Column: Politicians are weaponizing our educational institutions

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Every once in a while, a politician openly states what he or she actually believes. When that rare event occurs, it causes enormous concern when it becomes evident how disdainful the nation’s elites are to traditional rights.

Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (who previously served as the states’ chief executive from 2014-2018) stated during a debate that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

McAuliffe’s position, which cost him the election, offended not only parents, but many educators as well. A New York City teacher I interviewed commented that “Parents are our children’s first, and most important, teachers.”

McAuliffe broke no new ground in his arrogant comment. Attempts to prevent parents from having a say in the education of their own children are a growing trend on the part of America’s increasingly leftist-dominated educational czars.

Examples abound. To cite just one instance, out of very, very many: In 2015, notes the Philadelphia Inquirer, “School Reform Commission (SRC) chair William Green made a unilateral decision, with no public vote or notification, to have police search the bags and confiscate the signs of parents and community members who came to be heard…”

While the issue has been brewing for some time, it erupted into public consciousness on a massive scale during the COVID pandemic, when students received their education at home, where parents could overhear and discover that political indoctrination was being force fed to their offspring.

Mothers and fathers across the country were stunned.

The Independent Women’s Forum addressed the issue in June, stating “The intent is clear… They want to intimidate parents who might want to attend a school board meeting to ask questions, engage in conversation, find out why the school is pursuing certain policies, or express even slight discomfort with the political indoctrination they see in schools… increasingly, school boards are just rubber stamps for…corrupt school leaders…These board members are clever. They’ve gone on defense because they know that, all over the country, parents are getting wise to what’s really happening in schools. And many parents have had enough. The powerful viral videos are out there showing a diverse group of parents from all races, economic, and educational levels, native born and immigrant to this country, speaking out against critical race theory, the 1619 Project curriculum…other woke school policies.”

A number of organizations have risen to the challenge. Parents Rights in Education believes that “The primary issue today with public schools is the shift of influence in our public school system away from parent involvement. Parents… care about  state and district policies infringing on their rights to make decisions about and with their minor children. The government has infringed upon those rights…” and it’s time to re-establish, to restore our rights!”

The imposition of any partisan perspective in a taxpayer-funded educational environment is unacceptable. The cramming of discredited Marxist and openly false, anti-American curriculum down the throats of students is particularly galling.

The Heritage Foundation notes: “Your children are being indoctrinated. The education system designed to teach them how to think critically has been weaponized by the radical left to push an anti-American agenda… Teachers will assign work instilling the idea that the pillars of Western civilization were evil, and their memories deserve to be thrown in the trash.”

From national organizations to local publications, alarm bells are being rung. Mike Rosen, in the journal Complete Colorado writes: “The academic left’s collective, welcoming utopia of fairness, tolerance, inclusion and social justice is hypocritically intolerant of dissenting viewpoints. And especially unwelcoming to conservatives and others who espouse individualism, limited government, capitalism, and freedom of speech and thought. Students who stand up to these tyrants have been shamed, harassed, tried, convicted and punished before kangaroo courts of administrators, faculty and student vigilantes who deny them due process and the right to confront their accusers…This divisive and destructive mentality has metastasized and filtered down to K-12 education in public schools where most teachers and administrators share the progressive ideology of academia. School curricula is increasingly politicized with a distinct leftist bias.”

A new and deeply disturbing assault on moms and dads has come from the Biden administration. In an attempt to suppress parental influence, it issued a memorandum directing the FBI to investigate parents whom it maintains “threaten” school boards.  Of course, any use or threat of violence is wholly unacceptable, but this particular move is inappropriate in two important ways. First, bluntly, it’s political purpose is to characterize all expressions of parental rights as tantamount to criminal threats. Second, it seeks to federalize the oppression of parents by rogue school boards.

It is an exercise in elitist power that should not be tolerated.

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