There’s been a lot of professed outrage lately over woke school boards. According to Republican candidates for office, they’re infiltrating children’s curricula with critical race theory, recruiting drag queens to read at story hour for pre-schoolers, and engaging in other forms of — shall we say — “incompetence.” But the real heroes pushing back against left-wing ideologies in government schools are the parents, when it ought to be lawmakers.
Outspoken parents in New Jersey made headlines when they protested their school district removing holiday names from the school calendar. Voters in San Francisco — yes! — recalled school board members who thought renaming schools “with a connection to colonialism” was more important than educating kids. And the bravery of righteous parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, is the stuff of legend (a father there is suing the district for its “systemic and egregious moral corruption of children and its deliberate, and almost gleeful, violations of parental rights to control the upbringing of their children”).
There will be more uprisings. (The Loudoun County School Board just approved a $28,000 raise for its superintendent, whose base salary is $295,000, along with a $1,000 per month vehicle allowance.) And though they’re noble and inspiring and shine a much-needed spotlight on the corrupt workings of the classroom, these battles should never have had to happen.
“Education is the key that unlocks the golden door to freedom,” as George Washington Carver put it. Yet when it comes to political priorities, Republican lawmakers tend to put education on the backburner. Why is that? The economy affects everyone, yes, and is a top concern, but what could be more important than the education of our nation’s children? If our country’s “next generation of leaders” believes a female teacher’s pronouns can be “they/them/their” (my grammarian soul is aching), that white people are “unfairly rich,” and all manner of lies regarding “diversity, equity and inclusion,” what hope do we have?
Education is the basis of culture and society. It is the springboard by which individuals and nations alike either soar to success or belly-flop into failure. If we are so consumed fighting over woke matters that don’t have any place in our education system, how can we expect to teach children what they actually need to know? Reading, writing, arithmetic, history, civics, and geography are brushed aside as youngsters are trained to be “culturally responsive” (what does that even mean?!) radicals who look for division everywhere.
But what if parents didn’t have to spend their evenings attending school board meetings, fighting with administrators, and arranging meetings to try to find out what exactly their children are being brainwashing with? They should be helping their kids learn to ride a bike, not picketing their local school and demanding they teach “facts not feelings.”
What if parents — imagine! — weren’t forced to spend time meeting with lawyers over their children’s education? And what if they didn’t have to choose between setting aside part of their paycheck for their child’s college fund and inheritance or spending it on legal fees just to ensure they don’t grow up believing the world revolves around a person’s skin color and sexual identity?
Parents are angry. Grandparents are upset. People who don’t have kids but who care about our country are disturbed. Education choice is the answer. Empowering parents to have a say in what their children learn is a winning platform for the GOP all the way around. Glenn Youngkin, remember, won the gubernatorial election in Virginia “by tapping into culture war fights over school curricula, emphasizing parental rights to make decisions about their children’s education with the slogan, ‘parents matter,’” per the AP.
Shortly after his victory, Youngkin said:
The polls kept telling us that education was the seventh or eighth or ninth most important issue. Let me tell you, it is the top issue right now, and Republicans across the country can own this topic.
It’s high time the GOP took a cue from public school parents and Glenn Youngkin and made education freedom a priority.