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Indiana AG Debuts Portal for Parents to Keep an Eye on Schools

February 8, 2024

The Hoosier State’s top lawyer is introducing a new method for parents to keep an eye on what their children are being taught in the classroom and hold schools and teachers accountable. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) recently launched an online portal called “Eyes on Education,” which allows parents to check what their children are being taught in public schools and submit examples of material that is ideologically-charged or violates Indiana state law.

The portal’s website, hosted by the attorney general’s office, explains, “After our office consistently heard from student[s], parents, and teachers about objectionable curricula, policies, or programs affecting children, we launched the Eyes on Education portal. Our kids need to focus on fundamental educational building blocks, not political ideology — either left or right.” The description continues, “Eyes on Education is a platform for students, parents, and educators to submit and view real examples from classrooms across the state.”

“Eyes on Education” allows parents to check their child’s specific school district and school, submit reports on material that may violate state law, and read the Indiana Parent’s Bill of Rights. Updated in August, the Parent’s Bill of Rights includes “the right and expectation to question and review the curriculum taught in your child’s school,” “the right and expectation to question and address your child’s school officials via letters, electronic communications, and in-person meetings,” “the right to know what books are available to students in the school library and to request the removal of books that are obscene or include material harmful to minors,” and “a constitutional right to direct the upbringing and education of your child in the manner you see fit,” among others.

The portal clarifies that the AG’s office “will follow up on materials submitted to the portal that may violate Indiana law using our investigative tools, including public records requests, and publish findings on the portal as well. … Submissions to the portal will be reviewed and published regularly.”

“It’s great to see this effort to engage the public in public education. This is a commonsense approach to providing transparency for parents and taxpayers,” said Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon in comments to The Washington Stand.

She added, “Red states can feel a false sense of security about the quality and ideological content of their school programs and curricula, but the folks who live in red states and vote to keep them that way must understand that their home states are targeted by leftist agitators who use public programs and especially public schools to advance a leftist mission.”

In a recent interview with The Daily Signal, Rokita explained that the idea for “Eyes on Education” originated in 2021. “Parents were sending me lesson plans,” the attorney general said. “This is around the time that we were calling out critical race theory and this social [and] emotional learning that was being taught to teachers and then teachers to the students, and it was corrupting the whole educational experience.” While most teachers denied that political and ideological content was being taught in classrooms, parents shared lesson plans, homework assignments, emails, and school policies over social media. “So either these parents are part of a huge conspiracy and making all this stuff up, as the teachers and principals and school board members would have you believe,” Rokita said, “or there’s really something going on — even in good ol’ Indiana.”

Rokita clarified that his office would investigate and verify submissions made through the portal before taking any further action. “I’m not going to go and start investigating schools,” he told The Daily Signal. “But this is going to be a portal, a transparent portal where we can cut through the rumor mill.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.