October 29, 2021

What Role Do Parents Play in Education?

The Left is increasingly fighting parents who don’t want their children indoctrinated.

Dear parents: Thank you for sending your child to school. Now stay out of their education. It’s none of your business.

This sums up the attitude of many school boards these days. They don’t want any disagreement about the radical agenda they’re pushing on students across America.

This isn’t a new problem. Leftists have used education to burrow into the center of our culture and rot it from within for many decades. But now they’re openly admitting what they’re doing and telling the rest of us to stay out of the discussion.

As former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe boldly proclaimed during a recent gubernatorial debate, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

And he’s not alone.

Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire write in The Washington Post that parents don’t have any right to influence the school curriculum and that the uproar over parental rights is radical and unprecedented. They claim “common law and case law in the United States have long supported the idea that education should prepare young people to think for themselves, even if that runs counter to the wishes of parents.”

And that’s the problem. The education kids receive today is not teaching them to think for themselves. In fact, the right to an alternative opinion is condemned by school boards, administrators, and educators at all levels.

No one is suggesting that parents make every decision about a school district’s curriculum. Parents don’t want to write the curriculum, but they have a right to an alternative opinion when teaching becomes indoctrination.

Expressing different opinions has led some parents to be deemed “domestic terrorists” by the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

And now, Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the FBI to investigate “alleged harassment and threats to school boards, teachers, staff and administrators.” (Even after being challenged in Congress, and even after the NSBA apologized for its letter requesting Justice Department action, Garland refused to back down.)

The only people being harassed are the parents who want their children learning how to read and write instead of being force-fed Critical Race Theory (CRT) or gender fluidity. They want their children to be taught to love their country despite its flaws rather than being told their only hope is to dismantle the institutions, values, and traditions of our founding.

Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers and her comrades “would prefer that parental contact with their children be limited by an increasingly powerful state at an ever-earlier age,” writes political analyst Stephen Kruiser. “That’s why they’re pushing for universal pre-K.” Democrats will fund universal pre-K as part of the “Build Back Better” scheme.

To highlight just how far the Left is willing to go to silence the rest of us, one Ohio private school even expelled three students in retaliation for their parents criticizing the school’s teaching of CRT. A surgeon in Minnesota was fired for daring to say that parents should decide whether their children wear masks in school.

Parents are finally taking a stand, but the best approach may be school choice rather than trying to save a school system already lost to the culture wars.

The productive way for parents to fight the culture wars is to “choose different schools,” writes former free speech litigator David French. “Kids who lack resources should be provided ‘backpack funding’ — educational dollars that follow students to the school their families choose.” This approach “uses the liberty the Constitution preserves to protect the authority of parents in the American family.” The Left, on the other hand, “uses the powers the Constitution does not restrict to magnify the role of the state in the life of the child.”

Those who seek to use education to undermine our civilization have dug in their heels. Now those of us who want our children educated instead of indoctrinated need to do the same.

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