Columns

The State Does Not Own Your Children

(Pixabay)

Moms and dads, you know what’s best for your own children. That’s long been my mantra, harkening back to my early blogger days when I fiercely defended a parent’s right to determine the course of his or her child’s education. Although I’m an unapologetic advocate for homeschooling, I recognize that it’s not the best option for every family. But regardless of my personal views, I trust you, as parents, to do what’s best for your own personal children. How you educate your children is none of my business, just like it’s none of my business whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle-feed or whether or not you believe in spanking. It’s not any of the government’s business, either. God gave your children to you, not to the state, and He’s tasked you, not the government, with the task of raising them.

I’m always disappointed when I hear parents ceding the education of their kids to teachers and school boards, believing that the schools know best. After all, many of you reason, teachers and administrators at your kids’ school have advanced degrees in education! Surely, they know better than you do what your kids need. Only trained professionals are qualified to decide what kids should be taught, right? And lest you think I’m exaggerating, this poll offers proof that many parents trust the schools more than they trust their own judgment:

That kind of hands-off approach mostly worked out when I was attending school in the ’70s and early ’80s, before the radicals came to power in academia and education. My parents didn’t have to worry that the schools were training me to become a socialist or to embrace Marxist ideology. We were in the middle of the Cold War, after all, and nearly everyone agreed that communism was bad and was the enemy of freedom.

No longer.

The enemies of freedom, having gotten away with sneaking subversive content into K-12 curricula for the last two decades, were emboldened by their successes. Protected by the teachers’ unions and largely flying under the radar, the radicals had no fear of exposure or retribution.

Related: We Checked Out All the Alleged ‘Threats’ Against School Board Members. Here’s What We Found.

But, suddenly, the pandemic was upon us and parents began to wake up to what was going on in their children’s schools. Videos began to surface online of teachers pushing various iterations of divisive critical theories and radical sexual ethics on their kids and they were rightfully enraged. Then, when kids were finally able to return to the classroom, the anti-science mask mandates began and face coverings became the price of school admission for millions of children. Trust the experts, parents were told. They know what’s best for your kids.

Millions of fed-up parents rose up and said, “Enough.”

And despite the pushback from the media and our intellectual and moral betters in the education-industrial complex, many of you began attending school board meetings to seek accountability from your elected officials and to demand that they put an end to giving radical teachers free rein in your kids’ classrooms. For years, educators and bureaucrats alike have been begging parents to get involved in their kids’ education, but the minute parents began to do just that, they went into overdrive to shut it down. They don’t like being exposed or being asked hard questions. They’ve had a near-monopoly on education for as long as anyone can remember and they’re not about to give it up now.

So what did they do? They sicced the feds on parents, equating them with domestic terrorists—terrorists! As if caring for one’s offspring is somehow on par with blowing up buildings or beheading infidels. The Department of Justice has now asked the FBI to investigate you, parents, for daring to try and get to the bottom of what’s going on in your kids’ schools.

Related: Concerned Parents Are ‘Immediate Threat’ Says National School Boards Association President—Some Are Even Domestic Terrorists!

They’re trying to silence you—to portray you as enemies of the state. Don’t let them. As I said at the outset of this piece, you know what’s best for your own kids—not the school board, not the teachers’ union, and certainly not the feds. Taxpayers, and parents especially, have every right to be involved in curriculum decisions. Yes, by electing school board members, we delegate some of the responsibility to make decisions on our behalf, but that doesn’t mean they have to right to subvert the will of the voters who elected them. You have every right to peacefully confront them at school board meetings, in online forums, and via email or snail mail. Of course, no one should be threatening to harm school board members or teachers—we’re not advocating violence here—but you have a right to be heard.

One of the good things to come out of all of this craziness is that parents and concerned citizens are running for school board in large numbers. For decades, school boards were packed with those whose campaigns were funded by left-wing teachers’ unions, keeping parents sidelined. All that has changed because parents like you are fighting for your kids and you will not be deterred. In a city near where I live, three Democrat incumbents who assumed their seats were safe now have three Republican challengers to contend with. School board candidate signs are popping up faster than piles of fall leaves and it’s happening everywhere. (Aside: If you’re thinking about running for school board or any other office, I highly recommended Leadership Insitute’s Future Candidate School. There are tried and true ways of winning campaigns, and LI can teach you what works and how to win, even on a shoestring budget.)

There are a lot of great teachers out there and I truly believe that most of them work hard (and often overtime) to do the right thing and teach your kids to the best of their ability. We’re not here to bash the good teachers. We need more like them. If your kids have good teachers, do everything you can to support and encourage them. They need it now more than ever. The problem isn’t the good teachers, it’s that the school boards haven’t kept the bad ones out and, when they’re discovered, haven’t removed them from their teaching positions.

Moms and dads, don’t allow them to intimidate or frighten you. Be confident that you are capable of determining what your kids need. The “experts” don’t know your children and they certainly don’t love them the way you do. Trust your instincts and use your voice. Your kids are counting on you.

One final note: If you find PJ Media’s content useful, won’t you consider becoming a VIP member so you can help to fund reporting and commentary that empowers and informs parents like you about what’s happening in your kids’ schools? Use the promo code SCHOOL for a 25% discount on your membership.