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If You Let Government Parent, Don’t Be Surprised When It Claims Your Kids


Reported By Julie GunlockNOVEMBER 16, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/16/if-you-let-government-parent-dont-be-surprised-when-it-claims-your-kids/

Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial win in Virginia sent a clear message to government bureaucrats: treat parents with more respect. Parents are paramount to their kids’ welfare and education, and they have a right to be angry when treated otherwise. Yet parents should also reflect on how we got here and consider how they share at least some of the blame.

For decades, public schools have encroached on some basic parental responsibilities — from feeding kids to health care to helping with homework. Is it any wonder school officials view themselves as the leading authorities on your children?

Consider that, today, a huge number of kids are dropped off at schools before the classes even begin, as early as 6:30 a.m. Kids are watched and fed a simple breakfast. This program, known as “before care,” allows parents to head to work early, which may be necessary for parents who work an early shift. Yet it’s also used by parents who want an early start to the day and a hassle- and kid-free morning.

Many parents also seem happy to let schools feed their kids. The school lunch program, originally designed to help low-income families, is now feeding any child, regardless of need. In fact, according to the School Lunch Association, 7.7 million students paid full price for a school lunch in 2019, meaning the child’s family did not qualify for a reduced or free school lunch.

The full price for a school lunch varies but it averages at about $2.48 for elementary school and $2.74 for high school. Even with rising inflation, that’s enough to make a simple meal for a child. Yet so many parents who could easily do this themselves instead opt to let the school feed their kids because it’s convenient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also funds weekend, holiday, and summer meal programs. This is on top of the generous food assistance that’s already provided to needy families through various programs. During the COVID shutdown of schools, even wealthy moms partook of these free food giveaways, since the USDA waived all requirements to show enrollment in the school meal program.

Working late? No sweat! Like the “before care” program, most schools now offer “after care” programs so that parents can work late. Participating students are typically assisted with their homework and fed. Not having to do homework with your kid sounds nice, but it also robs parents of knowing what is being taught and how their kid is doing with his or her schoolwork.

Students are even able to seek medical treatment without their parents’ consent. In Alexandria, Virginia, the high school’s “Teen Wellness Center” will alert parents if a child is seen for a cold, acne, or a few other minor illnesses. But parents are not informed if their child is there for a pregnancy test, diagnosis, and treatment of a sexually transmitted disease (including HIV), a prescription for birth control, “behavior change counseling,” mental health counseling, or substance abuse counseling. These services are all offered free of charge, so at no point would a student need to inform a parent.

Those who advocate for keeping children’s medical care private from parents often cite concerns about abuse arising from a parent finding out about their child’s sexual activity or its consequences. Yet school officials seem less concerned about the harms that could result from letting a child navigate these traumatic and potentially life-altering health conditions without assistance from their parents.

As for discipline, parents rarely have a place at the table. While schools used to be willing to contact parents, share information, and work as partners in setting kids on a better path, today, restorative justice programs cut out parents (and law enforcement), and reduce discipline to a performative joke.

If parents want to be respected by school officials, they need to stop ceding parenting basics to others. By placing these duties in the hands of teachers and school officials, parents have weakened their case that they are the primary caregivers for their children. I’m glad parents are fighting for their rights, but they should never have given up so much authority over their children’s upbringing in the first place.

Julie Gunlock directs the Independent Women’s Network and its Center for Progress and Innovation. She is the author of “From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.”

Matthew Cochran Op-ed: Amid The Parent Surge, Republicans Can Either Lead, Follow, Or Get Out Of The Way


Commentary By Matthew Cochran | NOVEMBER 9, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/09/amid-the-parent-surge-republicans-can-either-lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

Americans have two political parties, both of which we loathe. We take turns punishing one by rewarding the other. Our political elites depend on this vicious cycle, and it’s why the only thing both parties ever seem to agree on is screwing ordinary Americans like a two-headed weasel in heat.

It’s easy to think it’s merely that vicious cycle at work in Virginia’s recent election upset: Democrats came out hard in favor of enabling bathroom rape, teaching kids that white skin is evil, and alerting the FBI about parents who expressed concern over such things.

So they got punished for it, and now Republicans have a new opportunity to squander. After that, Americans would normally punish the GOP for failing their mandate by reelecting Democrats who finally rediscovered how to shut up about their true intentions for five minutes.

But the opportunity presented to Virginia Republicans goes beyond another chance for the GOP to suckle on a fresh serving of voters’ goodwill. The massive rightward shift in Virginia wasn’t just business as usual. It was driven by a growing number of parents choosing to reclaim their authority over their households.

Parents Awaken to Their Responsibilities

Providence has given parents the awesome responsibility to raise and provide for the well-being of their children. Like any true responsibility, it comes with the authority to carry it out. When parents are unable to fulfill those responsibilities alone, they delegate.

For example, if parents cannot reliably protect their household from murderers, rapists, and robbers, they collaborate with institutions that can. If they cannot adequately educate their children alone, they enlist the help of teachers. This delegation is ultimately why any and every government institution exists: to assist families in some way or another.

It is precisely this authority Democrat Terry McAuliffe openly tried to usurp. As a result, the election became a referendum on whether children belong to the state. Enough parents were willing to say “no” that a blue state turned red overnight.

Parents can be tricked into delegating their authority to the unfit if they can plausibly tell themselves their children will be fine. The public school system is proof enough of that.

But the past couple of years have rapidly eroded that plausibility. We’ve seen schools forcibly cover children’s faces and isolate them from friends over an illness that poses virtually no threat to them. Remote learning also exposed their curriculum to an extent most parents had never witnessed before. The promotion of sexual degeneracy by schools is likewise coming home to roost more and more often.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

It’s also not just Virginia and not just the schools. Our state and federal governments have spent two years devastating our economy, stripping our stores bare, and inflating our currency, making it harder than ever to care for our children. Our media has spent even longer lying to us about all this and more, and it is only doubling down on censorship for the sake of our elites. Worst of all, the Biden-Harris administration has tried to threaten our families with destitution unless we submit to vaccines whose risks often far outstrip any potential benefit.

These are not things parents will forget—especially when committed by those to whom we delegated our authority for the sake of our children. There are also limits to how long any parent is willing to simply wait and hope for improvement before taking action for our children’s sake.

This reclamation of authority by parents is still a work in progress, certainly—McAuliffe only lost by two points, after all. But it is in progress, and it’s not easily reversible.

Once a parent realizes someone has threatened his child, he will never trust that person again. If parents cannot disassociate the people threatening them from the institutions these people run, then they will not trust the institutions either.

Nobody who’s gotten a good look at the true face of progressivism is going to forget it anytime soon. This new dynamic is not stopping. It is accelerating.

If Republicans Don’t Use Their Power, They’re Toast

That brings us to the opportunity for Republicans. I’ve seen a lot of people are calling this a seismic shift in government. But the only reason parents voted for Republicans is that they still hold out hope that the GOP might willingly serve on their behalf.

Should that hope prove false, parents won’t stop trying to reclaim their authority; they will just start doing so in even more earth-shaking ways. One way or another, America’s vicious two-party cycle is not going to persist for much longer. This is the bare minimum Republican office-holders need to do to keep that hope alive.

First, education needs to be addressed, and a few token policy changes aren’t going to cut it. Those faculty and administrators who betrayed parents’ trust need to be removed.

The person who was distributing pornography to your children in school, for example, won’t suddenly become trustworthy because someone makes a rule. The same is true of teachers and administrators who hate your child because of her skin tone. Those people need to go—some fired, some even prosecuted.

Public universities that train teachers to act this way likewise need to be addressed. No program peddling degeneracy and critical race theory to aspiring educators should receive any state funding.

To the timid who complain, “But that’s cancel culture!” I simply respond, “Yes.” If someone starts shooting at your children, you aren’t “sinking to their level” by returning fire. It is parents’ moral obligation to fight back. Leftist institutions chose to escalate to this level of aggression, and they can choke on the consequences.

Yes, this will certainly be a long and difficult battle, which is why parents should immediately be given school choice until it’s resolved. Let parents take their tax dollars away from these errant institutions so they can enlist the help of real schools instead.

Faith In Election Integrity Must Be Restored

Republicans’ second job should be to decisively end voter fraud in their municipalities so parents are guaranteed a voice in their government. There is no point in winning votes if we lose on counting votes.

Do a full forensic investigation of elections you won whether you think there was fraud or not. Prosecute every violation you find whether it made a difference in the outcome or not. And after the investigation, enact common-sense fraud control to address everything you found.

Americans deserve to have confidence in their elections, and parents need to know they still have a say. Republicans need to teach by example that any state or municipality that refuses to transparently ensure the fairness of its elections is doing so because they have something to hide.

Third, Republicans need to use their state and local offices to protect people against the corporations and the federal government that are actively attacking families. Ban corporate mask and vaccine mandates. Provide compensation and other assistance for people being fired for their consciences. Enact laws explicitly holding corporations responsible for the side-effects of any medical treatment they mandate. And, of course, prevent schools from forcing vaccines and other procedures on students—or encouraging such things behind their backs.

Sanctuary States for Right Voters

Now that federal officials are trying to classify outspoken parents as domestic terrorists, states and municipalities will also need to protect their people from those agencies. Republicans should be as diligent about creating sanctuary cities for their own people as the Democrats are about creating sanctuaries for illegal aliens.

Republicans and other conservatives have been great at making careers out of complaining about the left, but that isn’t going to cut it anymore. Parents are finally acting like parents again and taking back their God-given authority. They are offering Republicans a chance to assist them. They aren’t going to stop taking action just because Republicans fail yet again.

Neither are they going to stop because leftists call them racist for the thousandth time. Not only is everyone growing numb to such histrionics, they cease to matter when our children are under threat.

The left can complain about white women voting for white kids all they want, but mothers and fathers are almost always going to vote for their children—not because they’re white, but because they’re their children. No adequate parent really cares about someone’s motive for viciously attacking his family; parents are still going to defend their kids no matter what it takes.

Matthew’s writing may be found at The 96th Thesis. You can also follow him on Twitter @matt_e_cochran or subscribe to his YouTube Channel, Lutheran in a Strange Land. He holds an MA from Concordia Theological Seminary.

‘We Do Not Co-Parent With The Government’: Virginians React To McAuliffe’s Dismissal Of Parental Oversight In Education


Reported by HAROLD HUTCHISON | CONTRIBUTOR | September 29, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/we-do-not-co-parent-with-the-government-virginians-react-to-mcauliffes-dismissal-of-parental-oversight-in-education-2655198366.html/

Candidates Participate In Final Debate For Virginia's Gubernatorial Race
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe generated reactions across the country after making a controversial statement about parental involvement in education during the Sept. 28 gubernatorial debate with Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin.

“I’m not gonna let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions,” said McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee who previously served a term as governor from 2014-2018. He went on to boast of his 2016 veto of legislation that would have allowed parents to block sexually explicit books.

Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools recently were forced to pull two books, “Gender Queer” and “Lawn Boy,” after explicit material was revealed by Stacy Langdon, a mother, during a school board meeting on Sept. 23. Neighboring Loudoun County has been the flashpoint for debates over the use of critical race theory (CRT) in schools.

CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.

“Terry McAuliffe believes that parents should have no say in their children’s education so that he and his radical special interest allies can keep pushing their political agenda into classrooms. As governor, McAuliffe shut down parents who wanted a better education and more choices for their children, and his disastrous policies and lower standards have led to plummeting SOL scores and more students being left behind” Youngkin campaign spokesman Christian Martinez said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Glenn Youngkin will get politics out of our schools and be a champion for parents and students.”

“The public schools in Virginia do not exist to raise our children, they exist to teach them math, science, reading, writing, and history. They definitely shouldn’t be providing pornographic material, encouraging gender confusion, and teaching children that they are either oppressed or oppressors,” Ian Prior, a Loudoun County parent and executive director of Fight for Schools, told the DCNF.

“Well, it’s unfortunate that one of our governor candidates, McAuliffe, feels parents do not have a right to their own children in the schools. We do not co-parent with the government, we do not co-parent with teachers or with the school board. We are the parents and ultimately, we have the final decision over our children,” Patti Hidalgo Menders, the president of the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club and a parent with children in Loudoun County Public Schools, told the DCNF.

“We have every right to know the materials they are reading in the schools. That’s our right as a parent,” she added.

“The intentional efforts made by certain elected officials starting from the school board all the way up to a gubernatorial candidate like Terry McAuliffe to silence and shut out parents from their children’s education and insert themselves as the government as the primary educator instead of the parents being the primary educator of the children is appalling.” Elizabeth Schultz, a former member of the Fairfax County school board who has a child in middle school said.

“Every parent, regardless of their political affiliation, regardless what age their students are, should be repelled by the notion that the government alone is in charge of what your children learn,” she added. 

Across the country, parents have been speaking out about the use of critical race theory in classes. In Missouri, an online training seminar became controversial when the trainer, Dr. LaGarrett King of the University of Missouri, coached teachers on how to sneak teaching social justice past “Trump country” parents. In Loudoun County, several school board members were part of a secret Facebook group that sought to publically expose parents who opposed the use of critical race theory in school curricula. The revelation triggered a recall campaign targeting six of the members. Loudoun County Public Schools denied using critical race theory, but evidence provided by parents contradicted that denial.

McAuliffe’s remarks also drew criticism on social media.

“Terry McAuliffe should learn Virginia law. #VAgov § 1-240.1. Rights of parents. A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child,” McAuliffe’s opponent, Glenn Youngkin, posted on Twitter,

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt vowed on Twitter that he was playing McAuliffe’s comment “coming into every break” during his program.

“Last night on the gubernatorial debate stage Terry McAuliffe stood before you and said ‘I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach’. The choice is CLEAR. Vote @GlennYoungkin,” Aliscia Andrews, a Loudoun County parent and former Republican candidate for Congress, tweeted.

Julie Perry, the Republican nominee for the 86th House District for the Virginia House of Delegates, noted McAuliffe’s endorsement of her opponent on Twitter, and after quoting his remarks, asked if her opponent would “distance herself from the top of her ticket.”

Steven Law, whose Twitter profile describes him as CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, noted in a tweet that the issue with McAuliffe’s statement went beyond what he said.

In July, campaign finance disclosures revealed that McAuliffe’s campaign received $250,000 from the American Federation of Teachers. The Virginia Education Association’s political action committee has endorsed McAuliffe’s candidacy.

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