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3 Reasons Parents Are Absolutely Right To Demand Informed Consent To What Schools Do To Their Kids


REPORTED BY: EMILIE KAO | MARCH 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/10/3-reasons-parents-are-absolutely-right-to-demand-informed-consent-to-what-schools-do-to-their-kids/

kids

A parent can look at the label on a juice box to decide what ingredients to allow into her child’s body. He should also be able to decide what ingredients a teacher puts into his child’s mind, but that isn’t the case in a growing number of public schools.

When Covid-19 brought the classroom into the kitchen, parents’ eyes were opened to some unsettling revelations, including that their children are being indoctrinated into critical race theory, and that some schools are secretly treating girls as boys and vice-versa.

Food labeling helps parents make informed decisions about what their children eat. In the same way, transparency helps parents make informed decisions about what their children learn. Yet some schools are resisting calls for transparency. Corporate media and teachers’ unions have inaccurately disparaged parents, but these critics are wrong. Here are three reasons why.

1. Children belong to their parents, not to the ‘community’ or the state.

Former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry infamously called on her viewers to “break through our kind of private idea that ‘kids belong to their parents,’. . . and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.” Her pitch was strikingly similar to that of Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia governor and chair of the Democratic National Committee, who said parents shouldn’t be telling schools what to teach.

This view of parental rights is at odds with parents’ fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized this in 1925 in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, stating, “The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”

As Professor Melissa Moschella writes, parental rights stem from the uniquely intimate relationship between parents and children. Children belong to their families, which are headed by their parents. Therefore, parents have the most direct obligation and authority to care for children until they are mature enough to direct their own lives. Until then, parents mediate a child’s relationship to the larger political community.

The failure to recognize that the family is distinct and relatively independent from the political community, and that parental rights are pre-political and natural rights, is not just wrong, but dangerous. Moschella notes Hannah Arendt’s observation that eliminating the intermediary structures between the individual and the state — namely the family and the church — is the essence of totalitarianism.

2. More schools are crossing the boundary line between education and indoctrination.

If schools just taught the “three Rs” (reading, writing, and arithmetic), parents would not suspect schools were undermining their values, beliefs, and authority. But, as parents in Albemarle County, Virginia, recently learned, some schools are indoctrinating students with so-called “anti-racism” ideology.

Instead of condemning all racism, “anti-racism” replaces one form of racism with another. Following “anti-racist” logic, Albemarle County schools used race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity to label students as “dominate” or “subordinate.”

Parents from five families of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds challenged the policy. The school undermined what these parents believe and teach their children — that all people are created equal and should be treated as such. The school even threatened to punish students for not supporting the policy.

Yet, as Judge James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit wrote in Oliver v. Arnold, “Schools should educate—not indoctrinate. Teachers can teach. And teachers can test. But teachers cannot require students to endorse a particular political viewpoint.”

Parental rights don’t end at the schoolhouse gate. Parents must be able to protect their children from policies that place burdens and privileges on them according to their immutable characteristics.

3. Backed by the Biden administration, schools are even engaging in unauthorized treatment of students’ mental health.

The U.S. Department of Education has promoted “gender support plans.” An official fact sheet instructs schools to maintain “confidentiality” for students who identify as transgender at school by not using the student’s birth name or “sex assigned at birth if the student wishes to keep this information private.” But there is no mention of notifying, much less involving, parents in such a consequential decision to adopt a new name and pronouns that correspond to the opposite sex.

The agency tells schools to support a student’s gender transition by using “a checklist of issues to discuss with the student or their family” (emphasis added). Without an explicit requirement that schools inform and obtain parental consent to treat the child as a member of the opposite sex, it is reasonable to assume that notification to parents is optional. The schools may also perceive parental notification as a matter that depends on whether the child views their parents as “affirming” of gender transition.

Schools’ use of “gender support plans,” like those recommended by the Biden administration, have shocked parents around the country. After learning that schools sought to hide their children’s emotional distress from them, they challenged these policies in WisconsinFlorida, and California courts.

Alliance Defending Freedom recently informed Virginia’s Harrisonburg City School District that its policy of using different names and pronouns amounts to “a psychosocial treatment that will increase the odds of long-term persistence,” according to Dr. Kenneth Zucker, an expert in treating gender dysphoria in children. Up to 90 percent of children with gender dysphoria eventually become comfortable with their bodies if they aren’t encouraged to live as the opposite sex. Schools should not endanger students by hiding information from parents about their mental health or engage in unauthorized treatment of gender dysphoria.

Lockdowns allowed many parents to see the ingredients inside their children’s education. That prompted them to support laws that provide more transparency into curriculum and policies. Parents should be able to decide on the education that best suits their child and their family’s beliefs.

Too many schools are hiding crucial information. They must be held accountable through policies that require transparency, so parents won’t receive more nasty surprises.


Emilie Kao is senior counsel and vice president of advocacy strategy with Alliance Defending Freedom.

Wisconsin School District: Parents Are Not ‘Entitled to Know’ If Their Kids Are Trans


REPORTED BY: M.D. KITTLE | MARCH 08, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/03/08/wisconsin-school-district-parents-are-not-entitled-to-know-if-their-kids-are-trans/

Eau Claire, Wisconsin street

Madison, Wis. — Parents are “not entitled” to know their kids’ gender identity, according to a recent training session in Wisconsin’s Eau Claire Area School District.

Empower Wisconsin obtained a copy of a training slide from a late February staff development session. The 2021-22 Equity session on Safe Spaces reminds teachers that “parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned.”

“Teachers are often straddling this complex situation. In ECASD, our priority is supporting the student,” the professional development facilitator guide states. Teachers were encouraged to “Talk amongst yourselves!”

The lesson — that teachers know better than parents about what is best for their kids — is not sitting well with some community members.

“We are appalled that ECASD would display such blatant disregard for the parents and guardians of our community’s children. We are equally dismayed that current school district leadership would pressure teachers into breaking a social contract that we all know and understand—that parents and guardians hold primary responsibility and decision making for the welfare and care of their children,” said parents and school board candidates Nicole Everson, Corey Cronrath, and Melissa Winter in a joint statement.

The district’s training session is also legally suspect. A district court in 2020 issued a partial injunction against Madison Metropolitan School District’s policy allowing children of any age to transition to a different gender identity at school — without parental consent. The full case is now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit on behalf of a group of parents challenging the gender identity policy “that violates the rights of parents to make important healthcare decisions on their children’s behalf.” The policy includes the following provisions:

  • Children of any age can transition to a different gender identity at school, by changing their name and pronouns, without parental notice or consent.
  • District employees are prohibited from notifying parents, without the child’s consent, that their child has or wants to change gender identity at school, or that their child may be dealing with gender dysphoria.
  • District employees are even instructed to deceive parents by using the child’s legal name and pronouns with family, while using the different name and pronouns adopted by the child in the school setting.

It’s not clear whether the Eau Claire Area School District has a similar policy.

The school board candidates are demanding district administrators issue an apology to teachers for “placing them at odds with families and also to parents and guardians for breaking the trust and partnership that is critical for thriving students and a stellar school district.”

An apology doesn’t appear to be forthcoming. ECASD Superintendent Michael Johnson issued a statement to Empower Wisconsin asserting the district is upholding its responsibility to maintain an educational environment that is “equitable, safe and inclusive for all students.”

“Our staff often find themselves in positions of trust with our students. The staff development presentation shared extensive data and information to assist our staff members in our ongoing efforts to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all students,” Johnson said in the statement. “The ECASD prides itself on being a school district that makes all students feel welcome and safe in our schools.”

The superintendent said the staff training focused on data showing students who identify as non-heterosexual have a higher incidence rate of mental health issues than heterosexual students. But critics say a school’s commitment to “equity and inclusiveness” does not give license to educators to hide important information from parents and guardians.

Cronrath, Everson, and Winter are among seven candidates, including two incumbents, running for three open seats on the school board next month. The three jumped into the race because they were concerned about the eroding of parental rights in the district. They say Eau Claire schools’ “blatant disregard for parental rights and responsibilities” has been creeping into the district’s classrooms. The latest training session sends three very dangerous messages to parents and the wider community, the candidates assert.

1. Schools are in control of children, not parents and families—When you entrust your child into the walls of ECASD, you no longer have the right as a parent to be informed of major developments in your child’s school life. In fact, you must ‘earn it.’

2. Current Leadership is willing to pit teachers against parents—Open communication between the classroom and home has always been critical to healthy school communities and student development. ECASD is putting teachers in a difficult and dishonest position by instructing them to actively withhold information from parents.

3. What goes on in the walls of ECASD is privileged information—By indicating that information about your child is ‘knowledge that must be earned,’ ECASD is setting a dangerous precedent. If identity questions for your child can be hidden from you, is diet, curriculum, healthcare, inappropriate relationships, mental health concerns, etc. also no longer the business of parents? Just what are parents and guardians allowed to know and when?

The Republican-led state legislature passed a Parental Bill of Rights that would prohibit school policies that infringe on a parent’s or guardian’s role as the primary caregiver of their child. Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat and the former state superintendent, is likely to veto the bill.

Eau Claire Area School District has a history of overreach. Last fall, school officials worked with the local health czar in removing a 14-year-old girl from school after someone in her class tested positive for Covid-19. The girl and her mom resisted, accusing authorities of abusing their powers. The county health director then sought a court order to have the girl forcibly removed from school.

Meet The Sex Shop Founder Who Is Grooming Children Through Books In School Libraries


REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM | FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/16/meet-the-sex-shop-founder-who-is-grooming-children-through-books-in-school-libraries/

This article features obscene quoted material.

As parents across the nation wake up to the threat that the American educational system poses to children, many have taken note of the sexually explicit, politically motivated literature that has made its way into public and school libraries. 

In Wyoming, community members notified the police department about explicit books in the local library’s youth section. “Sex is a Funny Word,” written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth, is one such book. It was placed on the American Library Association Reading List for 2016. Intended for those as young as 7-year-old second graders, the book has been featured in middle school libraries and discusses the “subjects of transgender identity, intersex conditions, and masturbation.” It also erroneously claims that “having a penis isn’t what makes you a boy. Having a vulva isn’t what makes you a girl. The truth is much more interesting than that!” 

This type of propagandizing has become standard for the left-wing extremists embedded in our education system. But what makes it all the more astonishing is both the thoroughly unnerving — and previously unreported — history of this book’s author and the institutional support that’s propelled him to notoriety. 

From Sex Shops To School Libraries

Cory Silverberg’s website links to the four books he’s written. Each one focuses on the same thing: sex. With the exception of “The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability,” which he coauthored with Miriam Kaufman and Fran Odette, the author’s work is aimed at children. His latest book, “You Know, Sex,” another collaboration with Smyth, is available for pre-order and discusses “pornography,” “stigma,” and “gender.” He calls the book “essential for kids.” His website bio states, “Cory’s life is full of kids. All of them know where babies come from. Some know more.”

Who is this man so intent on informing your children not only about sex, but about pornography, transsexuality, and masturbation? On his website, which advertises children’s books, the author cites himself as a “founding member of Come As You Are Co-operative,” an anti-capitalist sex shop in Toronto, which he also links to. 

As the Toronto Star noted years ago, this isn’t just any sex shop. This is a “beginner’s sex store.” The outlet noted that the store hoped “to hold an off-site sex-education workshop for parents of children aged 7 to 12, one that will focus on more than reproduction.” The Star went on to quote Silverberg as saying, “Our overall focus is pleasure-based rather than fear-based.”

The shop’s website includes a section that catalogs the owners’ media appearances. One edition of Fab magazine, published on February 7, 2007, includes an article titled “Come As You Are Celebrates 10 Years.” It spares no details, highlighting a “Japanese rope bondage” workshop, while also graphically describing a real life, in-person “workshop” that featured sexual demonstrations from two naked men.

The disturbing focus on children that is so clear on Silverberg’s personal website is just as apparent on the sex shop’s website. Right next to ads for the exact type of products you’d expect a sex shop to sell, is a “Kids, Parents, and Teens Books” section. The section boasts “sex positive guides for younger folk.”

The kid’s section carries books like “Gender Creative Child,” a guide to masturbation, and “Woke Parenting,” which seeks to help readers “raise your kids to be feminist, anti-racist,” and “gender-inclusive.” Silverberg’s own books are also featured on the site.

Involvement In Curriculum Development

The author’s involvement in Ante Up reveals a conscious desire to embed his distorted worldview into schools. The organization advertises “socio-emotional learning” curriculum that “focuses on supporting educators of color and working-class educators in unlearning the white supremacist ableist heteropatriarchal ways of writing and educating others.” 

The sex shop co-founder is joined by such esteemeed co-collaborators as Clarissa Francis, who cut squarely into the Babyon Bee’s marketshare when her bio explained that she “developed the Let Freedom C.U.M. Sexuality Workshop Series to equip Black sexuality professionals, and the aspiring sexually liberated, to recognize and utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to discussing Pleasure Activism as a tool for Black Sexual Liberation.” 

The organization seems to have courted favor with various political bodies in New York. Ante Up’s founder Bianca Laureano “wrote the sexual and reproductive justice discussion guide for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,” according to her bio. Silverberg spoke on “Sex Is a Funny Word” for the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Learning.

Institutional Support of Extremism

It isn’t a fluke that a leftwing sex shop founder has been propped up as an authority on sexuality, with direct access to children. Media and education institutions, alongside several leftwing activists, have helped mainstream such fringe beliefs. The author is praised because of, not in spite of, the extremism of his sexual worldview. 

That “Sex is a Funny Word” was lauded by Kristin Russo on behalf of BuzzFeed as “revolutionary” tells you everything you need to know, but the outlet was one of many institutions to lend its support.

The book won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Award and was celebrated by the School Library Journal, which called the book “exceptional” specifically because of “its introduction of the subjects of transgender identity, intersex conditions, and masturbation.” The organization publishes roughly 6,000 book reviews every year and bills itself as “the premiere publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens.” 

Lambda Literary, which “nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers,” heaped praise on the book, noting that it took “his radical approach to sex education” featured in his first book even further. It goes on to discuss the role that the book can have in cementing cultural shifts. During an interview with the organization, the author pointed out that some of his critics believe that he is “warping people’s ideas of gender.” He flatly responded, “Maybe I am.”

Various activists, each of whom is committed to overthrowing healthy conceptions of sex, lauded the book alongside these institutions in reviews posted on Amazon

Andee Hochman is an accomplished leftwing activist who wrote a book all about upending traditional notions of family. It was named “one of the 100 most important feminist books of the 20th century by Sojourner magazine.” Hochman celebrated “Sex Is a Funny Word’s” “radical and urgent message – sexuality with a side of social justice,” also expressing glee that one of the children in the book was portrayed as non-binary. Her lone critique? The text was too small. 

Transgender activist and author of “My New Gender Workbook” Kate Bornstein was similarly impressed, writing a review that proposed the book as a viable alternative to college, graduate school, and even “years of therapy.” This is high praise, especially from an activist who wrote the “Step by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity.”

Aidan Key, who leads trainings in schools, remarked that the book enables readers to “step out of today’s binary gender paradigm,” while Slate’s Rachelle Hampton lauded the book because it “humorously tackles topics from gender to masturbation” and was “leaps and bounds ahead” of other books “in terms of how progressive it is.”

But Huffington Post outdid both Slate and BuzzFeed years ago when they offered the author a platform and even hosted a symposium on reshaping America’s sexual norms with him and more established leftwing activists. The author’s extreme views were given the patina of normalcy through the presence of more mainstream activists like notable author Esther Perel and the widely published Ian Kerner, who talk less of childhood masturbation and more of feminism and relationships. They were also joined by academic Leonore Tiefer, who was involved in the leadership of an organization intent on keeping perversity like “Sex is a Funny Word” in school libraries. Tiefer won an award named after Alfred Kinsey, a hero of the pro-pedophile group NAMBLA.

What’s so telling isn’t the book itself, but that the beliefs behind it, undoubtedly considered reprehensible by massive swaths of the world, have been intentionally mainstreamed by both an activist base and an institutionally backed political movement that’s hostile to traditional notions of decency. No wonder parents are getting active.

Cory Silverberg did not respond to a request for comment.


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at The Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

California School District Tells Kids: ‘Attacking Whiteness Is Not Enough’


REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | FEBRUARY 02, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/02/california-school-district-tells-kids-attacking-whiteness-is-not-enough/

A now-deleted portion of the Riverside, Califonia school district’s website obtained by The Federalist displays that the district promoted an essay that attacks people based on their inborn skin color. The essay, titled “Decentering Whiteness” by Jeff Hitchcock and Charley Flint, claimed that “attacking whiteness is not enough.” It sought to divide people on the basis of their race and argued that “whiteness” should be pushed to “the margin,”

Riverside Unified School District promoted the essay at least three separate times, under the “Professional Learning,” “Community Engagement,” and “Culture and Climate” sections of their Equity, Access, and Community Engagement resources page, according to screenshots.

The Federalist previously revealed that both Riverside Superintendent Renee Hill and Board of Education member Tom Hunt lied about the district teaching critical race theory. One parent from the district, who wished to remain unnamed, told The Federalist that the resources list that contained “Decentering Whiteness” was removed from the website following the exposé of the district’s dishonesty. 

When asked why the resources had been removed, Communication Director Diana Meza stated that the district is “updating the Equity, Access & Community Engagement google site and landing page, the page should be back up soon.”

The school district has charge of nearly 40,000 students, according to federal data, and 35 percent of those students are white. School families’ median income is significantly above the national average, at approximately $73,000 per year.

Decentering Whiteness

The removed 19-page “resources” document, which can be viewed here, not only condemned “whiteness” but served as a guidebook for how institutions can fight it, so that “whiteness itself can be made more marginal.” The paper explained, “Decentering whiteness, as we envision it, is a collective process that can take place in organizations, sectors of society, personal lives, etc., over periods of days, months, years and generations.”

While launching into both anti-white attacks and blatant attempts to divide people on the basis of their immutable characteristics, the paper engaged in race essentialism. It cast race as a defining rather than incidental characteristic when it tells readers to “Assume whiteness, and race, always structures our experience, and thus needs to be consciously considered as part of any social process.”

White people are also openly villainized in the materials. One line reads, “white culture has, on balance, been based on principles of conquest and exploitation” while another says that in the attempt to marginalize whiteness, “simply attacking whiteness is not enough.”

The document did not oppose attacking “whiteness” out of an opposition to racism, nor did it express any concern over the potential fallout of seizing on racial fault lines for socio-political ends. Rather, it simply argued that openly attacking whiteness wouldn’t be strategically effective. It remarked “Simply attacking whiteness is not enough to accomplish this goal. Assaults on whiteness, depending on their nature, may have the effect of confirming and solidifying the central position of whiteness in American society.”

Lighter skin color has been and continues to be one of the prime targets of critical race theory. Noel Ignatiev, a Marxist Harvard professor who is cited in “Decentering Whiteness,” infamously claimed that “treasonous to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.”

He also remarked, “Make no mistake about it: we intend to keep bashing the dead white males, and the live ones, and the females too, until the social construct known as ‘the white race’ is destroyed—not ‘deconstructed’ but destroyed.”

Perhaps most sinister, “Decentering Whiteness” clearly sought to encourage racial division and even racial conflict, calling on a multiracial coalition to “displace” whiteness. It read “It will take a multiracial effort to displace whiteness, one that includes people from all racial/cultural groups.”

How exactly any of this rhetoric benefits the students or staff at Riverside Unified School District is entirely unclear. The presence of this material in a school climate is in fact both un-American and undeniably harmful, not only to the white people who are maligned by it but also those of all other racial backgrounds whom the article attempts to conscript into a race-based power struggle. 


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at The Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com. SPENCER LINDQUISTVISIT ON TWITTER@SPENCERLNDQST

Dallas Private School Lies to Parents About Teaching Students Racism


REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | JANUARY 27, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/27/dallas-private-school-lies-to-parents-about-teaching-students-racism/

Amid ongoing supervision from parents across America, the Episcopal School of Dallas has sought to reassure parents it is not teaching critical race theory or targeting students on the basis of their race. Despite this attempt, documents obtained by The Federalist prove that the institution is teaching critical race theory while telling parents it’s not. 

The elite private school, which bears a whopping tuition price of $26,945 for kindergarteners and $34,075 for high school seniors, sought to insulate itself from backlash on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page, which preemptively responds to common critiques. The page warns against “misinformation” before assuring parents the school is “not teaching critical race theory,” nor is it teaching “that being part of an ethnic or racial group makes a person responsible for systemic problems, or to cast blame on or shame any member of the community for actions that took place in history.” According to other school documents, however, these claims are false.

Student assignments show the school is teaching the left-wing extremism that targets children in so many government-run K-12 schools.

CRT In The Classroom

One Episcopal School of Dallas reading assignment for a middle school history class titled “This Thing Called White” exhibited the defining characteristics of CRT. The assignment claimed that “Whiteness is a constantly shifting boundary separating those who are entitled to have certain privileges from those whose exploitation and vulnerability to violence is justified by their not being white.” It goes on to contend that race was created “with the purpose of giving power to white people.”

In an 8th grade history class taught by Ron Frankland, students were required to listen to a podcast from the 1619 Project’s Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Frankland also signaled his support for CRT while bemoaning the wave of pushback from parents who’ve voiced their opposition to the ideology.

Nevertheless, attempts to turn students into leftwing activists through indoctrination appear to be working. An open letter titled “Our Turn To Rise Up,” penned by students as part of a history assignment at the school, condemned America as “diseased” and endeavored to “spark a fire of revolution.”

Faculty Members Endorse CRT

Furthermore, several faculty members, including many who are in key positions, have demonstrated an allegiance to the doctrines of CRT, as well as expressed their intent to incorporate the divisive theory in the classroom. 

Jennifer Jarnagin is the chair of the school’s Classical and Modern Languages Department, as well as a sponsor of the Middle School Diversity Club and a middle and upper school Latin teacher. Several of Jarnagin’s tweets display an anti-cop and anti-white bias informed by the teachings of critical race theory. During the height of the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots of 2020, Jarnagin implied all police officers were violent. 

She also stated that she was happy to “disrupt white nonsense,” and that she dreams of “throwing 90% of straight white men into the ocean.”

In Jarnagin’s Twitter bio, she states that she’s “dismantling white supremacy, misogyny and heteronormativity” and that she’s a “Latin teacher interested in proficiency, inclusion, and empathy.”

Tolly Salz, an English teacher and the chair of the English Department, has also signaled her support for ideas endemic to CRT. On Twitter, Salz promoted an article titled “White People’s Fear of Critical Race Theory is Based in Ignorance,” as well as one from Learning for Justice, a project of the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, titled Confronting the Weaponization of Whiteness in Our Classrooms,” which claims that white supremacy is “baked into America’s foundation.”

The article also condemned white womens’ emotions as instruments of oppression, making the claim that “Men going to war with armor is the same as white women waging war through tears.”

Salz also promoted a guide labeled “Teaching with the New York Time’s 1619 Project.”  

Critical race theory also appears to have affected the Christian school’s religious leadership.

Antoni Luc-Tayengo, who recently became a chaplain at ESD, has publicly advocated for CRT. In an article titled “Predominantly White Churches & Racial Justice: Discern The Next Right Thing,” the female chaplain argues people should “look for color” and frames involvement in the openly Marxist Black Lives Matter movement as a moral imperative for Christians.  

Her article also links to a “well-cultivated list of resources for anti-racism education of all ages.” The page includes the 1619 Project and work from critical race theorists Robin DiAngelo and Kimberle Crenshaw, among various others. 

Rev. Nate Bostian is a senior chaplain at ESD. While his public remarks have not carried the same vitriolic tone of many others at the school, from his public remarks it’s clear that leftwing ideology influences his religious understanding. In this prayer he gave for LGBT pride month, Bostian begins by referring to God as the “God/god of Diversity and Inclusion.”

In another post, he cites infamous critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi before going on to provide a theological argument for diversity, inclusion, and equity.

ESD’s Institutional Ties To CRT

None of these examples are isolated incidents. Despite telling parents that they do not teach CRT or engage in shaming tactics against children on account of their race, ESD, as an institution, has done both. ESD sent parents a list of CRT information compiled by Elizabeth Goatley, the school’s director of diversity and inclusion. Parents were directed to a page called “Anti-Racism 102: Why Not All Discrimination Is ‘Racism.” Intended for children in grades K-4 and adorned with colorful cartoons, the page erroneously claims that white people cannot be the victims of racism, saying “reverse racism isn’t a thing. Stop trying to make reverse racism a thing.” It also claims everyone is complicit in systemic white supremacy and that “whiteness” must be “de-centered.”

The recommended reading list included Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility,” material from critical race theorist Kimberle Crenshaw, Kendi’s “How To Be An Anti-Racist,” the 1619 Project, “Anti-racism for Kids 101,” and Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” among others. The list also linked to a K-8 Racial Literacycurriculum from an organization called Pollyanna. Pollyanna’s Conferences for School page sheds light on the type of material the organization presents to children.

Topics include “Race, Privilege, and Community Building,” “Shaping & Sustaining Safe Schools for LGBTQ+ Community,” “Intersectionality,” “Cultivating Racial Awareness and White Engagement,” and “Implicit Bias.” The organization also claims systemic racism “permeates every aspect of our society and transcends person-to person interactions,” a core belief of CRT.

The school’s DEI page explains that both staff and students frequently attend several conferences, including the People of Color Conference hosted by the leftwing National Association of Independent Schools. The POCC overtly teaches CRT. One presentation from the conference describes kindergarteners as “natural social justice warriors,” while others explicitly outline how to create a curriculum based on CRT.   

Another presentation condemns the American system, telling the audience to “burn sh-t down.” It also discusses the “White People Way,” with the presenter condemning “perfectionism” and “power hoarding” as defining characteristics of white people. 

The Federalist reached out to multiple school staff for comment, inquiring about the 1619 Project, racially charged statements made by a faculty member, and CRT in the classroom. The Federalist also asked why the school was present at the POCC event, where teachers were taught how to develop a curriculum grounded in CRT, if there was no intention of teaching the racially charged ideology.

In response, ESD’s Director of Communications Julie Clardy provided the following statement: “We present challenging material that asks students to consider multiple points of view. For instance, we present the 1619 and 1776 projects together and ask students to analyze and argue their merits. Students are edified, not damaged, when they are asked to examine ideas they may disagree with.”

ESD Is Not The Only School Deceiving Parents

The Episcopal School of Dallas is by no means the first academic institution to lie to parents about teaching critical race theory. Over the summer, President of the American Federation of Teachers union Randi Weingarten falsely claimed CRT is not being taught in K-12 schools despite her organization previously bragging on national television about teaching the ideology. 

The Federalist reporting has revealed that officials at both Riverside School District and Los Angeles Unified School District lied to their school communities, falsely claiming they did not teach CRT. Despite the obvious parallels with previous instances, the state of the Episcopal School of Dallas demonstrates that elite private schools are not immune from the left’s push for CRT in America’s K-12 institutions. 


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at The Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

Joy Pullmann Op-ed: If Parents Pulled Their Kids from School for Covid Insanity, It Would Already Be Over


COMMENTARY BY: JOY PULLMANN | JANUARY 26, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/26/if-parents-pulled-their-kids-from-school-for-covid-insanity-it-would-already-be-over/

Young man in a mask at high school graduation

For almost as long as Covid-19’s been around, parent anger at local school boards over this or that issue has been a reoccurring major news story. We’ve all seen the viral social media videos and Facebook posts of parents skewering their local elected school boards over critical race theory, unscientific and abusive mask mandates, maddening repeat quarantines of healthy children, and other educational corruption that wrecks children’s ability to learn.

We’ve also seen those viral videos have little effect on what the school board or state board of education subsequently decides. So parents have filed lawsuits and are mounting primary and general election challenges, all of which are great and a healthy part of self-government.

What these strategies don’t do is provide immediate relief to children, whom parents claim are being abused, taught racism, and denied their right to an education. They require children to continue to be abused at least until the next election cycle or until three or five or more years when lawsuits finally reach the highest court that will hear them. That’s a third of a child’s education years.

These strategies also are predicated on the assumption that the people who have created these outrageously irrational and abusive school climates should continue to be trusted to run schools. The entire leadership teams of most schools, school districts, and state education bureaucracies have disqualified themselves from leading any children at all by the kinds of abuses parents charge, but just filing a lawsuit or kicking a few school board members out of office will still leave almost all corrupt educators controlling millions of kids in perpetuity.

If you can’t trust a principal or superintendent to keep teachers from teaching racism and to accurately assess children’s needs and vulnerabilities through Covid even though the data on that is plentiful and clear, how can you trust any other of such persons’ judgment calls?

More than being restrained by a lucky court order merely from putting toddlers in masks, a person whose judgment is so corrupt shouldn’t be making any decisions about children. A person who puts a toddler in a mask, or allows teachers to shame children based on their skin color, cannot be trusted to do just about anything else important and needs to find a new and more productive line of work. Errors this bad are completely disqualifying, and they will not be rectified by merely changing a few surface policies such as the quarantining of healthy kids.

The fact that parents keep their children in schools they charge are teaching racism or delaying crucial development with Covid irrationality gives the schools all they need to keep ignoring the parents. Parents are saying one thing while doing another. They are voting with their feet, and their feet are voting for what they themselves acknowledge is oppression.

So it’s no surprise that school boards, principals, and other entities disregard what the parents say. What the parents say has no, or no immediate, enforcement. And therefore it really isn’t credible. No wonder the school districts don’t take them seriously.

If the parents wanted to be truly effective — as well as truly honest — they would pull their children from schools en masse until problems of such serious magnitude were resolved favorably. Sickouts and mass protests are highly effective forms of warfare on children waged by teachers unions all the time. But parents so far haven’t responded in kind.

Why is that? Why are parents all bark and no bite with their school complaints? Possibly they don’t know how to be effective. And possibly, many aren’t willing to make the big sacrifices required to enforce their beliefs. They can see that something very serious is wrong, but they aren’t willing or able to fix it. They’re still waiting on others to fix things for them.

They, and their children, will wait a very long time for that. They will certainly wait long past Covidtide. And that’s why public schools are as bad as they are — the people who are supposed to hold them accountable refuse to do exactly that even while claiming to.

In the end, schools and parents are basically fighting over something underneath all these disputes that almost nobody mentions: money. Schools get public education money, not parents. It gives them the power to abuse children while parents complain yet keep putting that mask on their kindergartener every single day, even after he throws up in it at school or it prevents him from being able to read or speak properly.

School boards don’t care about complaints. They care about money. As long as they have it, and parents don’t take it, schools will continue to do whatever they want to children. And American children will continue to be unhappy, uneducated, and unprepared for life while everyone pretends it’s someone else’s fault.

It’s clear that American parents have a codependent relationship with the schools they claim to despise. They are in fact enabling the very abuse they complain about. So while it is entirely legitimate to go yell at school boards and vote bad people out of office, it’s also time for parents to engage in some critical thinking about their own choices that enable this situation. As long as public schools continue to get money no matter what they do, this situation will continue, no matter how many uncomfortable meetings and lawsuits parents instigate.

If state legislatures do not yank money from America’s abusive public school systems, parents must yank their kids. Trust, me, it will work. It might already be happening.


Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Sign up here to get early access to her next book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. In 2013-14 she won a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education mandates. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

California School District Promotes White Privilege Conference and Being ‘Race Conscious’


REPORTED BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | JANUARY 19, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/19/california-school-district-promotes-white-privilege-conference-and-being-race-conscious/

classroom

Davis Joint Unified School District in Davis, California, pushed leftwing distortions of gender and critical race theory through its Office of School Climate, which taught staff that “gender is a scam” and advertises the White Privilege Conference on March 9-12, 2022. The office is “responsible for supporting district staff and recommending and piloting ways to address structural oppression and to enhance school climate, equity, diversity, and inclusion,” according to their website.

The district, which includes approximately 8,500 TK-12 students throughout 16 different schools, also recently voted to adopt an Ethnic Studies requirement, which a press release notes will “explore issues of identity, analyze systems of power” and “examine social movements.”

Distortions Of Gender

The district’s site features a number of different resources that pushed radical leftwing distortions of gender. One presentation called “Supporting LGBTQ+ Students and Staff” was given to staff members at Harper Junior High School in May 2021 by two of the school’s teachers, both of whom use “they/them” pronouns. One also uses the abbreviation “Mx.” in lieu of Mr., Ms., or Mrs. 

One slide bore a pride flag with transgender colors and black and brown stripes, both of which “sought to further represent the queer and trans identities of black and brown people.” Another one linked to a video titled “Gender is a Scam,” which compels audiences to “decolonize their language,” while a linked article called “15 Things LGBTQ people of colour want you to know” tells you “Why you might be guilty of white fragility.”

The slideshow instructed staff to use the pronouns they/them until someone says his pronouns and told them that “Posters/flags that support LGBTQ+ people are just the beginning” before going on to ask, “does your curriculum center primarily white/cis/straight voices?” The same slide warns against using medical and scientifically accurate terminology in regard to gender. 

Meanwhile on the office’s LGBTQIA+ Supports page, a link to the activist group Human Rights Campaign promoted LGBTQ+ Inclusive Picture and Middle School Books,” some of which are even aimed at children in pre-k. A link to the USC Rossier School of Education’s site “Students and Gender Identity Guide for Schools” also features a Gender Identity Glossary for Schools with woke vocabulary terms like “deadnaming,” “gender expansive,” “polygender,” “third-gender,” and “two spirit.”

Critical Race Theory and the White Privilege Conference

The office also promotes a trove of critical race theory resources intended for students, families, staff, teachers, and administrators under the subheading “Anti-Bias and Racial Justice.” The site opens by promoting free webinars from Embrace Race, a left-wing organization aimed at young children. Their webinars bear titles like “Addressing Racial Injustice with Young Children” and “RaceTalk among White Families Post-Floyd. Now What?”

The White Privilege Conference, a project of The Privilege Institute, is also promoted to staff members. The annual conference, not to be confused with the institute’s similarly named White Privilege Symposium, intends to provide “an opportunity for participants to discuss how white privilege, white supremacy, and oppression affects daily life while giving strategies for addressing issues of privilege and oppression and advancing social and economic justice.” 

Last year’s conference hosted Robin DiAngelo, who discussed the subject of her latest book nice racism,” which condemned all white people, including the far-left white people who comprise her audience, as definitionally racist.

The conference featured myriad workshops each day, which boasted titles like “Critical Race Theory/Critical Race Feminism: Creating a Plan of Action during the Biden-Harris era,” “A Good Womyn is Hard to Find,” and “The Making & Remaking of Whiteness.” The institute also hosts the Youth Action Project, with one-day institutes geared towards middle schoolers and high school students.

The district’s office also advertises the 1619 Project curriculum alongside a site called Learning for Justice, which they note “offers excellent, teacher-developed classroom curriculum.”

‘Dismantle White Supremacy’

Included under the heading “For Teachers, Staff, and Administrators” are K-12 frameworks for anti-bias and social justice education from Learning for Justice, a project of the extremist Southern Poverty Law Center whose mission is to “dismantle white supremacy” and “strengthen intersectional movements” by pushing critical race theory into schools. 

One such video from The New York Times titled “A Conversation with White People on Race” features white people expressing guilt over their alleged privilege, with one person remarking “We’re all implicated in a racist system, and I play my part in it as a white person.”

The office adds that they have a library of books and videos for staff, including one titled “Cracking the Codes and Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible.”

Meanwhile, students and families are also directed to a number of critical race theory-inspired resources, including one link to a site titled 100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say To Your Child To Advance Racial Justice,” which includes quotes of things parents have told their children when discussing race. Particularly striking is number 53, which makes the claim that “if you are White and you commit a crime … police might say ‘that was wrong, don’t do that again,’ and that’s all…but if you are Black and commit the same crime, they might arrest you and you might go to prison.” One quote under the subtitle “police violence” discusses black victims of police brutality, writing “The man who killed them didn’t like brown skin. He had white skin like us.”

The list isn’t exclusively focused on race, however, also promoting left-wing distortions of sex with quotes like “You know, some people are born with penises but feel like girls on the inside and some people are born with vaginas but feel like boys on the inside. We can’t always tell if someone is a boy or a girl just by looking at them and that’s okay.”

Guidelines for Strong White Allies” is also included on the district’s list. Among the guidelines were requests for “resources,” “money,” and even “your body on the line.” Author Paul Kivel also told “white allies” to “understand and learn from the history of whiteness and racism” and to “assume racism is everywhere, every day.”

An anti-racist book list for children promoted by the district explains how parents can ease children into CRT by first starting “very gently” with entirely unobjectionable books that “just show kids that racial diversity exists.” The goal, however, is to eventually employ books that discuss “racial privilege, colorism, and the subtle tools that uphold white supremacy, such as white fragility and respectability politics.”

The district’s previous superintendent John Bowes signaled his belief in the leftist claim that America is fundamentally racist when, after the conviction of Derek Chauvin, he sent out a message explaining that he was reminded of the need to “rid our country of the systemic bias and institutional racism that exists in all parts of our society.” He went on to explain that “public education, including DJUSD schools, are part of the solution.”

Davis Joint Unified School District’s promotion of both critical race theory and leftist distortions of sex are part of a broader leftwing push in K-12 institutions throughout the country. In California alone, other districts have lied about teaching CRT, hosted LGBT clubs for four-year-olds, paid extremist organizations to “disrupt whiteness,” and promoted material that tells students to use witchcraft against those who say “all lives matter.”

The politicized nature of California’s government schools, along with general concerns regarding quality of education, may lead some to support a recently launched bipartisan campaign to pass a school choice initiative in the golden state.

Neither Superintendent Matt Best nor Climate Coordinator Kate Snow responded to The Federalist’s request for comment.


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at the Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

California District Pays Nearly $170k For Curricula Teaching Children to Become Leftist ‘Co-Conspirators’


Reported BY: SPENCER LINDQUIST | JANUARY 12, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/12/california-district-pays-nearly-170k-for-curricula-teaching-children-to-become-leftist-co-conspirators/

California’s Jefferson Elementary School District will be the first district in the United States to implement ethnic studies courses in all of their elementary and middle schools, and their new curriculum for this includes teaching children to become leftwing “co-conspirators.” The district’s curriculum that brings new state requirements for high school into the earliest grade levels was created by Community Responsive Education, a leftwing organization run by critical race theorists at San Francisco State University.

The district, which is located in Daly City, California, and serves roughly 6,000 students across ten elementary schools and four middle schools, has agreed to pay the organization nearly $170k in taxpayer money.

Public Dollars to Make Leftist ‘Co-Conspirators’

District documents note that the radical curriculum will be piloted in the 2021-2022 school year. It was presented by Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, a professor at San Francisco State University and the co-director of Community Responsive Education. The presentation was given during a school board meeting in July 2021 and began with a land acknowledgment that described the Ohlone people, not the United States, as the rightful stewards of the land that JESD is on. 

Tintiangco-Cubales, who uses the pronouns “she/her” in addition to “siya,” a Filipino word that means both male and female, explained that she is “a settler, an uninvited visitor” on Ohlone land before going on to note that JESD is America’s first district that “is committed to rolling out Ethnic Studies in all of their middle and elementary schools.” In late 2021, California passed a state mandate that “ethnic studies” be taught in all public high schools.

The presentation explains that the curriculum is designed to “eliminate racism and other forms of oppression” by “creating, learning, listening, uncovering, and sharing of the his/herstories, experiences, and current conditions of those who have been racially marginalized, underrepresented, and/or silenced.”

The curriculum is divided into four different units, labeled “self,” “systems,” “social movements,” and “solidarity.” Each unit is accompanied by a corresponding set of “essential questions” and “enduring understandings.”

One such “enduring understanding” under the “self” unit reads: “Learning about our own identities and those of others allows us to become more empathetic and builds our capacity to go from being allies to co-conspirators/accomplices in the elimination of oppression.”

Teaching Kids America Is Inherently Evil

The second unit condemns America as institutionally racist and teaches children that white supremacy is entrenched in American systems such as education. The unit also indicts white people as the beneficiaries of racism, claiming that they use the system of white supremacy to maintain their “wealth, power, and privilege.” Additionally, students learn that “institutional racism is the way in which white supremacy continues to oppress non-white people.”

Children are then turned into ambassadors for critical race theory at the end of the unit when they are tasked with creating a public service announcement that “denounces systems that are oppressive,” which could, according to the curriculum, include American education systems if not America itself. 

Directly after accusing America’s systems of being fundamentally racist and condemning white people as beneficiaries of racism who maintain white supremacy, teachers tell children how to mobilize and engage in “transformational resistance” in the third unit.

The unit focuses on social movements and blatantly aims to turn students into racially motivated leftist revolutionaries. Tintiangco-Cubales notes that special emphasis is placed on “the notion of transformational resistance.” Students are asked “How do we build social movements to create change and impact society?” 

The final unit teaches children how they can “pursue true liberation” through an understanding of “solidarity, liberation, collective action, intersectionality, and dismantling systemic oppression.” Children are also taught that “To achieve true liberation, we must actively and collectively work together to dismantle various systems of oppression (ie: institutional racism, white supremacy, etc.).”

Making Children Into Political Agitators

Students’ transformations into leftist activists are completed with their “solidarity praxis project,” where students create a campaign to address a problem in their community. Even the presentation’s imagery leaves no doubt regarding the curriculum’s intent. Each unit is introduced by a cartoon-esque flat art character holding a protest sign.

District Pays Nearly $170k For CRT Courses

Tintiangco-Cubales presented the curriculum on behalf of Community Responsive Education, an organization that offers “professional and curriculum development services for community organizations and educational institutions to begin or sustain the journey of becoming community responsive.”

At a meeting in February 2020, the district agreed to pay Community Responsive Education $40,000 in taxpayer dollars to facilitate the development of Ethnic Studies units and lessons to be piloted in Jefferson Elementary School District,” according to the meeting’s public records.

Then in August 2020, Jefferson Elementary School District unanimously approved a motion to pay the organization $28,502 for “services during the 2020-21 school year to facilitate the development of Ethnic Studies units and lessons to be piloted in Jefferson Elementary School District,” according to the school board meeting’s minutes. 

The district also voted to pay Community Responsive Education an additional $100,000 “for Ethnic Studies Curriculum and Teacher Development for both Middle and Elementary school teachers beginning on July 1, 2021 until June 30, 2023” for a total of $168,502.

The concept of “community-responsive education” from which the organization draws its name, just like “culturally responsive education,” is effectively a rebranding of critical race theory. The curriculum from Community Responsive Education is predicated on a belief that U.S. institutions are defined by racism and that collective action must be taken to dismantle them, a core tenet of critical race theory. 

Furthermore, CRE, just like CRT, takes the traditional Marxist dichotomy that pits the oppressed proletariat against the oppressive middle class and reapplies it to race, thereby designating moral value, victimhood, and collective guilt on people as a result of immutable characteristics. 

A Dangerous Model for Extremists In Education

As America’s first school district to implement ethnic studies curriculum in all of its elementary and middle schools, Jefferson Elementary School District could have significant influence on other ethnic studies curricula across California and America. 

Without sacrificing any of the usual extremism inherent to CRT, this curriculum may mark a shift towards a more strategically oriented method of instruction. Rather than simply indoctrinating children with the beliefs of systemic racism, privilege, and oppression, this course is blatantly designed to create the next generation of extreme leftwing activists operating from these false premises. 

This model will not be specific to Jefferson Elementary School District. In fact, a report from Parents Defending Education found that Community Responsive Education has a foothold in a variety of other school districts, including six others in California and one each in New York, Texas, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. 

A number of other California districts have also taken steps to indoctrinate children with CRT. One Bay Area school district promoted materials that told children to use witchcraft against people who say “all lives matter.” The Los Angeles Unified School District lied in claiming that CRT is not taught in its K-12 institutions despite hosting a critical race theorist who taught staff to “challenge whiteness” and inviting the director of UCLA’s Center for Critical Race Studies to give input on their ethnic studies curriculum.

This overt leftwing takeover of government schools has led some California parents to support a bipartisan campaign that would enshrine school choice and tether taxpayer dollars to students. Should it receive the required number of signatures and pass a vote, the initiative would allow parents to take their children — and their money — out of schools that prioritize indoctrination over education.

Neither school board President Clayton Koo nor Tintiangco-Cubales responded to requests for comment.


Spencer Lindquist is an intern at the Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

No, Those Who Pushed Lockdowns Can’t Hide from the Consequences Now


Reported BY: JOY PULLMANN | JANUARY 11, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/11/the-people-who-brutalized-children-to-grab-emergency-powers-are-not-experts-theyre-evil/

Boy wearing mask while playing baseball

Americans are starting to feel the increasing collateral damage from our unprecedented, ineffective, and ill-advised Covid lockdowns. It was known before March 2020 that lockdowns would cause lifelong and avoidable damage to billions, yet the world’s ruling classes who claim to have earned their place atop a “meritocracy” strenuously demanded such damage be inflicted especially on children and other vulnerable people.

This ruling class used all their massive financial, communications, and government powers to ensure these tragic outcomes, even though anyone who was an actual expert—or, like me, just someone who reads and has common sense—predicted this false “cure” would hurt worse than the disease.

Now that people are beginning to more deeply feel the foreseeable evil consequences of ruling class responses to a novel virus, that ruling class is pulling what propaganda experts call a “limited hangout.” That’s admitting to bits of the truth in order to re-establish yourself as a credible authority while attempting to keep the whole truth hidden.

So we have outlets such as The Atlantic and The New York Times, which have throughout the Covid era worked as government butt-coverers, now publishing articles admitting that lockdowns and continued rolling blackouts of school instruction is irrevocably damaging Americans, especially children and even more especially the poorest. The kids, as I pointed out in April 2020 and numerous times thereafter, will never as a generation recover.

Now that the damage is done, major corporate media organizations have decided to pivot to acknowledge just enough of the truth to cover their complicity. The Atlantic, for example, last week published an article titled “America’s Covid Rules Are A Dumpster Fire” (It took you two years to figure out what was apparent within the first month?).

CNN’s Brian Stelter recently did a segment acknowledging the foreseeable “mental health crisis” from lockdowns that is causing suicides, ruining marriages, putting formerly perfectly normal kids into rocking fetal positions, and erasing the credibility of formerly mostly ignored “public health experts” at institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Stelter made multiple statements that have gotten numerous conservatives punished by and erased from social media, such as that “Covid zero is…an impossibility” and “the CDC has turned into a punchline.”

Where was Stelter a year and a half ago, when data reflecting the exact same outcomes were also plentiful? Heck, Stelter was still legitimizing Covid panic one month ago, when CNN and other news organizations reinstituted lockdown measures amid omicron panic they helped inflame. Six months ago, Stelter was indicating Fox News had “blood on its hands” for reporting less hysterically than all the other major media organizations about Covid.

Clearly, Democrats are becoming ensnared by their own trap, and they’re trying to get out with this public reversal of their messaging. The limited hangout is afoot.

Brave NYT truth-teller David Leonhardt also recently published an article and an accompanying tweetstorm on the topic.

“The number of E.R. visits for suspected suicide attempts by 12- to 17-year-old girls rose by 51 percent from early 2019 to early 2021, according to the CDC,” he tweeted.

“Data now suggest that many changes to school routines are of questionable value in controlling the virus’s spread. Some researchers are skeptical that school closures reduce Covid cases in most instances. Other interventions, like forcing students to sit apart from their friends at lunch, may also have little benefit,” he noted in the article.

No sh-t, Sherlock. So why did The New York Times run hit pieces on Trump medical advisor Scott Atlas for being one of the few scientists courageous enough to point this long-ago known data out more than a year ago, when the damage could have been mitigated? Why did Stanford University colleagues and formerly respected medical journals, boosted by corporate media attack campaigns, try to discredit Atlas and colleagues such as Dr. Jay Bhattacharya for saying things The New York Times, Atlantic, and CNN are admitting now?

Why did the CDC punish world-renowned vaccine scientist Dr. Martin Kulldorff for publicly disagreeing with them on vaccine safety? Why does Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook shadowban nearly every Federalist article on anything touching Covid-19, and why did they spend two years on massive information suppression campaigns against scientists, politicians, podcasters, and just ordinary citizens who had some questions, contrary data, and objections to elites’ demanded Covid response?

Because it was politically expedient to sacrifice science, Americans’ civil rights, human lives, and the world’s future then, and it is not politically expedient to face the consequences for that choice now. And they think nobody can or will hold them accountable for their deadly and despicable lies.

All the misery these too-late admittals underscore appears to be true, but it also could have been prevented. CNN and The New York Times not only did nothing to help prevent this kind of irreversible damage, they willingly, even gleefully, participated in this completely unwarranted mass abuse of Americans. The left lied, children committed suicide.

The corporate left’s morally abominable Covid propaganda operation demands justice. The people who could and should have known, and in fact likely did know, that lockdowns would harm millions of innocents while not protecting the vulnerable can never be trusted again.

Did any of these people tell the truth back when it could have saved the generation that comprises the world’s future? Nope. They not only watched it happen, they cheered it on and viciously ostracized all who told the truth.

All these people have erased all their moral authority and their claims to expertise. The same goes for all the education “experts” and “leaders” who didn’t spend the last two years screaming at the top of their lungs that school shutdowns are a stupid, scientifically unwarranted, and evil idea. Yes, that’s basically all of them.

Experts who knowingly allow mass child abuse because they don’t want to harm their careers are not experts, they are cowards. They deserve not one ounce of public trust or even to retain their jobs. They certainly should have no public funds nor authority over any portion of the upbringing of American children.

Not one parent or elected official should give these education and public health “experts” the time of day. In a time of dire need, these keepers of the nation’s children and controllers of billions in public funds piled American children on a funeral pyre, lit it on fire, and cheered as it burned. Requiring that they find a more honest line of work would be an act of mercy.

These “experts” and “leaders” have shown themselves to be grossly incompetent at discharging their crucial public trust and duties. They should be relieved of those duties as soon as possible. If state lawmakers will not do it, citizens must. If they do not, they are also complicit cowards and also deserve to be sanctioned and socially shamed for their willingness to sacrifice the most vulnerable for their personal comfort.

For a long time now, American parents have registered deep dissatisfaction with the public schools they feel forced to stick their kids in. Even before lockdowns, unscientific and education-damaging forced masking in schools, ridiculous repeated quarantines of healthy kids, and rolling “brownouts” of in-person schooling, polling shows most American parents wish they didn’t feel like the public schools in their ZIP code were their only option.

After all this incompetence-imposed life chaos, the current surge of parent outrage at local school board meetings is only the tip of the spear. As more evidence emerges of the unnecessary harms we knew beforehand would result from lockdowns, public anger will only grow. It won’t be limited to schools, either.

If more exciting school board meetings, primaries for craven politicians, and parents yanking funding from schools that don’t serve them are what it takes to run every one of these moral cretins out of every position of power they’ve abused throughout their careers, then go, Americans, go. Do it for the kids. Our future will remember who stood up for the truth, lives, and liberties, and who made billions of precious humans needlessly suffer.


Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Sign up here to get early access to her next book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. In 2013-14 she won a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education mandates. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

500 School Districts Publicly Declare Only Woke Teachers Need Apply


Reported BY: JANE ROBBINS | JANUARY 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/10/500-school-districts-publicly-declare-only-woke-teachers-need-apply/

Teacher eyeballing a student

The woke-o-meter in public schools is about to ramp up. Parents who think they don’t have time to homeschool may soon realize that, compared to the effort involved in monitoring and countering the nonsense from leftist classrooms, homeschooling is the relaxing alternative. Not all teachers buy into the leftist narrative of race-obsessed anti-Americanism. But leftist K-12 administrators want to ensure that, eventually, all teachers will present only approved ideas and counter any wrongthink children are taught at home. Many of these educrats are now embracing a technological fix.

Trade publication Education Week recently reported that about 500 school districts around the country are rating teacher applicants according to their “cultural competency,” another code for “wokeness.” Many of these districts are contracting with a teacher-hiring company called Nimble, which uses artificial intelligence to examine applications and interview answers to determine which candidates harbor the correct political and cultural attitudes.

A central concern of Nimble and its leftist clients is mindsets about race. The goal is to hire only teachers who are “anti-racist” activists, who will reject equal treatment of all students in favor of discrimination against some (whites) for the supposed benefit of others (racial minorities). Note that under this rubric, Asian students, who as a group work hard and consequently excel, don’t qualify as an oppressed racial minority.

“Now that we’ve become a little more aware of the concept of anti-racism and maybe a little more woke as a culture, I do think that districts have started to emphasize these questions a little bit more,” Nimble CEO Lauren Dachille told EdWeek. “They might be more common, they might be more explicit.”

Anti-racism as a motivating societal force was popularized by Ibram X. Kendi, who along with other savvy race grifters is profiting handsomely from the concept. Getting points for honesty if not integrity, Kendi teaches that discrimination against white people is a positive good, and indeed necessary to establish the “equity” of equal outcomes for all regardless of intelligence or effort. This is what is meant by anti-racism: “If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist.”

What types of discrimination do Kendi and his disciples approve? Examples abound. White students may be shamed in classroom “privilege walks” or “privilege deconstruction” sessions. Black or Hispanic students may be held to lower standards of behavior. Programs for gifted students may be abolished.

Note the racism inherent in anti-racism. “Anti-racists” assume that black and brown children are “less than” white or Asian kids—they can’t excel in academics, they can’t follow basic rules of personal conduct. It’s necessary to change all standards to accommodate these presumed “inferior” beings. Such a theory ensures minority kids will never overcome personal obstacles because they’re told they don’t have to. This is the system that, with Nimble’s help, many schools are trying to establish and perpetuate.

EdWeek identified a Boston elementary school principal who “will tell candidates the school’s priorities around anti-racism and ask them to respond.” To make crystal clear the political attitudes expected from successful candidates, “she will ask them what they’ve done personally or professionally to be more anti-racist.” Presumably, getting arrested at a Black Lives Matter riot would be, as Rush Limbaugh used to say, a resume enhancement.

Applicants in Indianapolis may be asked “how [they would] ensure that student outcomes are not predictable by race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or sexual orientation.” Of course, there’s only one way to ensure such an outcome: manipulate it to guarantee that all students end up at the same low level. Any students who threaten the leveling by working too hard or achieving too much will have to be brought to heel—at least, if they’re the “wrong” race.

Indianapolis teaching applicants may also be asked, “Why do you think that low-income students predictably perform lower on standardized tests than their more-affluent peers?” One would be pretty safe to assume a preferred answer would be “because of systemic racism,” not “because those students, largely due to decades of misguided government policies, are more likely to come from fatherless families and grow up in a dysfunctional environment.”

Throughout the article, district officials emphasize the importance of hiring teachers who are amenable to the schools’ “priorities” and “values.” But how is it appropriate for a public institution, funded by taxpayers who hold a wide range of political opinions, to institutionalize one set of those opinions? Even worse, how is it appropriate for the institution to guarantee the propagation of those opinions by limiting hires to candidates who agree with them?

These questions illustrate the bubble mentality of the left. Leftists are so certain of the objective correctness of all their views that they cannot conceive of any person of goodwill taking a different position. In the leftist mind, anyone not willing to engage in discrimination against whites or Asians in the name of “equity” is the moral equivalent of a Klansman. And who would object to screening out Klansmen from the teacher corps?

Parents who hope the public schools are still salvageable might want to reconsider. The skyrocketing wokeness of administrators who control teacher hiring will ensure that all classrooms are increasingly devoted to indoctrination rather than education.

How exhausting it is for parents to constantly monitor what their children are being fed in every class and then try to repair the intellectual and moral damage at home. Viewed in this light, does choosing another schooling arrangement really seem so hard?


Jane Robbins is an attorney and a retired senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington DC. In that position she crafted federal and state legislation designed to restore the constitutional autonomy of states and parents in education policy, and to protect the rights of religious freedom and conscience. She is a graduate of Clemson University and the Harvard Law School.

Critical Race Trove From California District Tells Students How To Use Witchcraft On People Who Say ‘All Lives Matter’


Reported By Spencer Lindquist | DECEMBER 6, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/12/06/critical-race-trove-from-california-district-tells-students-how-to-use-witchcraft-on-people-who-say-all-lives-matter/

Critical Race Trove From California District Tells Students How To Use Witchcraft On People Who Say ‘All Lives Matter’
Photo YouTube

While documenting my former high school’s attempt to indoctrinate me with critical race theory six years ago, I remarked that now, several years later, “the situation has undoubtedly worsened.” Worsened it has. Now, Campbell Union High School District has promoted more than 100 equity resourcesto students and staff, including a document that taught students how to put a curse on those who say “all lives matter.”

Colorblindness, Cops, and Curses

The page serves as a vast library for CRT resources and features 60 different links, including a Google Drive folder with 45 different documents. The list made sure to include the full range of CRT buzzwords, with links like Raising Race Conscious Children, the infamous 1619 ProjectAnti-Racism for Beginners, and Social Identities and Systems of Oppression, among others. One link takes you to an Anti-Racism Resource List,” which teaches about “white fragility” and claims that racism can only be perpetrated by white people. One of the “resources” provided was a Trevor Noah speech labeled Why rioting makes sense, followed by an unhinged anti-white rant from Sonya Renee Taylor, demanding that white people “throw your white body” on police officers and “put their bodies on the line for the purpose of justice.”

The list also addresses white people when it says, “We are socialized into white supremacy from the moment we are born” before going on to say, “It is about completely dismantling how you see yourself and how you see the world, so that you can dismantle … white supremacy.”

Samuel Martin graduated from CUHSD’s Branham High School in 2019 and was appalled by the district’s actions. He told The Federalist, “The idea that white students must ‘dismantle themselves’ in the context of their personality is cultish. Not only is it cultish, but it is deliberate in that this school system wants its’ white students to hate themselves. Do these people honestly think that drilling racial identitarianism into childrens’ heads from a young age is going to make them less racist?”

CUHSD also links to the Black Lives Matter Resource Guide, specifically their section labeled “high school,” which itself includes 45 different texts. Amid a wide variety of CRT inspired assignments is a document that includes writing prompts on police brutality and racist violence

One section titled “Hex” tells the reader, “Hexing people is an important way to get out anger and frustration.” It becomes increasingly deranged, suggesting that those who say, “all lives matter” or commit “microaggressions,” should be targeted. “Write your own hex poem, cursing that person,” it instructs. 

When asked her thoughts on the document that instructed K-12 students to use witchcraft on political opponents, Branham teacher Meredith Allen told The Federalist she hasn’t read the documents her district recommends, so she “can’t comment,” but that she is generally “opposed to the ‘all lives matter’ message.”

Another section labeled “A World With No Police” cites police and military as “systems or institutions that … contribute to oppression.” It asks, “What would the world be like without them?” before telling the reader to write a poem discussing “a world without these institutions.”

The Black Radical Tradition,” is a 565-page e-book that includes articles from the Communist League and Noel Ignatiev under the pen name Noel Ignatin. Ignatiev was a Marxist who argued that “abolishing the white race is … so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed white supremacists.”

Then there’s a slide show entitled What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?which is made for children and was produced in part by teachers at LAUSD. It includes a glossary of terms like “white supremacy,” the definition of which includes the line, “systems, like schools and jails, have white supremacy built into them because white people have had so much power for so long.”

The ADL’s linked document George Floyd, Racism, and Law Enforcementdefines racism as “the … oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people,” a definition that reinforces the malicious lie that white people can’t be the victims of anti-white racism

Another ADL resource condemns colorblindness and provides carefully crafted methods to indoctrinate white students with the idea that they have privilege without incurring backlash while a Racial Equity Resource Guide advertises the White Privilege Conference.

Top-Down Pushing Critical Race Theory On Students

The district’s equity resources page is just the most visible result of a series of steps in support of CRT that started long ago. In fact, the district was a testing ground for CRT before it spread throughout the nation. The book Research Studies on Educating for Diversity and Social Justice was published in 2018 and describes the process. An entire chapter, written in part by my former teacher, is dedicated to discussing how CRT was used at my high school so it could be replicated.

The book noted the use of the theory, saying, “CRT is used here to centralize the discussion of race and racism at Branham High School.” It went on to describe an “equity advisory” class that I was placed in as a sophomore, where “Students learn about the different types of oppression along with the privilege it affords the oppressors.” The authors hoped their tactics would spread, writing, “the intent behind sharing the process Branham underwent is to provide a model that could be followed by other schools across the nation.”

The district’s Board of Trustees supports this agenda, recently offering unanimous support for a resolution resolving to “dismantle institutionalized racism in our society and our school district” and is “committed to … implicit bias training, Ethnic Studies, and resources that foster dialogue around the guiding principles of #BlackLivesMatter.”

Note the district’s adoption of the term “equity” rather than “equality.” Here’s superintendent Robert Bravo two hours and 39 minutes into a board meeting saying he believes “equity is about equity of outcomes.”

CUHSD even established an Anti-Racism Team, which is divided into eight Equity Teams that include teachers, principals, administrators, and even two students who must be “BIPOC.” That means white students are banned from the “Equity” Teams. They’re tasked with “challenging imbalances of power and privilege,” among other roles. 

Michael Espinoza is a member of one such Equity Team and a teacher at Branham High School who won the district’s teacher of the year award. Here he is calling a Native American tribe the “rightful stewards of the lands our schools and district offices stand on” and telling teachers to recognize “the power of critical race theory and use it in our lesson plans.” 

He also gave a speech to the class of 2021, where he levied leftwing complaints against America and quoted Huey Newton, imploring students to engage in revolution instead of “conforming to the machine that is the United States.” On his Instagram account, Espinoza celebrates mandates for ethnic studies classes and complains of living under “white supremacist, heteropatriarchal rule” in a plea to his “co-conspirators.” 

If this is CUHSD’s model teacher, what does their model student look like? Espinoza’s students created a variety of leftwing posters in his ethnic literature class. One poster demanded “Dear White PPL: Start Listening, Stop Talking” and others that said, “Wear UR F-cking Mask” and “Give us back our land.” Principal Lawton took down the posters amid outcry before caving in and apologizing to the leftwing agitators.

Co-Conspirators? Or A Conservative Counter Culture?

The full ramifications of our education system’s descent into leftwing radicalism is yet to be fully realized, although we can be certain that many of the students it doesn’t lose to homeschooling will be successfully transformed into “co-conspirators.” But as the rhetoric of revolution becomes standard for stodgy school administrators, its appeal to youth might wane.

Conversely, they run the risk of creating a small but clever cadre of conservative youth who understand from firsthand childhood experiences the consequences of toxic racial grievance politics. Don’t be surprised if the propagandizers who intend to give permanency to left-wing hegemony instead give rise to a nascent conservative political force that will uproot it.

Update: After publication, CUHSD removed the Black Lives Matter Resource Guide. CUHSD’s original equity resources list can be viewed here.

Spencer Lindquist is an intern at the Federalist and a senior at Pepperdine University where he studies Political Science and Rhetoric and Leadership and serves as Pepperdine’s College Republicans President. You can follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach him at LSpencerLindquist@gmail.com.

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.

Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID


Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID

The past nine months have seen more than a quarter-million Americans die from the coronavirus. Each and every death represents a tragedy — a life cut short, an empty place at the family table this holiday season, children mourning their parents, even parents mourning their children.

But a separate and ongoing tragedy has also struck at countless more than another quarter-million Americans: Children who have disappeared from school following last spring’s COVID-19 closures. survey conducted by CBS’s “60 Minutes” found that among 78 of the largest school districts in the country, at least 240,000 students remained unaccounted for when school resumed, in many cases virtually, this fall. This number doesn’t, of course, include the many other children schools have lost in other districts.

Each and every one of those cases also represents a tragedy. Indeed, it’s a slow-moving crisis. Every child who doesn’t return to school to complete his or her education represents dreams unfulfilled. It means diminished career prospects, lower earnings, an increased risk of trouble with law enforcement or substance misuse, more expense to society through the criminal justice and welfare systems, and on, and on, and on.

Just as these students have fallen through the proverbial cracks, however, policymakers do not seem to be doing nearly enough to solve the problem.

Obstacles to Online Learning

In their reporting on these missing children, “60 Minutes” spoke with one of them, a high school senior in Tampa, Fla. named Kiara. Kiara said she had moved around town eight or nine times since elementary school; her stepfather lost her job when the pandemic hit, and she was currently living in a motel.

A school district administrator said Kiara had been a good student before the pandemic but started failing classes when learning went virtual. Listening to her describe her situation, it’s not hard to figure out why her performance suffered:

Not having that teacher to really talk to was kinda difficult and just me not having a laptop at the time was difficult doing it on my phone. Just such a small screen. …

[Doing virtual learning via her phone] was very difficult because my phone is really skinny. At the time, I didn’t have glasses so I’d have to, like, slide to the left and slide to the right and slide up. So it was just really iffy. …

Definitely, I definitely come outside [to escape her crowded motel room]. I’ll sit here and study. But sometimes, you know, the mosquitoes are coming, you know. It’s hard.

At times, Kiara would walk a mile to a nearby park to get some peace and quiet to complete her work — but the park didn’t have WiFi or an electrical outlet. She said she would “try to make it work as best I could,” but it doesn’t take a doctorate in education to realize why any student’s performance would suffer in that environment.

In some respects, Kiara represents one of the luckier victims of the school shutdowns. She has big dreams — she wants to become a dental hygienist, and eventually a dentist — and fought through the obstacles the COVID-19 closures put in her path. But it’s sadly understandable to see how some families and some children would just give up.

Enrollment Down, and It’s Not All Homeschooling

Across the country, public school enrollment has declined for the current academic year. Outside D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland’s public school enrollment declined by 3,300, or about 2 percent, this fall; on the other side of the Potomac River, Fairfax County, Virginia’s enrollment declined by nearly 5 percent. In Missouri, public school enrollment dropped 3.2 percent statewide, with a 31 percent drop in preschool enrollment and a nearly 10 percent decline in kindergarten enrollment.

These changes represent two distinct trends — both ends of the proverbial barbell. In Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and other wealthy enclaves, the enrollment declines come from affluent families enrolling their children in private schools to escape another year of virtual or hybrid learning in public education. At the other end of the spectrum, children like Kiara in families facing financial and other logistical difficulties dropped out of virtual learning entirely.

Open the Schools

The chaos children like Kiara continue to face with virtual learning — a national scandal if there ever was one — argues for a major expansion of school choice, so that no child faces these kinds of obstacles again. Thankfully, Ohio just enacted a major expansion of school choice, giving students an early Christmas present; other states should follow suit (in the interests of full disclosure, I have worked on a variety of projects advocating for school choice; however, no clients had input into this article).

Until every parent has access to school choice, school districts should start taking steps to reopen their classrooms to in-person instruction. There are fine and valid disagreements to be had over the necessity of business closures during the pandemic, but the idea that bars should remain open yet schools remain closed runs counter to any sense of logic, not to mention good public policy.

The future of hundreds of thousands of children lies in the hands of policymakers and school officials coming up with a plan to open their doors as soon as possible, and keep them open. Kiara and students like her deserve far better than what they have received during the past nine months — and they deserve it now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Jacobs is founder and CEO of Juniper Research Group, and author of the book, “The Case Against Single Payer.” He is on Twitter: @chrisjacobsHC.

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