Jack have been married since 1971. They live in Tigard near their three grown children and eight grandchildren.
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John Podcast. Today is Wednesday, July 1st. This is episode number 948. I’m so glad you guys are here with me today. Today, I’ve got in the studio one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. She’s a warrior, she’s a woman of faith, she’s a mother, she’s active in the public school system. And she’s here to tell you what’s happening in the public school system, even in the age of The Rona. It’s time to get off the bench and onto the battlefield. Welcome to the Heidi St. John Podcast.
All right, you guys. So my friend, Suzanne Gallagher is here with me today. There’s so much going on you guys, I honestly can barely keep up. Are you guys doing okay? How are you doing? Because you really, you should tell me. Actually just send me a message because that’ll be fun. Let me know how you guys are doing.
I know that there’s a lot of stuff going on right now. And many of you have been frustrated by what you see happening around you. I hope you enjoyed my interview with my friend Ray Reynolds that we just finished doing. This is going to be another one of those interviews that’s going to hopefully make you think. And kind of, what we’re going to try to do is pull back the veil of what’s happening around us, because I know that we’re seeing right, this sort of peak into wickedness, right?
We see it in our cities, for sure. I don’t even recognize downtown Portland anymore. I go down there, our cities are boarded up. People are defecating on the streets down there. There’s needles everywhere, we’ve got lawlessness. But I’ve got news for you, the lawlessness isn’t just happening on the streets of Portland. It’s happening in our schools, and our children are being influenced in incredible ways right now. And I know that you guys know this, but I’m going to remind you again. I always like to start with scripture. The Bible teaches us in Luke 6:40, that when a student is fully trained, he’ll be like his teacher. And nobody knows that better than my guest today. Suzanne Gallagher has been on my show before, and she is the executive director of parents rights in education. And she really has a message for parents to basically say, know what’s happening in your schools and let’s try to reform, and let’s try to actually do something about it.
So we’re going to talk about all things education and children today, and what’s happening in the culture. Suzanne, you’re a firecracker, my friend. Welcome back to the show.
[Suzanne] Thank you, Heidi. I’m looking forward to this.
[Heidi] So you’ve been really actively involved in trying to educate parents and get them involved in what’s happened in the public schools since about when? You’ve been doing this for a while.
[Suzanne] Well it’s fascinating because I have an old file cabinet down in the deepest, darkest depths of my home.
[Heidi] Stay away from there.
[Suzanne] And I went down there to see if I could find the first, the first survey. Because I did a podcast on the surveys that they’re conducting in schools now. And I thought, I wonder if I still have that? I went down there and I, yes, I found it. And I read from it the questions that were in that survey.
[Heidi] It was dated when?
[Suzanne] It was in the early nineties.
[Heidi] Wow so you’ve been doing this for a while.
[Suzanne] Yes, they have. But now it’s influenced by GLSEN. Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.
[Heidi] No friend of parents.
[Suzanne] And they have what are called School Climate Surveys. So we testified in Salem regarding legislation allowing for those to be given to children in our public schools in Oregon, starting at age 10 through 19.
[Heidi] Wow. And I think it’s important for, we have a lot of new listeners at the podcast. And so there are going to be people who have never heard you before. One of the things I love about you, just like one of the reasons I had Ray on the show, is that you’re not just talking about this for the fun of it. You’ve actually been living a life of integrity. You’ve been married to your husband since 1971. You’ve got what, eight grand am I right? Eight grandchildren?
[Suzanne] Eight grandchildren.
[Heidi] Eight grandchildren. How many children do you have?
[Heidi] Three. So you’ve been married for how many years? I don’t know I can’t do math.
[Suzanne] Almost 50, 50 next year.
[Heidi] 50 years.
[Suzanne] I know.
[Heidi] Suzanne, like goals.
[Suzanne] I can’t even believe it. Seriously.
[Heidi] I just celebrated 30 and I was patting myself on the back. You’ve been married for 50 years and it matters to you.
[Heidi] Like it still matters to you. You know? You could probably be out golfing and you’re working on your golf game, but really you’re still out on the front lines. Which is where every person of conviction needs to be right now.
[Suzanne] Because children, our children. The other side talks about our children, how dare they?
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Suzanne] They talk about our children, our children are the future. Wait just a minute here. Okay, we need to stand up and protect our children from indoctrination.
[Heidi] That’s right. And we’ve got parents now who are, you know, let’s talk about The Rona.
[Heidi] Because The Rona is here, right?
[Heidi] You can knock me over with a feather, that a virus with a 99.9% survival rate could shutter the whole nation, but whatever. You know, that’s I guess for another podcast. But parents now are starting to ask the question, “What am I going to do this fall?” Because now these ridiculous requirements are coming into the schools, right? Mask mandates, plexiglass living at the public schools, social distancing, temperature taking, all this kind of stuff. And now there’s a lot of parents going, “I don’t actually want my kid in an environment like that. That’s going to mess them up.” And the truth is, you and I have been shouting from the rooftops for a long time. There’s a whole lot worse going on in the public schools than a virus. And so part of me is like, thank you, Rona.
[Suzanne] Exactly. Absolutely, absolutely.
[Heidi] Parents are going to pull their kids out of public school.
[Suzanne] So what’s happening here is that now we have the attention of more parents. Parents who didn’t know about all of this other that was going on. They thought, well, I’ll just talk my child out of that certain teaching. Actually it is pervasive throughout all the curriculums.
[Heidi] I was going to say, talk to us about that. Because this idea, someone said to me not too long ago, that, she was like, “I don’t know what you’re so upset about comprehensive sex education, I’ll just opt my child out.” I said, “Then you don’t understand the pervasive nature of CSE.” So explain to parents, first of all, what CSE is. For people who are new to my podcast, they don’t understand what we’re talking about.
[Suzanne] Okay. So Comprehensive Sexuality Education. In some states, there has a little bit different verbiage. I think it’s in Washington, it’s sexual, they call it comprehensive sexual education.
[Heidi] Comprehensive sex ed.
[Suzanne] But it’s all the same. We have featured on our website, we have evaluations of a lot of the different curriculums that are being used throughout the country. Sometimes school districts have the option of choosing from a list that their state gives them. So you can choose from these recommended curriculums. And the reason they are recommended is probably because they get some sort of a deal, or it’s being funded by Planned Parenthood or whatever.
[Heidi] I’m sure.
[Suzanne] There’s something motivating them to choose them. But what’s different about sexuality education now is that literally, and they admit it on the websites of these various companies. They admit that their goal is to change the culture.
[Suzanne] And that’s kind of code for, look at different ways of living, accept all lifestyles. Children, accept all lifestyles. Accept sexual behavior, and interaction with others. Anybody you want, any time, any age. Hello?
[Heidi] Any age, kindergarten.
[Suzanne] Pedophiles. And beginning in kindergarten, we want to change that cultural “stigma” of having sex with your father when you’re 10.
[Suzanne] Okay. So we want to remove all of these mores, these are wrong, these are bad, and they’re messing kids up.
[Heidi] Yep. And they’re telling the kids, not only are these lifestyles right, but your parents, those old prudish, backward, religious bigots, are wrong.
[Suzanne] Exactly. And they are inhibiting you. So there’s several aspects here. One is that in the curriculums themselves, in the teacher’s guides and those supporting materials that they have for the curriculums. And we’ve seen presentations by the schools regarding this. And it literally says in them that they want the children, their goal is to have the children respect all other students, which we agree with. Right? You’re smiling. Yes, we agree. But not just respect.
[Heidi] I love to hear the word respect come out of their mouth. It just kind of makes me laugh.
[Suzanne] I know, they say respect but then within the same sentence, I think there’s just an “and” separating the two words, is accept. And accept is that code word, for me, stating that—Okay, now I get it. So you’re going to teach my child that all of this behavior is normal, it’s natural. And by the way, there’s a book saying it’s perfectly normal that shows kids these things, illustrations.
[Heidi] It’s actually a real book in our schools.
[Suzanne] It’s a real book. And so they’re teaching kids at a very young age, this is perfectly normal, perfectly natural and acceptable. And by the way, through this social emotional learning, that’s a whole other topic another day, but there is where they teach them that, “what makes a family?”
[Heidi] Okay, so this is important. I want to stop you for a minute because I use these terms all the time on the podcast. I know there’s a lot of people that are new, lots and lots of people. And we don’t have time to go into it today, but lots and lots of people have written to me and they’ve said, “Why is social emotional learning such a bad thing?” Like they say, “Well, I can kind of understand what you’re saying about comprehensive sex education, or CSE. Really do we have to be worried about social emotional learning as well?” And I tell parents, “Yes, you do.” These are agenda driven programs.
[Heidi] And if you don’t understand what’s behind them, well that’s why you’re here, Suzanne.
[Heidi] Is to help parents understand this is a real agenda. And it’s really hurting our kids.
[Suzanne] There are so many issues, but they’re all related. So when we talk about CSE, social emotional learning is a component starting early in grade school. So that part of it is again, changing the culture, the attitudes, and the views of young children.
[Suzanne] So we’ve been cautioned not to use the word “indoctrination” because that’s supposedly a trigger word.
[Suzanne] But the more that I, you know, I think, well…. on a show like this, I’m going to say it: Indoctrination. Okay, there you go, I said it. I said it. I remember when ours were young and they’d go outside to play basketball or something and then, I think it was our four year old, our middle son, he came in the house and he said some very, very, very bad words.
He didn’t even know what they meant because he heard it. And you know how you’ll say, “Well, where’d you get that?”
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[Suzanne] Where did you get that?
[Heidi] Where did you learn that? Where did you hear that? Do we talk like that?
[Suzanne] Where did you hear that? Listen, this is not acceptable in our home. Okay. So that’s what’s going on in the public schools. Our children are coming home and we’re thinking, where are you getting this? Where are you getting this attitude? The whole riot, all these riots. And we don’t need to go down that rabbit hole right now. But I mean, it is pervasive throughout. And yes, so CSE, back to your question, like, what is it? Well it has been legislated, number one. That’s another thing that parents have a hard time getting their minds around because, especially in the faith community, we know it’s kind of a dirty thing.
You know, politics. I’ve run for public office probably three or four times. And unfortunately I didn’t win, things might be different in our state if I had.
[Heidi] Right, exactly.
[Suzanne] But anyway, yes, it’s not the most pleasant thing.
[Suzanne] But we have to face it because in our country, actually, it’s a wonderful thing. Because we have a say about what our leaders can do with A, with our tax dollars, you know?
[Suzanne] Think about it.
[Suzanne] So this whole issue about the police and how are, how is our government going to be structured? What is the role of government at the end of the day? What is the role of a school? Okay. So what is the school supposed to teach? What is the role of a school? That has also been changed.
[Heidi] Well the lines have been blurred.
[Suzanne] Yes they have.
[Heidi] And it’s amazing because it didn’t start out this way.
[Heidi] And what’s happened is the schools have been infiltrated by sexual activists and political operatives. And so now you have a school system that is literally plagued by this. And I don’t believe, and maybe Suzanne you’ll disagree with me, I don’t actually think we can get them out. I think that they’re so deeply embedded now, the levels go so deep, that we can’t get them out. So my attitude has just been, well let’s expose them and let’s let the parents decide if they want to take their kids out.
[Suzanne] Exactly. So you’re talking about strategy right there. So the first thing is to educate parents exactly about what’s going on.
[Heidi] This is happening.
[Suzanne] Okay. Next, whatever motivates them, some will jump on the CSE. Some will be worried about teaching my child that capitalism is evil or whatever it is, whatever it is.
[Heidi] Which is happening a lot.
[Suzanne] Yes, that’s happening too. So, or if it’s just, you’re going to make my child wear a mask. I mean whatever it is.
[Heidi] You know what I told my kids? I said, a socialist is a communist with patience. That’s what I said.
[Heidi] And it’s true.
[Suzanne] Well, wasn’t it Lennon or Stalin? I can’t, I get them mixed up. But one of them said that socialism leads, always leads to communism.
[Suzanne] Always does.
[Suzanne] It always does.
[Heidi] It’s a slow road.
[Suzanne] Socialism is the slow road to communism.
[Heidi] It is the slow road to communism, but they all go the same way.
[Suzanne] But it really is. And that’s why they’re trying to pass that off on the United States because, and they’ve done it in many ways. And how are they getting to us? Through the school system.
[Suzanne] And they have been doing that. And again, talk about patience, oh my gosh, they are so patient. And they are not only patient, they are committed.
[Heidi] They are committed. Oh man you’re right.
[Suzanne] And they’re relentless. And this is what we need to see about with our side. We need our families, our parents, our people to be committed and relentless and we can win. I mean, if I didn’t believe that I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.
[Suzanne] So what can we do that will really get the attention of the school district? So we’re trying to figure out, what are we going to do next fall? What are we going to do?
[Suzanne] I think we should unenroll our children.
[Heidi] There you go.
[Suzanne] Because that is the only thing. That’s the only action. You can email, you can call, you can go to the school board meetings. All of these are strategies that we can use. And I’m not saying don’t do that.
[Heidi] And you’ve done all of those things.
[Suzanne] Oh yes, I’ve done them all.
[Suzanne] And I have, I call it the bureaucratic shuffle. And actually, these departments of education, they’re the biggest bureaucrats there are.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Suzanne] And they are really schooled in the shuffle. In fact, there was a class taught at Portland State University called, What’s Left After the Right? And that was taught at Portland State for credit, for teachers and administrators. Okay? At Portland State, What’s Left After the Right? Now isn’t that lovely? And at that time, I mean, that was like 25 years ago. Yeah. And they named people like you and me, I mean.
[Heidi] So here’s the thing.
[Heidi] Talk to the parents. We got five minutes left and then we’re going to…
[Suzanne] We only have five minutes? Okay.
[Heidi] I know we’re going to end the show, but then we’re going to come back.
[Heidi] I’m going to ask you to come back on the following day so we can finish the conversation.
[Suzanne] Thank you.
[Heidi] But what I want to tell parents how to do right now, is how to un-enroll their kids.
[Heidi] There’s a lot of parents listening to this who are like, “I never thought I’d be un-enrolling my kid,” but I have done multiple shows here talking to parents about how they can homeschool their children. In fact, I’m going to do a whole nother thing coming up, just saying here’s some very easy, basic ways for you to homeschool your children. Of course, we have the Homeschool Resource Center right here in Vancouver, which is tremendous.
[Heidi] There are opportunities galore. Homeschooling is a well oiled machine right now. The other option, obviously for parents is to put their kids in a parochial school, or into a privately funded school, but the first step is to take your child out of public school. So how do they do that?
[Suzanne] Well, I would say go to your district. Just go online to your district, if it’s Target Walden or Portland or Vancouver or wherever it is, and say, “I’d like to un-enroll my child.”
[Suzanne] Every state and every school district has a process, it’s like, filing for a small business, whatever it is.
[Heidi] Yep. It’s actually very empowering. I want parents to know this.
[Suzanne] Yes it is. Yeah.
[Heidi] There’s no reason for them to be afraid to call the school district to say, “Hey, I’m going to call and un-enroll…”
[Heidi] They don’t actually own your child. Your child belongs to you, not to the school, and so you can do that. What’s happening, I’m starting to get reports, Suzanne, of districts that are telling parents that they can’t un-enroll them. Is that true?
[Suzanne] Oh, I have no doubt.
[Heidi] They’re going to make sure that they can’t un-enroll them.
[Suzanne] Oh no. That’s not true.
[Heidi] No, it’s not true.
[Suzanne] But, again, and I always caution everyone, we’re talking to a national audience, so it’s not the same in New Jersey, as it is in Montana, as it is in Washington, California or Oregon.
[Suzanne] You’re going to have to navigate through that abyss, so to speak, of making it happen.
[Suzanne] And you also are not required, I don’t think, to answer every single question.
[Heidi] No, you’re not.
[Suzanne] Honestly, a lot of this is not any of their business.
[Suzanne] You don’t have to tell them why…
[Heidi] Actually, I don’t know what the age is, the compulsory age. In Washington State, if your child is not eight by the time school begins, you don’t have to do anything really.
[Heidi] You could just make a statement, but I can’t remember what compulsory age is in Oregon. Do you know what it is Suzanne? People will have to look.
[Suzanne] I don’t know.
[Heidi] You guys can actually go to Homeschool Legal Defense Association, HSLDA.org or dot com, I can’t remember, but just Google it. In fact, I’ll link back to it in the show notes today, and just search for your State, and all the State laws are there. Many of you guys have kids who are under compulsory age, and you don’t have to do anything. If they call you and wonder where your kid is, you can say, “Oh, I homeschooled them.”
[Heidi] But for many others, you need to withdraw your child formerly. Withdraw your child from school, and then begin to get involved in a private school or a homeschool education, and it’s very, very easy to do now.
[Suzanne] Sure. I think that’s great advice and it will send a message.
[Suzanne] Nothing else you do will send a message like this, because you can always re-enroll.
[Heidi] Yeah. Suzanne, let’s talk about the bottom line here.
[Suzanne] Yeah. Yeah.
[Heidi] What goes out when you enroll your kid? What did the district just lose? They didn’t just lose a child.
[Suzanne] They lose money.
[Heidi] That is what this is about. Comprehensive sex education, also, follow the money. There’s so much money and wickedness behind this stuff.
[Suzanne] Yes. Oh yeah.
[Heidi] We have corrupted our school systems to the point where… I’ve been telling people for a long time to pull their kids out, but now like we said, a few minutes ago, this might actually be the silver lining of the rona.
[Suzanne] I think it is.
[Suzanne] I think it is.
[Heidi] Yeah. You and I, we were talking right before this started, that parents don’t often know what their kids are being taught. I would love for you to come back tomorrow, because I have so much I want to talk to you about. I want to talk to parents about what their children are being taught. I want to talk to them about the anti-American sentiment that is now in the schools.
[Heidi] You’ve seen this. Also, we were talking about how VBS has been canceled, right?
[Heidi] All these churches like, “Hey, everybody let’s do online… let’s do virtual VBS,” which I just don’t even… I’m so frustrated.
[Heidi] Our churches anyway… Whatever. I’m frustrated by that, but there is a camp being held in Portland.
[Suzanne] Yes its wonderful.
[Heidi] This is so exciting.
[Suzanne] It’s a social justice summer camp.
[Heidi] Social justice summer camp.
[Suzanne] Oh my, oh my.
[Heidi] And I guess the kids… Can the kids attend this camp in person by any chance?
[Suzanne] Oh sure. Well, of course they will be able to.
[Heidi] VBS is closed, but the social justice camp boy, that’s happening.
[Suzanne] Well, it’s happening in August, so I’m sure that they’ll figure out a way to make everything open up just in time for that.
[Heidi] Oh my goodness. Will you come back with me tomorrow, and let’s finish this conversation. In the meantime, where can people find you? So people who are interested in helping you do what you do. You’re with Parents Rights in Education. Tell us a little bit about what that is and how people can get involved?
[Suzanne] Okay. It is a tax deductible, nonprofit organization. We are applying for political action committee, and we will be endorsing candidates for the next election. So we’re very excited about that. Our website is parentsrightsined.com.
[Suzanne] We also have a Facebook page, Parent’s Rights In Education, and I have a podcast. I’m just starting this podcast.
[Heidi] Its exciting.
[Suzanne] I know.
[Heidi] Actually, you just did a really great one the other day. I was looking at it. What are some of the titles of some of your shows?
[Suzanne] Thank you.
[Heidi] What are you talking about, Suzanne?
[Suzanne] Okay. I’m talking about, I’ve got a five part series so far, on the transgender ideology in your public schools, a variety of different issues. Everything seems to point to this transgender issue. It’s phenomenal. We are partnering with a legal group that… Oh my gosh, Heidi. I don’t know if you know about this, but we sued the Dallas School District.
[Heidi] Is it Pacific Justice Institute, who you’re working with?
[Suzanne] No. Okay. It’s called CPR, so like CPR, like you’re giving oxygen.
[Suzanne] So Child & Parental Rights Campaign.
[Heidi] I love that.
[Suzanne] They are attorneys, and they are representing us with our lawsuit. We’re hoping that the Supreme Court will accept it. We’re going to the top, so I am so excited about this.
[Heidi] Praise God. No, that’s really good.
[Suzanne] Yeah. Yeah.
[Heidi] Yeah. So if you guys want more information about Suzanne and the work that she’s doing, I’m going to link back to it in the show notes today. In the meantime, Suzanne, you are an inspiration. I’m so happy that you’re off the bench and onto the battlefield. Actually, you never got on the bench. You just been on the battlefield, you just live on the battlefield. So thank you for doing that. When you come back tomorrow, we’ll finish this conversation.
[Suzanne] I sure will.
[Heidi] All right, you guys, I hope you guys have enjoyed this. The whole point of this is not just to educate you, it’s to get you to be involved. It’s to get you to stand up. It’s to get you off the bench and onto the battlefield. I’m here to tell you right now, and I know Suzanne agrees with me. Our kids are worth it.
We love you guys. Thanks for listening. Thanks for leaving reviews for the podcast over at iTunes, and don’t forget, a brand new scripture writing challenge starts today at MomStrong International, and the new study. Even now we are studying people, profiles and courage, at MomStrong International. That brand new study begins on Monday, and you can sign up today at momstronginternational.com.