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Tony Perkins / October 13, 2021

A School Horror Story That Didn’t Fit the Narrative

Loudoun County tried to cover up a rape.

When the phone rang, it was every father’s worst nightmare. Come to campus, a school official said, your daughter has been assaulted. No one told Scott Smith that she had been sexually assaulted — that a boy wearing a skirt had walked into the girls’ restroom and raped his 15-year-old child. Then, imagine your anger as a parent to find out that the school wasn’t going to involve the police — that they’d decided to handle the matter (which ended up being two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio) “internally.”

For Scott Smith, it was unimaginable. Standing in the Stone Bridge High School office, blind with rage, he demanded they call the police. They finally did — on him. “I went nuts,” he remembers. “…Six cop cars showed up like a… SWAT team.” Later that night, after a hospital rape kit confirmed what his daughter had insisted all along, the school’s principal sent out an email explaining the incident with Scott — never mentioning what had happened to his daughter and where. Even when the attacker was formally charged, administrators kept quiet.

A month later, at a local school board meeting, Smith — like a lot of parents — sat in shock as the new superintendent responded to the fury over Loudoun County’s radical transgender policies by insisting that nothing harmful had ever come of them. “To my knowledge,” Scott Ziegler said, “we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms. It’s important to keep our perspective on this,” he went on. “We’ve heard it several times tonight from our public speakers, but the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist.” Smith was irate and tried to debate the point but was hauled out of the meeting by officers and charged with disorderly conduct. “I don’t care if he’s homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, transsexual. He’s a sexual predator,” he argued.

Afterward, Smith and his family tried to stay out of the public eye. That proved impossible last week when another bombshell dropped. Not only did the “predator transgender student” exist, he went on to attack again — this time at another school. Two and a half miles from the place where his daughter had been held and violated, a different girl was brutally victimized. “If someone would have sat and listened for 30 seconds to what Scott had to say,” the family attorney said, it could have been prevented. Instead, Loudoun County, whose extreme policies made the abuse possible, tried to cover up the rape — leaving thousands of daughters vulnerable to boys just like this one.

Scott Smith says it’s the most helpless he’s ever felt. “It has been so hard to keep my mouth shut and wait this out. It has been the most powerless thing I’ve ever been through,” he admitted. Other parents, aghast at the district’s negligence, have turned out in mass to blast the county leadership. “I’d rather save one girl from sexual assault than be politically correct,” one woman insisted.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration — sensing the national uprising is only growing — has decided to try to drive parents like Scott underground. Desperate to contain the uproar in local districts, the DOJ (egged on or in concert with the National School Board Association) is threatening to treat outspoken citizens like “domestic terrorists,” citing the arrest of Scott Smith for speaking out against the assault of his daughter as an example in their six page letter.

Outraged, 60 members of Congress pushed back, demanding an explanation from Attorney General Merrick Garland for how it could possibly be legal to treat concerned parents as criminals for exercising their constitutional rights. “While some of these meetings may get heated, most of the parents who have been attending these meetings have simply voiced their passions and concerns for their children and their futures,” they wrote. “While we agree with you that any threat of violence against these government officials should be condemned and investigated, no government official has the right to claim that a citizen may not speak out against government policies.” And yet, the NSBA in a letter to Garland, claims opposing the president’s wildly dangerous transgender agenda is tantamount to a public “hate crime.”

Politically diverse states like Louisiana and Virginia were horrified and publicly denounced the organization for “discouraging active participation in the governance process.” Separately, both chapters said they weren’t consulted about the letter to the DOJ and went out of their way to say the National School Board Association did not speak for them. Others have told news outlets that they’re even reconsidering their alignment with the national association. The debates taking place may be challenging, they agree, but they’re also necessary.

On what authority, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) asked, is the federal government even intervening in the first place? They don’t have supervision over local school boards — and yet, the “Department of Justice is [going] into the local school districts to basically intimidate parents from getting involved in what their children are going to be taught? It’s very disturbing and troubling to me.” As it is to all parents, who are starting to see Washington’s heavy-handed education policy infused in their districts from the top down. When did it become the FBI’s job to investigate parents for speaking up at local board meetings, they want to know? It didn’t. This is just a desperate move by the Left to intimidate parents into silence so they can continue the indoctrination of children.

“From where I sit,” Rosendale said on Monday’s “Washington Watch,” “what this looks like is just another tactic of the Biden administration to completely silence those who might question what they’re trying to do. And I don’t think that there is a more important obligation for parents than to make sure that they are involved in how their children are being educated and what they’re being taught.”

So what can people do? Well, for starters, you can get your local school board on the record about whether they agree with the National School Board Association’s claims. (FRC Action even has a sample letter you can use.) Then, ask whether your state or community is a member of the NSBA. Is your district paying dues to the National School Board Association? Because if you are, you’re facilitating this type of attack on parents.

Maybe you don’t have children in the public schools, so you think this call to action doesn’t apply to you. But let’s face it: every one of us is a taxpayer, and organizations as radical as the NSBA shouldn’t have the ability to fight parents using our own dollars. Beyond that, this is an opportunity to hold the people we elected to represent us accountable. These school boards don’t just serve the families who have kids in school — they serve the entire community. So every one of us can — and should — show up to these meetings and demand the truth about what’s happening behind classroom doors.

Because, as Scott Smith will tell you, it might not spare his daughter — but it could spare someone else’s.

Originally published here.

Here’s to You, Mr. Robinson…

Talk about misreading your audience. Democrats have been scrambling for months to find an answer for the party’s rift with suburban parents over Joe Biden’s radical education policy. But instead of backing off and listening to the local outcry, they’ve dug in — vilifying parents and deepening the divide between Washington Democrats and the rest of America. Now, by trying to sack a man who’s championing the parents’ cause, they’ve given Republicans exactly what the president didn’t want: more ammunition.

North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson isn’t shy about his disgust with the Left’s education policy. In June, when he spoke at a local church, calling the curriculum “filth,” it shouldn’t have been national news. But four months later, that’s exactly what Democrats are trying to make it: a “gotcha” moment for a man revered by parents everywhere. The recording, which was released by Right Wing Watch, catches Robinson saying, “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like it that I called it filth, come see me and I’ll explain it to you.”

It wasn’t exactly out of character for Robinson, who’s spent the last year taking Democrats to the cleaners over their extremist classroom curriculum. Back in March, he even launched a “fairness and accountability” task force called FACTS with the express purpose of exposing the gender, sexuality, and racially-charged content in North Carolina schools. As recently as October 1, he made similar comments — publicly — at a dinner of the state’s values coalition. “They’re pushing these perverted agendas, to try to teach our children that they’re really not boys or girls, or they’re shoving this homosexuality garbage down their throats,” he said.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates hit back, insisting that Robinson’s words (and, by extension, millions of parents’ shared sentiments) were “repugnant and offensive.” “The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone; not to spread hate and undermine their own office.” Funny, most Americans would say the same for Joe Biden — who seems to be pushing this radical agenda, not at the country’s insistence, but at the fringe Left’s.

Asked whether he was sorry for calling it “filth,” Robinson won even more fans by saying, “Absolutely not.” In fact, he went further, arguing that “in our public schools, it has no place.” Then, as if to prove his point, the lieutenant governor took the spotlight the Democrats gave him and used it to point out real-time examples. In a new Facebook video he released on Saturday, Robinson pointed to examples of the garbage in local schools — books like “Gender Queer,” a graphic novel about sexual fantasies. “I challenge you to describe them as anything other than filth,” he argued.

Democratic state Senator Jeff Jackson (N.C.), another Leftist who hasn’t gotten the message that parents are on Robinson’s side, called for the lieutenant governor to resign. “There’s no debate here. This is open discrimination. It is completely unacceptable.” Meanwhile, others say that Robinson shouldn’t step down — more leaders should step up. “Lt. Governor Mark Robinson is 100 percent accurate in describing the sexualization of our children in public schools,” Former House Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) insisted. “The content is filth, and the agenda is no less filthy.”

As usual, though, the Left is trying to distract from the message by attacking the messenger. In this case, they know they can’t defend the trash being passed off as “education,” so they turn their guns on Robinson, a wildly popular conservative who’s become a cult hero among parents who are clamoring for more leaders to do something. “This whole thing has been an attempt once again to change the argument and silence voices on the Right,” Robinson said. “Well, let me tell you plainly right here and right now, I will not back down,” he said.

At some point, Democrats will have to answer for their radicalism — whether they want to or not. Quisha King, a mom at our Pray Vote Stand Summit last weekend, spoke for a lot of parents when she said that if standing up to these extremists doesn’t matter to Democrats, if voicing our opinions, writing articles, emailing teachers doesn’t matter, then Americans need to send them a message they can’t ignore. Preferably, next November.

In the meantime, show your thanks for Lt. Governor Robinson’s stand by thanking him on Twitter @markrobinsonNC or on Facebook here.

The Plane Truth about Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

You are not free to move about the country. No one has been since the coronavirus restrictions began. But now major airlines are piling on travel challenges above and beyond the government mandates. Beginning Friday, Southwest Airlines cancelled over 1,800 flights, leaving thousands of passengers stranded around the country. For perspective, Southwest flies approximately 3,300 flights per day; they cancelled 27 percent of their scheduled flights on Sunday alone.

In a statement, the airline tried to blame the massive outage on weather. “On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints.” The bad weather was in Florida, according to another statement. The statement explained the cancellations “left aircraft and Crews out of pre-planned positions.” In turn, “the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our Crew resources created additional cancelations” which cascaded.

But many aren’t buying Southwest’s story; too many details don’t add up. For instance, it’s curious that weather would affect only one airline so heavily. “American, Spirit, United, and Delta combined total of about 104 flights canceled over the same period,” said Congressman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). Or, if minor weather cancellations generate outsized impacts, why don’t hurricanes or blizzards routinely cripple national air travel?

From the “timeline of a couple of key events, you can draw a different conclusion,” said Washington Times opinion editor Cheryl Chumley. “The more plausible reason,” she wrote, “is that scores of pilots refused to fly because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.” An anonymous Southwest employee estimated that nearly 50 percent of Southwest pilots remain unvaccinated. When they learned last week that the airline would require all staff to be vaccinated by December 8, the Southwest Airlines Pilot Associations (SWAPA), which represents 10,000 of the megacorporation’s pilots, amended their lawsuit to temporarily block the airline’s coronavirus vaccine mandate from taking effect.

SWAPA said employees were calling in sick at three times the historic norm but denied that pilots were coordinating an “official or unofficial” sick-out. The airline also insisted that “the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest Employee demonstrations.” But it’s hard to believe that, by sheer coincidence, 32 out of 35 Southwest employees in Jacksonville didn’t show up for work on Friday, or that “almost every flight out of Orlando was cancelled” by a few brief showers on Friday afternoon. Though the pilots union may not publicly acknowledge what they’re doing, Chumley said on “Washington Watch”, “we should be thankful for these pilots taking a strong stand for individual rights over government overreach and employer mandates.”

The fault lies with both the government and private corporations. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly insisted his hands were tied by President Biden’s executive order requiring “all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines… to have a mandate vaccine in place by Dec. 8.” But Governor Abbott recently banned private employers in Texas, where Southwest Airlines is headquartered, from instituting vaccine mandates, so the business at least has a choice in who to obey. The Biden administration’s executive orders are simply providing cover for corporate leaders to enact the heavy-handed mandates they desire anyways. Biggs said businesses “doing the dirty work for the government… instead of fighting it” is “proto-fascist.”

Not every Southwest pilot is staying silent; one apparently hung the Gadsden flag from his cockpit window. Biggs said the pilots may have launched a larger movement. “You’re going to see more and more employees reject this unconstitutional infringement on their liberty,” he said. Illegal vaccine mandates can survive as long as we, the people, comply with them.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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