Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘school boards’

‘No Politics’ Public School in Colorado Sees Huge Growth in Just One Year


REPORTED BY: JOHN DILL | MAY 02, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/05/02/no-politics-public-school-in-colorado-sees-huge-growth-in-just-one-year/

Merit Academy’s vision: students prepared for success in a free society, promoting civic responsibility, and contributing their talents in a flourishing republic.

Author John Dill profile

JOHN DILL

MORE ARTICLES

It seems a lifetime ago when The Federalist introduced you last fall to Merit Academy in Woodland Park, Colorado. It’s a no-politics public school designed and overseen by local parents, opened in just one year of intense planning and work. These past seven months have seen this public contract school grow and flourish, despite many challenges.

“When you think back to where we were a year ago, it is surreal,” says Gwynne Pekron, Merit’s director of development and chief action officer, beaming. “This was a dream for many, but a vision to us.”

Merit Academy is a classical, Core Knowledge school that opened on August 23, 2021, to 184 full-time students and more than 80 part-time homeschool students. The parents and community members who built Merit sought an education that would challenge children and build lasting friendships, without the controversial politics often found in public schools.

“Merit Academy is a shining example of our virtues of valor, goodness, and perseverance,” reflected local parent Heather Scholz. “It meets the demand of parents who have given up on the direction of modern schools.”

When we last checked in with Merit Academy, they were working hard in the classroom basement of Faith Lutheran Church, which generously opened its doors to Merit when the school’s board struggled to find a space big enough to accommodate parent demand. Where are they now? After calling both Faith Lutheran and Mountain View Methodist churches home, Merit Academy is now in its “start-up Bear Den” at a re-purposed hardware store in a local strip mall. Outside recess space was kindly offered by neighboring Our Lady of the Woods Catholic Church. Classroom walls are portable, lined with sound blankets to alleviate noise. From these walls hang children’s artwork and school projects, ranging from idioms to drawings of George Washington to designs of engineered future cities.

“For the first time, my son doesn’t ask for a ‘sick day,’” says Tarin McNeese, a sixth-grade parent. “This is not to say it’s easy—he works at it—but when challenged, his teachers guide him. I personally appreciate the school’s transparency with what is taught.”

The Merit Bears study science, English, history, reading, mathematics, Latin, language lab, and writing. In the halls, one hears lively songs of the upcoming spring performance, recitations of numbers study, and discussions of what it means to be valorous, one of the five Merit virtues. The classes are driven by Merit’s vision: students prepared for success in a free society, promoting civic responsibility, and contributing their talents in a flourishing republic by pursuing beauty, truth, and good.

The desire for choice is stronger than ever, not only in this beautiful mountain community but across the nation as charter school enrollments climb. In November 2021, this school district had its first contested school board election in more than a decade, and Merit’s existence, school choice, and critical race theory were all on the ballot. All four school-choice candidates swept the election, but their change agenda faces fierce resistance from the defeated minority. The new board majority is addressing the taxpayers’ concerns about district facilities operating at approximately 50 percent capacity. They are committed to stopping the 20-year trend of severely declining enrollment and family exodus.

The local school district was losing families who decided to live elsewhere or place their children in public and private schools outside Teller County, a picturesque rural location encompassing Pike’s Peak and adjacent to Colorado Springs. To bring families back, the new school board members support a parent’s right to know what is being taught. They support Merit Academy and school choice for parents. They plan to increase staff salaries and right a ship that has been listing for 20 years.

While holding her two-year-old, Nicole Waggoner, one of Merit’s founders, said, “Merit adds educational choice many people want. These families appreciate our virtues, our curriculum, and our school, so our enrollment numbers are through the roof. We’re drawing families up the pass [from Colorado Springs], which contributes to a thriving community.”

Image courtesy Merit Academy.

Seeing smiling faces in the “Bear Den,” one may wonder what challenges Merit Academy has overcome. “Starting a school is not easy,” reflected Pekron, “but it is worth it, especially when you hear your kids talking about the War of 1812, how a cat’s eyes adjust at night, or how they acted responsibly that day. It’s worth every breath.”

So, what are the biggest challenges now? Pekron paused, then said: “No matter how deep the vision and how detailed the plan, the biggest challenge is being at the mercy of others.” Glancing out the window, she continued, “As a contract school, grant foundations did not understand we were cut from the same cloth as a charter school, but different. Most said, ‘Come back when you are chartered.’”

Despite those financial disappointments, the most touching and inspiring funding came from grassroots contributions and encouraging words from supporters all over the country following the September 2021 Federalist article. To you, Merit Academy is deeply grateful.

One of Merit’s house mottos is “Fortune favors the brave.” This spring, Merit Academy has had greater financial support, with grants and donations totaling more than $400,000. Merit board member Mary Sekowski said, “It’s wonderful to receive these blessings of needed financial support that support start-up expenses.”

Seed funding isn’t the only thing start-up schools struggle with. “The facilities piece has been more difficult,” said Waggoner. “There are few available spaces for demanded growth.”

Woodland Park lies west of Colorado Springs at a stunning 8,500 feet elevation. As in most mountain communities, few existing buildings could house a school. Merit’s facility challenges landed it in an old hardware store, one of the only large-enough spaces open.

Pikes Peak as seen from Woodland Park, courtesy of Gwynne Pekron.

While many would view Merit’s experience as a struggle, the newly elected school board recognized a community need to charter Merit and sought a win-win solution for Merit’s space needs. The district’s declining enrollment leaves district taxpayers with a hefty burden to maintain partially empty buildings, costing more than $2.6 million annually.

“The more you spend on buildings, the less you spend on students,” noted Sekowski. “Taxpayers prefer their tax dollars support an increase in staff salary or a boost in student programming rather than pay for half-empty buildings.”

Due to declining enrollment, the district’s building space is at approximately 51 percent of functional capacity, according to a Denver consulting firm the district hired last fall. The capacity is forecasted to decrease to 32 percent at the middle school building and 35 percent at the high school in four years. The taxpayer cost of operation and maintenance for these two buildings alone exceeds $1.5 million per year.

Recognizing Merit’s need for space to grow as a new district charter school, the district explored the possibility of offering Merit space at the half-capacity district middle school, which would decrease district facility expenditures and honor high community support for Merit Academy.

“With Merit paying the building expenses, district funds will be redistributed to students and staff, not spent on underutilized building space,” Waggoner stated. “Besides saving taxpayers money, it honors previous community commitments to learning by using these spaces for their original intent — the education of children. This is especially timely with district consultants discussing school closures.”

This idea generated resistance from a minority in the community that closely resembles nationwide opposition to newly elected conservative school boards. This group has posted vitriol on social media, saying things like “F— Merit” on Facebook, protesting at local school board meetings, yelling at and heckling the newly elected directors, using public comment periods to call directors “racist” and accuse them of trying to establish religion, and identifying with national efforts to stifle charter schools and school choice. One of the new school board directors even had his truck keyed during a board meeting.

Image courtesy Merit Academy.

In March, students celebrated Dr. Seuss, wearing mustaches and reading Dr. Seuss books. As if written for Merit Academy and all parent-initiated schools out there, Dr. Seuss advised, “If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it.”

Yes, it is worth it. Despite its many challenges, Merit Academy thrives, with steadfast community support. The school opened in fall 2021 with nearly 200 students and a large waitlist. Its 2022-23 enrollment is forecasted to grow to more than 370 full- and part-time students, with additional students on its still-large waitlist.

“We are no longer just a hope or a dream,” Waggoner reflected. “Merit Academy is the school many families have hoped for.”

To learn more about Merit Academy or support it, please visit https://merit.academy.


John Dill is director of the Merit Academy school board and a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force.

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.

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.

New ‘Domestic Terror Unit’ Is A Way to Punish Americans for Thought Crimes


COMMENTARY BY: HUDSON CROZIER | JANUARY 17, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/17/doj-domestic-terror-unit-is-just-a-new-way-to-punish-americans-for-thought-crimes/

DOJ agents stand around on street corner

On Tuesday, Department of Justice representatives informed a Senate committee of plans to gather a group of select attorneys to form a “Domestic Terror Unit” in light of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack, noting that its number of investigations of alleged domestic terrorists have more than doubled since the spring of 2020. While admitting “there is no single federal crime labeled ‘domestic terrorism,’” a DOJ official promised to invoke a “criminal code” that allows enhanced sentences for certain crimes listed as “terror offenses.”

There are many reasons to doubt the authenticity of the federal government’s efforts against this “persistent and evolving” threat, including its conveniently blurred definitions.

The National Defense and Authorization Act’s definition of “domestic terrorism” distinctly refers to “unlawful use or threat of force of violence in furtherance of ideological agendas” in the context of political or anti-government extremism. Most other common-sense definitions clearly denote violence as an essential feature. However, federal agents have a poor track record in their use of the label, not only in the case of parents angry at school boards, but most recently in relation to Jan. 6, 2021.

In July 2021, after pleading guilty to “obstruction of an official proceeding,” non-violent Jan. 6 defendant Paul Hodgkins, who had no prior criminal record, was given a heavy eight-month sentence. Judge Randolph Moss described him as one of many “terrorists” that day, baselessly lumping him in with those who committed actual violence.

In all his insufferable rantings about an “assault on democracy” and the rebellious “symbolism” of Hodgkins raising a Trump flag, Moss could not explain how his particular crime of roaming the Senate floor for 22 minutes had enabled violence. In fact, he plainly admitted that the punishment wasn’t based entirely on individual guilt, but on a perverse idea of “balanced” justice:

The court here had to consider both what I think are the extremely damaging events that occurred that day but also who Mr. Hodgkins is as an individual. And as I think is reflected by the sentencing I imposed, I tried to strike that balance.

This implies one may be considered a terrorist by virtue of being within geographical distance of what terrorists are doing if one’s political leanings are on a similar spectrum. Despite the court’s claims, neither the prosecution nor the judge brought forth a sentencing enhancement based on the existing code of terror offenses mentioned Tuesday. Why? Because Hodgkins’ crime isn’t on it. It was terrorism because the court said it was, not by law.

More judicial malpractice occurred in the case of non-violent defendant Jacob Chansely, the infamous “Q shaman” who was held in solitary confinement for months while Judge Royce Lamberth repeatedly denied his release. In November, Chansely received an unbelievable 41-month sentence when he pleaded guilty to the same charge as Hodgkins.

While admitting Chansely committed no violent crime at the Capitol (in fact, he openly called for peace), the court cited a “need to deter others especially in cases of domestic terrorism.” By punishing a non-terrorist more harshly than necessary to “deter others,” our bloodthirsty DOJ showed a willingness to weaponize federal convictions that deplete a defendant’s civil rights just to make an example out of him.

In August, the government extended its wild accusations out of the courtrooms and into local police departments. Leading up to the anniversary of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert advising police and neighborhoods to be on the lookout for potential terror threats. Among them were “opposition to COVID measures,” or association with “conspiracy theories on perceived election fraud.”

Do you oppose certain COVID policies or hold a skeptical view of the 2020 election’s security but have no intent to respond violently or illegally? The DHS draws no line; to them, you may be a terrorist. Their language spreads beyond actions to include statements or beliefs that are inherently devoid of any call to action, violent or not. One could almost call it an indictment of “thought crime.”

Lastly, while the Jan. 6 Capitol attack obviously involved acts of political violence, it hasn’t been linked to any broader, organized threat to the country, raising more questions as to what exactly justifies a new Terror Unit in response. In August, after hundreds of arrests and investigations, the FBI admitted to finding no hard evidence of an elaborate political plot on Jan. 6, a confession no one in the government has retracted since. The most concerning evidence of a plot may be the FBI’s own use of provocateurs, but it’s looking doubtful the FBI or DOJ will investigate itself.

When asked by the Senate committee if any Jan. 6 defendants have been charged with “insurrection,” DOJ representatives said they were unaware of any. That’s because the answer is no. Regardless, the feds continue to ramp up their already fanatical response to a problem they haven’t clearly defined.

Our self-serving ruling class hasn’t conducted itself responsibly or transparently in the wake of the Capitol attack, and we can expect this new development to be no different. While the Biden administration would have us believe that the aimless actions of a few foolish troublemakers represent the greatest authoritarian threat to the United States, its systematic purge of political opponents indicates otherwise.


Hudson Crozier is a Texas student and contributor to Unwoke Narrative. As a news journalist, he specializes in national and international politics as well as media analysis. He also hosts the Hudson Crozier blog, which covers broad cultural issues. Follow him onInstagram @lone_star_trooper.

Wisconsin Parents Join National Crusade To Wrestle Their Kids Back From Left-Wing Government Schools


Reported BY: KYLEE ZEMPEL | JANUARY 11, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/11/wisconsin-parents-join-national-crusade-to-wrestle-their-kids-back-from-left-wing-government-schools/

Wisconsin parents town hall with Rebecca Kleefisch

WAUKESHA, Wis. — The banquet hall buzzed with impassioned chatter as parents, friends, first-time school board candidates, and other locals congregated for a Saturday morning town hall that felt more like a strategy session. After two major public school districts, Milwaukee and Madison, shut down yet again and blamed COVID, parents were fired up. Talk of critical race theory, leftist administrators, mask mandates, and school shutdowns hummed through conversations with the kind of first-hand animation that could propel once-complacent Wisconsin parents into a movement of activists capable of unleashing an unquenchable red wave in the Dairy State. They saw what happened in Virginia, and now they want to bring it home.

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who’s now running to unseat Democrat Gov. Tony Evers in November, organized the event. Although Kleefisch is in campaign mode, the overarching energy of the gathering wasn’t as much, “Help get me elected,” as it was, “How can we get more of you elected?”

Calling All Parents

“We need more parent activists. This is that important,” Kleefisch said while moderating a panel of concerned moms-turned-activists.

One of those moms was Scarlett Johnson, a mother of five who, after discovering the apathy in the Mequon-Thiensville School Board, decided she needed to run for a seat.

“We just started paying closer attention,” Johnson said to the room of eager fellow parents. “I hadn’t attended school board meetings. I vote, but I never voted for a school board candidate.”

But that all changed this last year. Johnson said she and a group of other moms started getting together and doing their research. When they did, they found toxic racial propaganda in their kids’ classrooms, such as teachers assigning books like Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility.” The moms started making phone calls and sending emails to school officials. “It started a movement,” Johnson said.

In the course of her run for school board, Johnson said she’s been called a white supremacist and received death threats, but noted, “I’m still here, I’m still fighting.”

Kylee Zempel/The Federalist

No Room for Apathy

Parents aren’t just fired up about nefarious actors in the school systems, however. They’re also on the lookout for complacent school board members and district officials. Another mom on the panel, Alyssa Pallow, is getting involved simply because her school board doesn’t seem to really know anything about dangerous ideologies such as critical race theory. Kleefisch agreed, stressing to parents that they don’t have to wait to get involved until one of their kids cracks a textbook or assignment that makes their jaw drop open. “It can be that you’re horrified by the apathy,” Kleefisch said.

“It snowballs,” said another mom, Amber Schroeder, regarding parent activism. “You will inspire people to get involved.” Schroeder and Johnson worked together in the Mequon-Thiensville district to organize a recall election of four school board members.

“People are afraid to do it alone,” Schroeder continued. “Once you realize you’re not alone, a lot more people get involved. … If you build it, they will come.”

A Time for Choosing

Other parents have been shocked to watch their children become casualties in the left’s Covid crackdowns. Mattie Allen stressed the importance of school choice after her kids had a horrible academic year due to lockdowns. Allen’s son spent his first year in school doing it virtually, “which was horrendous,” she said. Her daughter spent one year at Milwaukee Public Schools, where her GPA plummeted, and it was “one of the worst years.” Thanks to school choice, they’re now in a charter school with just one grade per class. “Their school is so open, and I love it,” Allen said, noting that her daughter’s GPA is back up, she’s on the honor roll, and she’s playing volleyball.

But some families aren’t so fortunate. One of Allen’s friends who is stuck with her kids in Milwaukee Public Schools is watching the district once again shut down. This single mom has a first-grader and a third-grader, meaning she had to switch to third shift just so she could fulfill the roles of both teacher and provider. She’s “up all day, up all night,” Allen said, getting choked up. “How do we give all moms that [school choice] option?”

[WATCH: Meet The Parents: How The Moms And Dads Of Loudoun County Took Back Virginia]

Maggie Vinopal, a mom in the Eau Claire school district, has also had enough with the COVID madness, saying school officials are weaponizing Statute 252, a state quarantine law, to punish and quarantine unvaccinated kids. Her healthy seventh-grade daughter has been quarantined four different times for a total of 14 schools days, despite coronavirus posing almost zero risk of severity to healthy children. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to “isolate,” Vinopal told The Federalist. But when students come into contact with a positive case, only the unvaccinated have to “quarantine,” despite the ability of the vaccinated to contract and spread COVID.

On the very first day of school, Vinopal’s daughter was seated at the same lunch table as a vaccinated student who later tested positive and had to isolate. While the vaccinated students at the table were allowed to proceed as normal, Vinopal’s daughter was required to quarantine and provide proof of a negative test.

Jumping in the Ring

Covid nonsense like this is what inspired people like first-time Waukesha School Board member Kelly Piacsek to run. When a number of people decided to “abuse our children in the name of science, I got really mad,” said Piacsek, who is now known for holding firm on a decision to end a harmful federally-funded school lunch program in the face of vicious and dishonest attacks. “That’s what motivated me.” Running for school board is “absolutely worth it,” she told parents. “We’ve got to take this on because we have a front-row seat to the consequences.”

Piacsek inspired people like Slinger parent Bill Brewer to run for his school board. Brewer, a veteran, has lived in Slinger for approximately 18 years. He coaches youth football there and is now involved in the league’s leadership. But the school board’s apathy and lack of urgency against dangerous ideologies have prompted him to get involved.

“Marxism doesn’t come and punch you in the face in round one. It creeps in,” Brewer said.
“I just can’t have that, not for my community, not for these kids. They deserve better.”

Rebecca Kleefisch Campaign

Brewer said his strategy isn’t so much a campaign “as a giant, three-month listening tour.”

“Once I get elected, that’s not going to stop,” Brewer said.

That seems to be the Kleefisch campaign strategy too. Rather than spending two hours rattling off campaign promises, the gubernatorial candidate opened the floor on Saturday for parents to voice their concerns and asked attendees to fill out cards with the top three issues that matter to them to help guide her policy. That’s more than these weary parents have gotten from Evers, who has worked to keep parents in the dark. In December, the governor — who was the state superintendent of public instruction for a decade — vetoed education transparency legislation that would have required districts to publish classroom materials online. This anti-parent action from Evers followed his school-closing impulse that kept kids home and tanked their academic advancement.

“We need you to be successful and aggressive,” Kleefisch rallied, encouraging the parents fighting in local races. If the energy in the Waukesha banquet hall was any indication, these parents won’t have any problem with that.


Kylee Zempel is an assistant editor at The Federalist. She previously worked as the copy editor for the Washington Examiner magazine and as an editor and producer at National Geographic. She holds a B.S. in Communication Arts/Speech and an A.S. in Criminal Justice and writes on topics including feminism and gender issues, religious liberty, and criminal justice. Follow her on Twitter @kyleezempel.

Disgraced FBI No. 2 Andrew McCabe Calls for Feds to Treat ‘Mainstream’ Conservatives Like Domestic Terrorists


Reported BY: EVITA DUFFY | JANUARY 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/10/disgraced-fbi-no-2-andrew-mccabe-calls-for-feds-to-treat-mainstream-conservatives-like-domestic-terrorists/

McCabe

Have you ever wondered what disgraced former deputy FBI directors do after trying to stage a coup and lying under oath? Apparently, they give talks about “protecting democracy” at top-rated institutions of higher learning. Indeed, this last Thursday the University of Chicago invited former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe to join a panel of partisans to discuss the Jan 6 “insurrection.” 

McCabe was fired as the deputy FBI director for leaking sensitive information about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation and then lying about it under oath. He also took part in spying on the Donald Trump campaign through a secret warrant granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

The dossier he used to obtain the surveillance warrant was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and, in an ironic twist, was itself the product of Russian disinformation. McCabe and his allies in corporate media justified all sorts of similar illegal and undemocratic tactics to discredit and attempt to unseat President Trump. 

Of course, neither the University of Chicago nor McCabe acknowledged the irony in him discussing the integrity of “democracy” in America on Thursday evening. In fact, what McCabe said at the University of Chicago event on Jan. 6, 2022 is even more shocking than his invitation to speak in the first place. Below are four of the most appalling assertions and policy proposals McCabe made at the public event.

1. Conservatives Are in The Same Category As Islamic Terrorists 

McCabe likened conservatives to members of the Islamic Caliphate: “I can tell you from my perspective of spending a lot of time focused on the radicalization of international terrorists and Islamic extremist and extremists of all stripes… is that this group shares many of the same characteristics of those groups that we’ve seen radicalized along entirely different ideological lines,” he said.

McCabe went on to describe the rise of the Islamic caliphate in Syria and how Islamic extremists were radicalized across socioeconomic, educational, and racial lines, likening it to the “mass radicalization” of the political right across demographics. That’s right, according to McCabe a grandma who shares a Federalist article on Facebook and your uncle with a “Let’s Go Brandon” coffee mug are in the same category as a jihadist who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.

2. Parents at School Board Meetings Pose A ‘Threat To National Security’

“Political violence [is] not just confined to the Capitol,” McCabe asserted. “It’s going on in school boards around the country. It’s going on in local elections. It’s happening, you know, even to health-care workers.” According to this politically protected former FBI no. 2, the “political violence” occurring recently at school board meetings and during local elections is a “very diverse and challenging threat picture.” 

If you haven’t heard already, Democrats are branding parents who oppose child mask mandates and racist critical race theory indoctrination as “domestic terrorists.” 

McCabe said moms and dads who stand up for their children’s health and education at school board meetings in ways Democrats disagree with are very dangerous. So dangerous that it is actually “essential” we have a “rapid and complete response by law enforcement at the state, local and federal level to this sort of political violence…” 

Holding America’s parents “accountable” is not enough for McCabe. He wants to make sure that federal agencies also put “out that message that this sort of conduct that both horribly victimizes individuals, but also serves to undermine our democratic process” is “considered a threat to national security [that is] not tolerated.” 

3. McCabe Wants More Surveillance of ‘Mainstream’ Conservatives 

“I’m fairly confident,” McCabe said, “[that] the FBI [and other agencies] have reallocated resources and repositioned some of their counterterrorism focus to increase their focus on right-wing extremism and domestic violent extremists. And I think that’s obviously a good idea.” 

But McCabe wants more. McCabe asserted that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI need to stop merely focusing on the “fringes of the right-wing movement,” in order to “catch this threat” of the “right.” 

“Are you going to catch this threat if your focus is only on the traditional, right-wing extremist, those groups that we know about, the quote-unquote, fringes of the right-wing movement?” asked McCabe. “And I think the answer to that is no.” 

“It’s entirely possible that when the intelligence community and the law enforcement community looks out across this mainstream,” McCabe continued, “they didn’t assume [on January 6] that that group of people — business owners, white people from the suburbs, educated, employed — presented a threat of violence, and now we know very clearly that they do.” 

McCabe wants to get around constitutional obstacles that restrict the abuses of federal agencies. He explained that the path to granting the feds more power to spy on and punish “extremists,” a.k.a. conservatives, is by implementing federal penalties against “domestic terrorism.”

A measure like this would grant domestic agencies the intelligence capabilities of the international terrorism-focused National Counterterrorism Center. It would, McCabe says, “give investigators the ability to begin investigating when folks are plotting or planning or organizing to use violence for the purpose of coercing the population or influencing government…” 

Joshua Geltzer, President Joe Biden’s advisor on “countering domestic violent extremism,” made the same proposal in a 2019 hearing before a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee. In his proposal, Geltzer suggested that we need to “polic[e] [tech company] platforms to remove not just incitement to violence, but also, the ideological foundations that spawn such violence.”

McCabe claims these proposed federal laws against domestic terrorism can be implemented without infringing on Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech. That seems quite impossible, however, given Geltzer is proposing government oversight of social media, for example.  It is even more difficult to believe when you consider that Democrats are not going after real domestic terrorists and have literally defined parents speaking out at school board meetings as national security threats. As McCabe said himself, to Democrats, the extreme right is the mainstream right. 

4. McCabe Believes No One Is Above The Law (Except Himself)

Ironically, one of McCabe’s last remarks was a proclamation of equality under the law. “Whether you are a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter, right, left, or otherwise, we should all be able to agree on the principle that no one is above the law,” stated McCabe.

 “… [F]rom the lowliest trespasser on January 6, up to the highest-ranking government officials who may have been aware of a plan that would ultimately lead to violence in the Capitol––those people should be held accountable, period,” he announced. “And if we can’t do that, that is just another sign that we are becoming a non-functioning democracy.”

Ironically, McCabe’s firing for repeatedly breaking the law was expunged from the record only because he settled with a partisan Biden Department of Justice. If no one is above the law, as McCabe claims to support, then he would be in jail. Of course, McCabe is above the law. Only dissenting conservatives, in his view, deserve the suspicion and wrath of unelected federal agencies. 

Disturbingly, the University of Chicago does not care about national introspection post-January 6, 2021. If it did, it would not have invited McCabe, of all people, to speak about “protecting democracy.” 

UChicago allowed McCabe to spin lies about what truly happened one year ago and filtered student questions via Zoom, refusing to ask him any tough questions. Consequently, McCabe was given a platform to teach young, impressionable college students without question that the federal government should be weaponized against fellow Americans whom leftists brand as “extremists.”

To the elites in America — Democrats like McCabe, university administrators, and professors – January 6 is the key to labeling their political opponents as dangerous, “white supremacist extremists” and enacting new policy accordingly. America’s universities are now indoctrination machines that shape the minds of the next generation. Academia openly exploits its power and rewrite history to serve their illiberal agenda.

Sadly, McCabe’s dishonest version of January 6 is happily accepted by the academic elites who invited him Thursday night. His frighteningly despotic views and policy prescriptions will likely be accepted and implemented by his young listeners. 

This story was originally published in the Chicago Thinker. 


Evita Duffy is a senior contributor to The Federalist, co-founder of the Chicago Thinker, and a senior at the University of Chicago, where she studies American History. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, & her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at evitapduffy@uchicago.edu

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.

When Did Sexual Assault In Schools Become A Partisan Issue?


Reported By Elle Reynolds | OCTOBER 21, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/21/when-did-sexual-assault-in-schools-become-a-partisan-issue/

In 2014, Rolling Stone published a story about a female student named “Jackie” who claimed she was raped at a fraternity party at the University of Virginia.

“The 9,000-word story prompted a wave of outrage and revulsion,” said the Washington Post. The fraternity in question was graffitied within hours, protesters descended upon the campus in Charlottesville, Va., the university president suspended Greek life until the following year, and elected officials condemned the incident.

“University of Virginia Contends With Outrage Over Horrific Rape Reports,” Time Magazine headlined. CNN reported on the story and the university’s swift reaction to it, as did ABC News. The Huffington Post also picked up the story.

The story, we now know, later unraveled, leading to a retraction from Rolling Stone and massive defamation lawsuits. But not before the appalling tale of a helpless young woman being brutally assaulted on an educational campus shook Americans’ sensibilities. No one was disagreeing that, if true, the incident deserved horror, outrage, and efforts to try and keep such abuses from happening again.

The Story We Should All Be Up In Arms About

Just seven years later, a similarly harrowing tale has emerged just 100 or so miles away from U-Va., in Loudoun County, Va. An investigation from The Daily Wire earlier this month reported allegations from Loudoun County father Scott Smith that in May, “a boy allegedly wearing a skirt entered a girls’ bathroom at nearby Stone Bridge High School, where he sexually assaulted Smith’s ninth-grade daughter.”

“A boy was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio, related to an incident that day at that school,” according to Smith’s attorney.

But instead of receiving national outrage across the political and media landscape, the alleged incident was reportedly covered up by the Loudoun County School Board for months. In a June meeting, board members insisted they didn’t know of any such assaults. After showing up to a school board meeting in protest, Smith was arrested and smeared as a “domestic terrorist.”

Days after the Daily Wire investigation broke, another report alleged the school district had been failing to report sexual assault claims for years. Meanwhile, LCPS appears to have quietly transferred the alleged rapist to another school, where he has since been accused of another sexual assault of a female student.

Where Is The Outrage?

Where is the outrage? A search for “Scott Smith Loudoun” returns zero results on the Washington Post’s website, despite Loudoun County’s close proximity to the Post’s home city. On Tuesday, the Post finally published something on the story, but failed to mention Smith by name and initially failed to admit that the alleged attacker identified as “gender fluid.”

A search for “Scott Smith Loudoun” or “Loudoun sexual assault” returned no results from The New York Times on Wednesday. The extent to which CNN covered the story was to say “[Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn] Youngkin on Tuesday promised action following parental outrage over two recent alleged assaults in public schools in the state’s Loudoun County,” immediately after a paragraph of damage control for Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe’s statement that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Can you imagine if, instead of discovering holes in the U-Va. story, additional coverage had revealed that the school had been covering up other sexual assault allegations for years? Or, if the allegations in the Rolling Stone story had been true, can you imagine if U-Va. had quietly moved the rapists to another fraternity and tried to cover the whole thing up? Or tried to smear Jackie and her family as “domestic terrorists”?

The Loudoun County incident has all the ingredients of a horrifying scandal worthy of the front pages of every newspaper in the country. It should provoke our outrage, not as conservatives, but as caring and compassionate human souls whose sympathies are pricked by the horrors allegedly endured by an innocent 15-year-old girl.

If We Can’t Agree Rape Is Bad, What Can We Agree On?

Ensuring the safety of young girls — in their places of learning and elsewhere — should not be controversial. But the loudest voices on the left, the same ones who screamed “Me Too” from the rooftops of their Hollywood mansions, are too allegiant to the fringe demands of transgenderism to speak up. Many voices in the middle, even, seem too cowardly to come to the defense of young women like Smith’s daughter.

In a widening partisan divide, if we can’t agree that young girls being raped at school is an outrage, what can we agree on? Does the left hate conservatives with such vitriol that, once voices on the right speak up for a young girl’s right to bodily safety, that issue is suddenly anathema, tainted by the fingerprints of concerned parents slandered as domestic terrorists?

Plenty of other common-sense perspectives that any Democrat nominee would have supported up to a couple of years ago have suddenly become “radical” conservative positions too: funding police departments, not segregating kids in school based on race, having international borders, or allowing people to make their own medical decisions without government coercion. Any of these should have been enough to make Americans stop and wonder why the rules of the game are changing so drastically — and who is changing them.

But even for those who had yet to notice, the harrowing tale from Loudoun County Public Schools — and the subsequent shrug that legacy media, Democrats, and the Me Too crowd gave it — should settle that the biggest war in America right now isn’t between Republicans and Democrats, nor between blustering, blundering congressmen battling over whether to sell your children’s future for $3.5 trillion or $1 trillion.

The biggest war in America is between the allegiances we’ve always taken for granted — those of the family, church, and local community — and a conglomerate of forces that will stop at nothing to break them down. Sacrificing a 15-year-old girl’s right to basic safety at her school on the altar of fringe identity politics is just part of that fight.

Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.

Copyright © 2021 The Fed

Ryan Bomberger Op-ed: Big education has zero tolerance for informed and involved parents


Commentary By Ryan Bomberger, Exclusive Columnist | Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/voices/big-education-has-no-tolerance-for-informed-and-involved-parents.html/

loudon county parent school board protest
People hold up signs during a rally against “critical race theory” (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. “Are you ready to take back our schools?” Republican activist Patti Menders shouted at a rally opposing anti-racism teaching that critics like her say trains white children to see themselves as “oppressors.” “Yes!”, answered in unison the hundreds of demonstrators gathered this weekend near Washington to fight against “critical race theory,” the latest battleground of America’s ongoing culture wars. | AFP via Getty Images/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

Our shocking slide into the surreal world of leftist leadership has led to this: American parents are now the enemy. Big Education and a weaponized Department of Justice are going after the very people who should have the most say in public education. School boards and public school administrators, like in Loudoun County, Virginia, where I live, have faced unprecedented informed dissent from parents of every background. Instead of acting like public servants, they act like the petty gods of Mount Olympus recklessly wielding their (unconstitutional) power as they try to strike down (e.g. silence, fire, dox and demonize) anyone who dares to challenge their rule.

But like typical progressives, they’re the victims. They’re more than deserving of the outrage and peaceful protests by American parents. We’re fed up with the pollution of our children’s minds with LGBT pedophilia and porn, racism, colorism, anti-capitalism, religious bigotry, anti-free speech, and other anti-American propaganda.

I don’t advocate violence in any form. I fully advocate parent-led education and fully oppose government-led indoctrination. My wife and I withdrew our school-aged children from Loudoun County Public Schools. I won’t be silenced by those who think parents have no right to help shape what our children learn in schools funded by our tax dollars. We now homeschool all of our children and are passionate about school choice. Sorry, Terry McAuliffe. Not sure why you “don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” There are no schools without students. There are no students without parents. Parents are the primary educators, the primary influencers, and the primary individuals who have to deal with the emotional and psychological fall-out of public education’s increasingly destructive liberal indoctrination.

The National School Boards Association, bolstered by the leftist news establishment’s false narratives, has called for President Joe Biden (whose children didn’t attend public schools) to sic the Department of Justice on dissenting parents, now grotesquely labeled as domestic terrorists.

Let me introduce you to some of the parents leading this fight in my county. These are passionate individuals who never would’ve thought they’d be forced into such a battle. These are everyday moms and dads who defy the fake news caricatures. I’ve shared the stage with each of these remarkable women and men. So, I’ve asked them why they’ve chosen to get involved.

Meet Xi Van Fleet.

Xi fled communist China. She knows, firsthand, about the suppression of basic human rights like life, free speech, and religious liberty. She knows what unlimited government control looks like. “Many black/brown/Asian parents speak up against Critical Race Theory. The Left always uses the Trump card to divide Americans and to discredit those who dare to push back on their radical agenda,” Xi explains. I asked her why it matters if you use someone’s “preferred” (and made up) pronouns. “This is not about pronouns,” she says. “The radical Left is altering reality and forcing us to conform. The goal is not to help transgenders. The goal is to control everyone else.”

Meet Joe Mobley.

Joe is another Loudoun county parent. He’s a podcaster and describes himself as an “uncloseted conservative”. One of the viral videos with his informed dissent focused on the insanely sexually explicit “diversity” books offered by the school district to young children (see it here.) I asked him about the most shocking thing he learned since getting involved in fighting LCPS [Loudon County Public Schools]. “LCPS’ willingness to openly lie, even when the truth is a matter of public record. Like saying CRT isn’t in our schools while CRT Develop Planning is a line item in the budget,” Joe explains. “Media Matters says we’re billionaire-backed professional activists. I can assure you I am struggling to stay in the fight for my family, community, and country. I have a real job that is extremely demanding and important, I’m active in my church. We are about to have our fourth child under seven. The only support I have is emotional support from my family.”

Meet Patti Hidalgo Menders.

Patti is the president of the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club (the largest in Virginia). For some reason, it’s only a problem when a conservative is involved politically. On the Left, it is a standard operating procedure. Her parents fled communist Cuba; they were branded “enemies of the state.” Now, Patti has become the enemy of Big Education as she was blacklisted by a private Facebook group made up of former and current LCPS teachers and board members who wanted to target her publicly. She’s also a mom of six boys, one of whom is still a student at LCPS.

I asked her why she’s involved. “If parents don’t get involved, then the school boards will continue to dictate what is best for their children. I do not coparent with the government. I do not coparent with the school board. This Loudoun County school board continues to listen to special interest groups and equity consultants instead of listening to the parents and the children/students. Parents need to take a stand!”

Meet Michael Rivera.

Michael is yet another Loudoun County parent, with two children in LCPS. He’s a public safety professional who is deeply concerned about the safety of children’s minds in public education. “Students may not have the intellectual wherewithal to ‘fight’ per se but we can educate our children. As a result of the indoctrinating topics being proliferated, our job as parents got harder,” he explains. “We need to explain things to our children by stating and explaining reality and facts. That explanation includes ugly facts about the history of the United States. We need to give our children evidence and truth so they can debate and refute radical political ideologies. In the end, our children will be independent thinkers, but it is our job as parents to guide them down the right paths.”

Michael opposes the blatant CRT principles being pushed on students in government schools. “I’m not white, but I prefer not to lead with that fact. There is absolutely NO good that comes from reinforcing judgment of others solely by color. We know for a fact that it is illogical and was a false proposition during the awful years of slavery and oppression of blacks. I look to all of the successful minorities in America and only see progress for all. How ironic and ludicrous is it that wealthy, powerful, successful black Americans are trying to destroy the very [capitalist] system that allowed them to be who they are?”

Meet Shawntel Cooper.

Shawntel is a working, fighting mom. She is a no-nonsense warrior for her children who doesn’t mince words. Her speeches at school board meetings are straight fire! I asked her if she’s the parent fake news keeps talking about that wants to oppress black and brown people (insert eye-rolling and laughter here). “I’m black, and I’m very happy with my natural skin tone. I have noticed a lot of flip-flopping with the school system stating they are not teaching CRT. But then they changed the name to Culturally Responsive Framework anti-bias with the same curriculum they lied about. I was taught to never listen to rumors but check the facts before assuming. I’ve seen so many people marching for BLM, and we all witnessed BLM didn’t do a thing for those communities they encouraged [activists] to burn down. When I saw the shooting and looting, I knew then and there it was a political move to keep racism alive.” 

Meet you.

The great thing about these parents, who apparently threaten Big Education and the Biden administration, is that they not only peacefully oppose the destructive policies being passed, but they also offer detailed alternatives. There are lots of great teachers and administrators in the public education system. My wife was a private and public school teacher for thirteen years (and continues as a homeschool educator). But Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory (FemCrit), Queer Theory and other radical ideologies have been supplanting actual education for years. And the National Education Association (herehere and here) and the American Federation of Teachers (herehere and here) insist on this radicalization.

As a parent, are you willing to be silent while our children’s minds become experimental grounds for forced political activism?

There are resources to help inform and equip you like Fight for SchoolsParents Defending Education, and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). There is a battle going on for the very heart and soul of our youth who are daily bombarded with dangerous and divisive ideologies. We must have zero tolerance for schools marginalizing parents and pretending our voices don’t matter. It’s a struggle parents cannot lose. It’s a struggle America must win.

Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome kiddos. Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional, factivist, international public speaker and author of NOT EQUAL: CIVIL RIGHTS GONE WRONG. He loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: