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Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is taking no chances as families prepare once again for their children’s back-to-school time.
She wants all Tennessee residents — all Americans as well — to know what’s going on in today’s schools and classrooms and how to best gear up for a successful school year.
In material shared exclusively with Fox News Digital, the Tennessee Republican detailed a new guide she’s created for parents as kids return to classrooms soon.
“When students head back to school this fall, they will encounter more than the usual list of challenges children and teens face,” she told Fox News Digital in an email.
“Moms and dads need to be ready for that,” she said.
She’s compiled “important tips on how to protect kids” on such issues as “dangerous drugs, online predators and woke curriculum.”
The senator told Fox News Digital, “While radical teachers’ unions are doing their best to push parents away, this guide empowers moms and dads with the tools they need to keep their children close.”
Her advice includes clear, actionable guidance for parents and caregivers.
Here is Sen. Blackburn’s guidance for parents, in four distinct sections.
1. ‘Defend against dangerous drugs’
“Sheriffs in Tennessee warn that because of the crisis at the southern border, 80% of the drugs they confiscate contain deadly fentanyl,” notes the senator.
“Even worse, dealers intentionally target children on apps like Snapchat and often conceal drugs in dollar bills or in candy like gummy bears.”
Given these facts, she advises the following for parents.
“Warn your kids against eating food from unsealed containers or trading snacks with strangers.”
“Remind your children to only add close friends on apps like Snapchat. Check their apps regularly to make sure no adult strangers have tricked their way into your child’s life.”
“Make sure your children understand that all drugs are dangerous drugs,” she also says.
2. ‘Watch out for woke policies’
“Right now, teachers’ unions are pressuring educators to target students to join transgender after-school clubs and let sports teams crumble under the pressure of gender politics,” notes Sen. Blackburn.
“These radicals,” she adds, “are trying to sneak their woke policies past parents — but Tennessee moms and dads aren’t giving them a hall pass this year!”
“Learn more about the after-school activities your kids are involved in. Ask questions about what they’re learning and who they’re spending time with.”
“Ask coaches and school administrators about what they’re doing to protect sports for biological girls.”
“Attend parent meetings and find more ways to get involved in your child’s extracurricular activities.”
3. ‘Keep kids safe online’
“Predators are eager to use platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat to take advantage of kids,” says Sen. Blackburn.
“As children start logging on to do homework, it’s important to kickstart the conversation on tech safety.”
To this end, she advises the following steps.
“Access your child’s accounts and switch on the strictest privacy settings available.”
“Warn your kids about fake accounts made by predators who pretend to be children.”
“Make sure you know what apps and services your children are using, and regularly check to make sure their posts are safe and age-appropriate.”
4. ‘Prevent politically motivated curriculum’
“Critical race theory (CRT)-influenced curriculum teaches students that America is an inherently racist country and divides them based on skin color,” says the senator.
“Teachers’ unions have relentlessly put pressure on schools, local leadership and even the White House to replace reading, writing and ‘rithmetic with radical political indoctrination.”
She suggests parents do the following:
“Attend parent-teacher conferences and talk with educators about school curriculum.”
“Contact your local school boards, show up to meetings and make your voice heard.
“Students should not be discriminated against on the basis of race under any circumstances.”
“Learn about how to identify CRT-influenced curriculum across all subjects.”
On the latter point, Sen. Blackburn says she “believes in equality and opportunity for all.”
She also said, “Students should not be discriminated against on the basis of race under any circumstances.”
Along with other legislative colleagues, Sen. Blackburn introduced a resolution in June 2021 to condemn the use of Critical Race Theory in K-12 schools and teacher training programs.
She joined with Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., in introducing that resolution.
Prior to that, she joined over 30 Senate colleagues — in April 2021 — to express concern about the Dept. of Education’s proposal to “offer federal funding to support the teaching of radical and divisive curriculum like Critical Race Theory.”
As far as older kids go, Dr. Mary K. Alvord, director of the Rockville, Maryland-based Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC — and a psychologist specializing in treating children, adolescents and adults — told Fox News Digital recently that there are ways parents can help their college-bound students understand “the bigger picture.”
It’s important for parents to start talking with their children early, said Alvord, before they head off to college — about the values they hold in a diverse world and how can they express themselves in new environments.
Fox News Digital’s Nicole Pelletiere contributing reporting to this article.