December 12, 2016

An Open Letter to the Parents of Great Hearts

I would like to make an appeal to you, my fellow Great Hearts parents.

Over the summer, the Corporate Board of Directors of Great Hearts adopted a policy that discriminates against some of our children. They claim they are forced to due so as a matter of law. This is false.

Great Hearts has the ability to ensure a nurturing environment for all our children, including the transgender students that attend their schools, but they have failed to do so. Instead, they have taken up a policy that actively creates an environment that is abusive. The adopted policy forces transgender students to be a person they are not and demands that teachers and staff enforce guidelines that are regarded as irresponsible by medical and psychological experts.

This policy is in place. This policy is being actively enforced. This policy applies to all Great Hearts schools, at both Great Hearts Archway and Preparatory academies.

This policy is not consistent with the core values of “Truth, Beauty, and Goodness” that we all share.

How can you help?

First, don’t punish the schools. But do send a message to the Corporate board. Money talks. We have 2 suggestions:

1) In this final push of the 2016 tax drive, designate your funds!

You have the option of designating where your funds go within the school. Great Hearts fails to mention in their tax drive marketing that parents have the option of directing exactly where your tax credits go. They can be designated to a certain part of the school or a particular activity. Designate your funds to support the efforts of your children. Buy books for the library. Direct your funds to an extra-curricular activity. Support your child’s sports team. By law, the school must use those funds for that purpose rather than the corporate pool of money.

2) Redirect your donation of the $1500 that Great Hearts requests annually directly to the teachers and staff. Write your favorite teacher a check. Give to the PSO. Find a way to show the school you care and avoid filtering those funds through the corporation.

Secondly, let Great Hearts corporate know what you are doing and why. Tell them this policy is totally inconsistent with the values we all have as Great Hearts parents. Tell them this is not the environment that you want to see at your school. Tell them this policy, driven by ignorance and fear, is not in line with the values you want to instill in your children.

Finally, tell your friends. Get this message into your network. Post this on your Facebook page, on your Twitter, Instagram, any social media outlet you can think of.

Great Hearts is keeping this policy a secret. They will not disclose that this policy is in place until a transgender student comes forward. By then, the family has a choice: accept the policy and be forced to live as someone you are not…or leave the school.

This policy has already effectively dismissed students from Great Hearts. Students are being kicked out of our schools because of who they are. This is absolutely unacceptable.

We have consistently said that the schools at Great Hearts are fantastic. The teachers and staff are dedicated to the best interests of our children.

The executive leadership and corporate Board of Directors are not.

Send a message and let your voice be heard. They will not change this policy without grassroots opposition from all of us. All of your help and support is appreciated.

A Concerned Great Hearts Parent