Politics

Democrats to Public School Parents: Drop Dead

AMAC Exclusive – by David P. Deavel

school bus students public democratsThey’re getting bolder in their tug-of-war over who has the primary responsibility for educating our children. But the parents are not going to let go. In the last debate before the November election, Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe was challenged by Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin about his own veto, in his earlier term as governor, of a bill that would have created an alert for parents when sexual material was present in educational materials. McAuliffe responded that he was proud of his veto: “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision. I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

When asked about it later by a local CBS affiliate, McAuliffe doubled down. “Listen, we have a Board of Education working with the local school boards to determine the curriculum for our schools. You don’t want parents coming in in every different school jurisdiction saying this is what should be taught here, and this is what should be taught there.”

Youngkin clearly thinks this is a winning issue. He tweeted that McAuliffe might like to look at what Virginia law says about the rights of parents: “A parent has a funmental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.” He also released an ad the next day based on the debate exchange in which he replied to McAuliffe, “You believe school systems should tell children what to do. I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.”

The message from progressive politicians and education bureaucrats, however, is clear: parents ought to have no say in what local public education is about. Terry McAuliffe is not alone in this view. At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Republican Senator Mike Braun of Indiana asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona whether parents ought to be considered the “primary stakeholders” in their children’s education. Cardona would only agree that they are “important stakeholders,” but that “educators have a role in determining educational programming.” The refusal to acknowledge parents as primary gives us an indication of which role “educators” have in educational programming: it’s the final word. Parents don’t count.

While teachers used to think of themselves as acting in loco parentis, the Latin phrase meaning in place of the parents who were not present, they now think of themselves having taken over the place of parental authority entirely.

Fortunately, there are still enough parents out there who think this idea is plain loco—Spanish for crazy. School boards in Virginia and all over the country have been seeing more outraged parents coming to school board meetings to complain about the ways in which their own views are ignored on a whole range of issues, but especially sexual content in curriculum and the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as the guiding philosophy of education and its corresponding destruction of educational quality in the name of “equity.” While Democrats and their legacy media and higher ed adjuncts have attempted to brush off this rebellion as some sort of partisan or racist (the all-purpose progressive rebuttal when they have no answers) anger, it’s clear that there are many Americans upset with the way in which American public education has become hazardous to children’s intellectual health.

Alas, on the same day that Secretary Cardona refused to acknowledge parents as primary stakeholders in their children’s education, the National School Boards Association, which claims to represent 90,000 school board members across the country [Narrator: That’s pretty unlikely] wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to crack down on parents who are upset at mask mandates and the teaching of CRT in schools using every federal agency and statute they could think of, including the Patriot Act. Not only does the letter repeat the laughable notion that schools don’t teach CRT because it is “a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class” (no doubt schools don’t teach gravity as it is a complex subject for graduate physics students either), but it gives a hint as to which offenses the Feds should be cracking down on. Among incidents in which parents or concerned citizens have actually become violent, they also include incidents in which people have mocked school board members and accused them of attempting to sneak CRT into the curriculum.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names are also a violation of the Patriot Act, according to the Education Blob.

So what are parents to do to fight back against the blob? Trafalgar Polling conducted a nationwide survey in July asking over one thousand parents how they should react if CRT becomes part of the curriculum in their children’s public schools. Overall, 29% of parents said they would teach their children what to believe at home without interfering in the school, almost 28% said they would remove their children from public school and send them to private schools or homeschool them, and 24% said they would work to take over the school board (19% said they had no opinion on the matter). These three options seem to be the main ones available.

Democrats, who made up 39% of the respondents, and those claiming no party/other, were much more likely to say they would just teach their children at home and not interfere (39.9% and 36.2%) than Republicans (12.9%). Republicans were much more likely to take their children out of the schools or try to take over the school board (38.1% and 33.2%) than Democrats (20.9% and 17.9%) or No Party/Other (22.9% and 20.8%).

To put it bluntly, Republicans are more in the right here. Without any effective action, public school bureaucracies will continue to embrace CRT, critical gender theory, and every other destructive fad that comes down the pike. To push back against all this has to be a matter of pushing back—and that involves either getting into their governance (Trafalgar’s third option) or putting pressure on them economically by pulling kids out (the second).

The difficulty with the taking over of school boards is that it takes a lot of time and effort. That doesn’t mean there are not groups out there who are dedicated to doing it. In fact, there are a lot of groups doing it. Ballotpedia has been keeping track of school board recall events since 2006, recording on average about 23 recall efforts against 52 board members per year up to 2020. In 2021, however, they have recorded as of September 71 recall efforts targeting 183 board members. These grass roots efforts to recall board members, win elections, and influence existing boards have been helped out by groups such as Parents Defending Education, a Loudoun County, Virginia, group, and No Left Turn in Education, an organization started by Elana Fishbein in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia suburb). These groups have themselves been aided by about thirty national conservative organizations and foundations, according to an Associated Press article focusing on efforts in Mequon, Wisconsin (a Milwaukee suburb) to recall board members who have been pursuing divisive “diversity” goals.

In addition to the recall efforts, Politico reports that parents are putting up campaigns for school board that are explicitly against diversity and oppression curricula. While dutifully repeating the “no CRT is really taught here!” lines, the article notes that candidates all over the country are opposing them, many successfully in Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere. In Houston all the anti-CRT candidates in a recent school board election won while in Southlake, Texas, two such candidates won with over 70% of the vote. It can be done in many parts of the country.

Many parents, however, do not have the time to both fight City Hall—or its educational equivalent—and make sure their own children are being educated apart from and often against what they’re learning in their public schools. This is why the move to opt out of public schools has been so great over the last decade. This year, 1.45 million children left the system, a number that was made even greater by so many schools’ determination to stay online. (To say that makes me vulnerable to the Patriot Act, I suppose.) If parents can no longer influence public schools, the best option for them is to take their kids elsewhere. To facilitate this, however, takes money.

That’s why the development of school choice options is so important. Now is the time, given that a RealClearOpinion poll in June showed a striking 74% of American parents support school choice—a full 10% increase since 2020! Perhaps the best development this year has been the passage of HB 2013 in West Virginia, known as the Hope Scholarship program. This education savings account allows students leaving the public school system to take up to $4600 with them to pay for tuition, books, and other costs at private schools or in homeschooling. The American Federation for Children has interactive maps showing the expanded school choice programs in 2021 as well as all those available in the U. S. right now.

Simply helping parents take control over their children’s education where they cannot influence their public schools is a big first step, but one final one remains. State and local governments can work toward building an accountability mechanism into the equation. I mean something guaranteeing local school budgets will be cut when there are lower class sizes. School board members may go along with the wokeness for a while, but if their budgets shrink, they may well ask whether they ought to rethink what kind of loco they want to be in relation to parents.

Legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight used to say that one should lead, follow, or get out of the way. More parents are demanding to be recognized as the “primary stakeholders” in their children’s education. They are refusing to “follow” educators who think that good education involves explicit sex, divisive and harmful notions about race, or the denial of opportunities in the name of equity. They are either going to lead the fight to take back these schools or get out of the way, taking their money with them and building up an education that is truly fit for the public.

David P. Deavel is editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy, and a visiting professor at the University of St. Thomas (MN). He is the co-host of the Deep Down Things podcast.

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BOB1
5 days ago

Parents MUST know what’s being taught in our Public Schools. Last time I checked, We the People should be in charge; MAKE IT HAPPEN! “Where tyranny becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”- Thomas Jefferson.

Steven H
17 days ago

Defund the Department of Education, both State and Federal

Classie Scott
17 days ago

I totally agree with parents. The teachers & administrators are paid with our tax dollars.
Each state or county should have committees to review books & materials to be used in schools. Teachers unions are more & more the enemies of our country!

BOB1
5 days ago
Reply to  Classie Scott

They DO! They’re called SCHOOL BOARDS! Find out who’s on them and/or get elected to yours. We the People are in charge.

Sara J Grosso
17 days ago

We HAVE to stand against this insanity….It is OUR BABIES, OUR CHILDREN!!!! Our family has enrolled our Great Granddaughter into a Christian School that is Bible based, Freedom loving and actually teaches her math, science, history, etc. like it USED be. At the cost of $4000.00 per year! Our ENTIRE extended family have chipped in together to make this happen. We don’t know how long we can afford this, but we will as long as we can. (And we don’t know how long they will be there before this government tries to shut them down.) When we no longer can, she will be homeschooled before we allow freaking insane teachers and a socialistic government to get their hands on her. It will be over our entire families dead bodies before we let it happen.

Classie Scott
17 days ago
Reply to  Sara J Grosso

Amen!

Gary Walsworth
18 days ago

The teacher’s unions and the modern democrat party are anti-parent and by extension anti-family. Using the Federal government to attack parents and attack free speech, demand masks for kids but not staff, and insisting that hateful and racist CRT be taught are just a few of the most egregious examples.

Joe McCann
19 days ago

After watching Tucker Carlson tonight on the current situation on this topic, I was shocked this can be happening in the country that I love – we are turning into a third world socialist state ruled and completely controlled by whatever this government wants us to do. We are losing our civil liberties. Alarms should be going off right now!! Parents being investigated a domestic terrorists – what the HELL is going on and WHY are we accepting this crap. The school board works for the parents, these are the parents who voted them in, and parents have every right to confront a curriculum, like CRT and gender fluidity – young children do not have to be subjected to this – the parents are ultimately paying for these schools, teachers, and boards – they have every right to have unimpeded input on how these schools are run without being smeared or investigated by our Federal Government – this administration must GO!`.I say pull all the kids out of the schools and home school this kids (yes, that would require great sacrifice, but the way things are going since Biden has been in, it is looking more and more that we may have to take extreme measures like this. .

[…] were none too happy with the remark. Moreover, McAuliffe’s comments were only one example of an alarming trend of Democrat politicians and activists arguing that parents should have no say in what their […]

OMM
19 days ago

Work to change the system is the only viable option. Tirelessly.

One can choose to think only of ones self – take their children out of the public education system and run – or, one can be sensible and responsible. If independent-minded American parents opposed to Socialism/Communism dictates pull their children out of the public education system without addressing the problems, the only accomplishment said action will achieve is leaving the way wide open for more complete indoctrination of our nations children who’d still be enrolled in public schools. 

Taking the easy way out, running away instead of fighting for what is right, ensures the public education system will be even more free to pursue indoctrination. Using our tax dollars.

Allowing all of this corruption to enter our world is our fault and we are the only ones able to right the wrong . . . and, it is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time. Running away won’t help a damn thing other than a selfish/limited person’s peace of mind, temporarily.

Ignoring politics does not mean politics will ignore you.

Sara J Grosso
17 days ago
Reply to  OMM

It is NOT a selfish/limited person’s peace of mind, temporarily, at all. It is the SAVING OF OUR CHILDREN AT ALL COST. If the schools that want to teach insanity don’t have any children to teach their crap, they lose and our children win. RIGHT NOW in Illinois, we have several schools that are teaching our BABIES in Kindergarten how to MASTURBATE!!!!!!!!!!! What in God’s Name does that have to do with “schooling” our children???? They are teaching our BABIES that you can change your gender on a daily basis of what you FEEL for the day. How does THAT teach our children how to do math or learn about our history?? Do YOU want that taught to your Children?????????? We parents (and Grandparents and GREAT Grandparents are in a freaking uproar and if you read the title of this article, you will see just what we get. So HELL YES, we are taking them out of government run schools and HELL YES, it is a major sacrifice (cost for Christian run schools and/or Homeschooling) but it is worth it. Believe me it is NOT THE EASY WAY OUT! It is taking a stand against our own freaking corrupt government, the corrupt schools system, the gays/lesbians/transgenders trying to shove their agenda down our and our children’s throats. (If we tried to teach “JESUS” like they are doing, we would be in jail for a ‘hate crime’) IT IS FOR OUR BABIES, FOR OUR CHILDREN and how WE want them raised and how to live. With morals, pride in what USED to be a wonderful country and it’s freedoms, (what members of our families FOUGHT AND DIED FOR) FOR TRUST IN GOD. So we ARE fighting it by standing for what we believe in and praying our children see our stance and see that all of our freedoms are worth fighting for and even dying for.

OMM
4 days ago
Reply to  Sara J Grosso

What on earth are you going on about, oh so very emotional one?

You obviously did not read my comment, or are unable to grasp the content of same. We need to work to fix the public education system, not, run away and think that will make anything better. And you critique this plan? This nation is dead, too much emotional opining and obesity, not enough positive energy and intelligent choices.

Perhaps focus is a challenge for people who rend their garments and tear out their hair instead of thinking and taking positive, effective actions.

JudyG46
20 days ago

They have lost their collective minds! Parents SHOULD have the right to determine what their children are being taught and exposed to. Some parents don’t really care, but many, if not most parents, I’m sure, are highly concerned if their children are being taught base, immoral, degrading, anti-American, coarse, abhorrent sexuality (in Kindergarten and above), etc. What on earth are these so-called “progressives” thinking!?!?!?! They seem to want their own dark thoughts and beliefs to be taught so their own dark/depravity won’t be recognized as deviant behavior and thinking against good, wholesome, positive, patriotic, etc. beliefs. I’m am so tired of their thoughtlessness, idiocy and negativity. Ugh! ????

fredwriter1961
20 days ago

Get rid of the unions and elect school boards that reflect the needs and interests of parents who want their children educated not indoctrinated with leftist garbage.

Classie Scott
17 days ago
Reply to  fredwriter1961

Yes!

Ellen K
20 days ago

As a parent, grandparent, community member and taxpayer I am a stakeholder in what and how children are taught. It impacts my home’s value, the quality of community life and the jobs and businesses we are able to attract and sustain. The use of school taxes to promote a political ideology is ridiculous at a time when our children are doing poorly in comparison to their age level peers in other countries. I’ve been a teacher. I have nearly 20 years of experience in public education. I can confirm that while they are not teaching CRT per se, CRT is the ideological underpinning of what is being promoted as a method of teaching. Every person who is paying taxes has a right to know how their money is being spent. If that makes me a terrorist, then the wheels have truly come off this train.

DebS
18 days ago
Reply to  Ellen K

Totally agree!!! I pay a lot of money in school taxes and the parents should have a say in what is taught to their children!!!

Lucius Severus Pertinax
20 days ago

One thing, above all others, needs to be understood about the Hard Left- Driven by their Self-Awarded Moral Superiority, they will NOT Stop; they will NEVER Stop, unless and until they are given reason to be Afraid NOT to to Stop.

“Woke” school board members have Names,they have Faces,they have Addresses. The indicated action is to Identify them, Locate them, and Make their lives more Interesting.

Timothy onovan
20 days ago

School masks and closure are all about 2022…period. Dems need to close out MOMS from live school board meetings and will do anything to accomplish that. Proof? If they can keep masks on little kids, starving them for oxygen, the schools can call their building an emergency site and mandate School Board meetings on Zoom

CDC study in New York Magazine proves there is no value to masks on children. Dems know it but they do not care. This is a panic decision by Dems and they are trying to limit their 2022 losses and can’t have SCHOOL BOARD meetings.\

Dems are petrified of the MOM’s movement protecting their kids in school board meetings that are torching the nation. School Board meetings are the new local grass roots movements by MOM’s protecting their kids. Dems know it. CRT, National Transgender curriculum and masks. Dems need “emergencies” to limit school board meetings to non-public Zoom events.
It is as obvious as Joe Biden’s giving a Vaccine pass to the Postal workers….so much for Mandatory Vaccines? STOP LYING teachers.

djaymick
20 days ago

Funny how the teacher’s want control of the educational aspect of our children, while blaming the parents for the truancy problems. While pushing our children through the education system regardless of learning.
A city school district made a student, pushed through the system until his senior year, go back to 9th grade because he never attended class. His GPA was 0.9, which wasn’t much lower than the mean. Can the parents sue the unions for failing (or not failing, grade-wise) their children?

Elena
20 days ago

Our hard earned money pay the teachers, etc… wages. I wish we could just stop having to pay for all this c**p. We need Back to the Basics Schools (like in AZ).

JJ Johnson-Smith
21 days ago

I am THRILLED to see the outrage across America regarding school indoctrination and high-handed educators! It’s long overdue, but parents are finally reminding School Boards and Teachers that THEY are not in charge, the PARENTS are! If parents in every district escrowed their school taxes as a group and took their kids OUT of the schools, the schools would have no option but to close. That would be followed by the eradication of the filthy Teacher’s Unions, and a NEW opportunity to restore healthy, age-appropriate, truthful education that is agreeable to parents and overseen BY parents. #EMPTYTHECLASSROOMS

D.P.
21 days ago

I eat my peas with honey, I’ve done it all my life, it makes the peas taste funny, but it keeps them on the knife……This is a test

D.P.
21 days ago

Chicken man, chicken man, he’s everywhere, he’s everywhere. This is a test……

BAE
21 days ago

Parents should never stop fighting for their children’s education. The LEFT destroy’s everything it touches.

THX 1138
21 days ago

If you pay any amount of property taxes, parent or not, you definitely have a say in this matter. Why? Because it’s your taxes that pays for all of this….including the salaries of these confounded, Marxists bureaucrats and politicians. That’s why!

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