POK (Protect Our Kids) is a coalition of parents, community leaders, attorneys, physicians, pastors, teachers and concerned citizens united in the belief that today’s public schools threaten our children’s welfare. We acknowledge that public schools have a role in educating children on matters of basic biology, anatomy, and reproduction. However, the promotion of sexual intimacy, sexual orientation and fluid gender identities are matters far exceeding the rightful boundaries of the public-school system. So too is the advancement of Marxist Critical Theory and the “re-framing” of American history to indoctrinate children into politically driven and misleading narratives. Taken together, these serve as a clarion call of the dangers to children in the public schools and, by extension, our society.

POK exists to inform parents about the scope of these combined threats, their rights as parents, and to protect our kids from the harms of public-school indoctrination.

What We Believe

POK adheres to Biblical truth which teaches that God created mankind in His image, male and female. We believe that sex is among the most consequential of all human experiences and that sexual expression cannot be separated from an underlying orthodoxy or worldview, the advancement of which far exceeds the charter of public education. We believe that people should “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” We believe that the “self-evident” truths expressed in the Declaration of Independence are still America’s founding ideals and guiding lights. Finally, we believe that parents are the ones that bear the primary responsibility for teaching metaphysical values to their children, not the state.

Mark R. Schneider, Esq.

Founder & President

A native Californian, Mark spent most of his career in Silicon Valley serving as corporate counsel and in executive positions at several large technology companies before going into private practice as a patent litigator. In response to California’s Proposition 8, which fought to preserve traditional marriage, Mark founded a Salt & Light Ministry at his local church where he still serves. He received his bachelor of science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from California Polytechnic University and a Juris Doctor from Trinity Law School. Mark has published law review and many other articles that touch on the intersection of theology and law. He is married with two adult, home-schooled, children.

Pastor Gheorghe Rosca, Jr.

Pastor Gheorghe Rosca, Jr.

Founding Board Member; Director Ambassador Outreach

Pastor Gheorghe is the eighth of twelve children, born in Romania under the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaucescu. His family immigrated to the states legally in 1991. He grew up in Southern California and lives in Orange with his wife and four children. He pastors New Hope church in Placentia, CA. He holds a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and an MBA with an emphasis in Project Management from California Polytechnic University. As a registered Civil Engineer in the state of California, he leads diverse teams on large transportation infrastructure projects. As a Founding Board Member, he is passionate about protecting the freedoms granted in the Constitution that are aligned with the values of the Founding Fathers for future generations.

Darrick Garcia

Director of Alternative Schooling

Darrick is an experienced education professional passionate about bringing Christ to the educational system. With 29 years of service in the public-school setting, Darrick has significantly influenced the lives of students, families, and staff in Orange and San Bernardino counties. He has held various roles throughout his career, including special education teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent.

Driven by his deep faith and desire to share the Gospel, Darrick seeks to bring Christian values and teachings to as many children as possible through the educational system. He is dedicated to growing Christian schools and learning centers, where parental choice, access, and affordability are prioritized.

Marie Hyepock

Director of Operations

As a native Southern Californian, Marie has a passion for impacting the lives of children and adults with the love of Christ in all she does.  She has spent most of her career in Sales/Marketing in Corporate Banking, and later transitioned to Administration/Accounting in private industry with her husband.  As a wife, mom, and grandmother of 5, she works tirelessly to share the gifts/talents God has encouraged her in.  Marie is a leader in Women’s Ministry at her home church.  She also leads our Prayer Team in regularly scheduled Zoom Prayer gatherings with our faithful supporters

Katie McCarthy

Director of Marketing 

After a successful career in direct response marketing, Katie left her position as Executive Vice President to follow God’s call and homeschool her four children. During this time, Katie applied her marketing expertise to further the missions of several non-profit and political organizations. These include Orange County’s Interfaith Shelter Network, California’s Proposition 8, various Pro-life and Pro-family ministries, an orphanage in Haiti, and youth advocacy in public education. Always active in the culture wars, Katie is currently devoted to raising awareness about the dangers in public education while helping parents find alternative solutions.