As just about every parent with school-aged kids knows, the Left is trying to shut parents out of education.
Joe Biden’s Justice Department has tried to turn the FBI into a monitor of school board meetings, with one DOJ official going so far as to draw up lists of federal crimes for which parents could be prosecuted. Failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe spoke the Democrat Party’s mind when he infamously said, "I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach."
Wrong. Parents have every right to direct their children’s education, as the U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized. Parents make our schools work. The Left’s concerted effort to silence parents’ speech and ridicule their concerns is dangerous – for our children, our schools, and our democracy. It’s time to do something about it.
That’s why I’m proposing a Parents’ Bill of Rights, for every mom and dad in America. My proposal would guarantee them the seat at the table they deserve, one that no bureaucrat – or political party – can take away.
The need for action is urgent. Democrats and their allies in academia increasingly view our schools as laboratories for the indoctrination of American children. Over the past year, we’ve learned how school districts have quietly introduced new learning materials in classrooms related to critical race theory – often without parents’ knowledge, let alone approval.
Faced with backlash, now the Left denies there is any such thing as critical race theory, and the media gladly repeats the falsehood. But parents know better.
An Illinois teacher reported being required to teach students that "racism is a white person’s problem and we are all caught up in it," that "color blindness helps racism," as well as the need "to disrupt the Western nuclear family dynamics as the best/proper way to have a family."
Seattle Public Schools released a draft math curriculum including discussion questions like "where does Power and Oppression show up in our math experiences?" – as if addition and subtraction could somehow be racist.
The Virginia Department of Education even issued a document denouncing "microinvalidations," or "communications that subtly exclude, negate, or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person of color."
Parents have had enough, as the recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey attest.
In other words, the search for truth takes a backseat to racial identity politics.
To make matters worse, much of this propaganda was pushed into schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Few school boards were holding lengthy in-person meetings where parents could weigh in on curricular changes. Indeed, many school boards didn’t seem particularly interested in reopening schools at all. But the Left was interested in force-feeding students a poisonous, anti-American ideology. And all this while millions of American parents struggled to balance work with child care.
Parents have had enough, as the recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey attest. They’re tired of education bureaucrats and teachers unions keeping schools shuttered for months on end, while still finding time to wallow in woke sloganeering. They’re tired of being called racists for holding to Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a colorblind society.
No matter how the media may try to spin the narrative, those are the real reasons behind this month’s remarkable political swings.
But parents shouldn’t have to fight these battles for their children’s future alone. It’s past time for Congress to declare, clearly and firmly, the rights that American parents have over their children’s education.
Those parental rights begin with a right to transparency – to know what their kids are being taught, and by whom.
Likewise, parents have a right to know whether their tax dollars are funding trainings saturated with racist agitprop. Parents should be able to check in on their kids at school, and to know immediately of any safety issues at their kids’ campuses. And parents should be able to access all school data concerning their children, as well as control how any third-party groups use that personal data.
Finally, parents should have the right to be heard at school board meetings, without any fear of reprisal from Biden’s Justice Department.
In addition to writing them in law, Congress also needs to give these parental rights teeth. Where any of these rights are infringed, parents should be able to sue to enforce them. If schools or districts refuse to cooperate, their federal funding should be on the chopping block.
Protecting these basic parental rights can help start a new era of openness in schools. These rights will help parents get the information they need, and deserve to have, about their kids’ education. Empowering parents will, in turn, hold administrators accountable – and stop activists from lacing school lessons with toxic ideology disapproved by parents.
America’s schools should be the envy of the world. And they will be, if America’s parents are empowered. The Parents’ Bill of Rights is a start.