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From the marquee Virginia governor’s contest to school board contests across America’s suburbs, parents of schoolchildren are expected to play an outsized role in Tuesday’s off-year election and provide a measurement of just how potent an issue liberal indoctrination in the U.S. education system has become to a restless electorate.
The unexpected rise of the school curriculum movement was sparked by a pandemic that trapped students at home with parents for months, unmasking what was being taught in classrooms and how it was being taught.
Parents suddenly become incensed that their children were being forced to conform to transgender-friendly language or subscribe to the notion the color of their skin was predetermining their future in an inherently racist America. Soon a revolt was waged, with parents confronting their educators and their school boards about such concepts as critical race theory and equity learning.
Along the way, stunning revelations cemented the determination that change was needed, from proclamations that parents don’t deserve a say in what is being taught to schoolchildren to disclosures that highly sexualized books involving abortion and pedophilia were being assigned to young students.
“I was able to see into the classroom and see what was being taught and how it was being taught,” explains Lysa Kosins, one of three of moms who banded together in a bid Tuesday to oust long-term school board members in the Dayton, Ohio, suburb of Centerville. “And you know, it doesn’t work. We need to start treating our kids like individuals, and we need to start allowing the parents who really know what is in the best interest of our children to make choices that better fit their educational needs.”
Here are eight defining moments that catapulted the fight against liberal school indoctrination into a nationwide movement that has sparked more than 80 school board recall elections this year.
- A Washington suburb’s push for equity learning and gender neutrality ignites a protest.
The wealthy enclave in Loudoun County, Va., became ground zero for the parents’ rights movement this past spring, as its school board pushed through equity learning and gender neutrality provisions over objections from parents who don’t believe that students must be guaranteed equal outcomes or that teachers or students who don’t comply with the gender identification wishes of transgender students should be punished.
- A coverup of skirt-wearing male student’s sexual assault on a girl in a female bathroom.
Already in the midst of an intense parent revolt, Loudoun County emerged anew to the forefront of the debate this fall with revelations a biological male student wearing a skirt committed a sexual assault on high school girls in the female bathroom. The offender has been convicted of committing two unwanted sex acts on one girl and faces charges of a sex assault on another girl at a different school. Students have now launched their own protests over what they saw as a coverup.
- The election in Southlake, Texas, affirms parents have the electoral muscle.
A parents-led movement in the affluent community of Southlake became the national proof of concept in May, when candidates who renounced their school district’s racial equity curriculum won every race by wide margins, including two school board seats, two city council seats and the mayor’s office. Since then, more than 80 school board recall elections have been launched targeting more than 200 officeholders, more than triple a normal election year’s tally, according to Ballotpedia.
- Terry McAuliffe and the debate line heard around the country.
In Virginia’s closely watched gubernatorial race, Republican outsider Glenn Youngkin was already tapping into the suburban parents’ angst over ideologically-infused education when his Democrat opponent, Terry McAuliffe, uttered an unforgettable line in their final debate, transforming the race. “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decision,” McAuliffe declared. “… I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Almost instantly, the race changed in the reliably blue state to a dead heat in a political bellwether that swept across the country.
- Attorney General Merrick Garland unleashes the FBI on parent protests.
No single event had more impact in transforming the predominantly local debate over school curricula to a federal issue than Garland’s ill-fated memo asking the FBI to investigate parents’ threats against school board members, which was prompted by the National School Boards Association’s letter equating parents with domestic terrorists. The association had to apologize, and Garland has spent weeks trying to explain his edict to distrustful members of Congress. The reverberations were still being felt Monday, when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) renewed his request to have Garland retract his memo. “Mr. Attorney General, parents are not domestic terrorists, and you have only one reasonable choice,” Grassley said from the Senate floor. “Withdraw your memo and focus on the real threats. Stop being a pawn for the White House by politicizing the Department of Justice.”
- Teachers in one Missouri school district fight back against training they deemed racist.
A group of teachers in Springfield, Mo., opened a new front in the school curriculum battle when they filed suit saying they were subjected to illegal and discriminatory training videos centered around Critical Race Theory. Their suit accused the school district of violating their First Amendment rights by requiring them to take Critical Race Theory training, which included telling the employees to vote for socialist candidates
- ‘That’s not the black class.’ An Atlanta mom stands up to racial segregation of classrooms.
Kila Posey made national waves when she and her husband filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights over the local elementary school principal’s segregation of classrooms, a submission that included recordings of their conversations with administrators. Posey alleged that when she tried to pick the classroom that was best for her daughter, who is black, her principal proclaimed, “That’s not the black class.” Their case prompted other complaints, including a lawsuit this month alleging similar racial segregation in a Massachusetts school district.
- A class trip to a gay bar ignites disbelief.
When a Florida elementary school class in Broward County recently took its students to a gay bar and grill, there was bipartisan outrage over the choice of the venue. Some believed it was an effort by educators to introduce students to a gay lifestyle, while others found it inappropriate for kids to be in a drinking establishment.
Virginia Elementary School Threatens to Charge Maskless Students With Trespassing
An elementary school in Loudoun Country, Virginia has announced that if students show up to school maskless, they will be charged with trespassing.
The Assistant Principal of the elementary school was recorded telling parents via phone call that, if their child was to be on school property without a mask, they would be charged with trespassing.
In Virginia, trespassing is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. This is the penalty being faced by elementary school students.
“Until you arrive your children will be held in an in-school restriction situation here at school,” the Assistant Principal told the parent. “It is important that I point out to you – it’s stated in the letter that you’ll receive – but, it’s important that I point out to you that they are not allowed on campus or on Loudoun County Public School property. Starting tomorrow it will be considered trespassing.”
Listen to the full audio below:
In the same county, the students are being held in auditoriums, gyms, and offices alone for not wearing masks to school. One brave high school student, Nicholas Sanchez, reportedly spent the majority of his week alone in an auditorium.
Sanchez defended his position on the masks but ultimately explained that he would be giving in to the mask requirements so he can continue to get an education.
“Growing up, I was raised to have integrity and to be honest and to do what I believe is right,” said Sanchez. “I did what I could from a student’s perspective. Keeping my educational interests in mind, I think I will go ahead and put on the mask – the face decoration on my face and get my education.”
Another family in Loudoun County, the Platts, reported that their sons’ elementary school warned them that their children will be physically removed from the property if they don’t put on a mask.
“As a family, we will discuss that because these kids take that pressure differently especially the little one,” said the father of the Platt family. “We just want to make sure they aren’t impacted.
High School Biology Class Tells Students to Eliminate “Gendered Terms” From Their Vocabulary… Parents Accuse School of Teaching Pseudoscience
At a high school in Massachusetts, students are being taught that it is offensive to use “gendered terms”, and that humans should be viewed in the same way as a clownfish or a species of tree frog, which can both change sex.
Some presentation slides from the school’s biology class were obtained by a parent activist group, Parents Defending Education. They revealed an entire presentation on gender fluidity, the minute population of intersex, and how gender identity is “your psychological sense of self”.
The slides that define sex, gender, gender expression, and attraction are infused with opinion-based, progressive ideologies that serve to further a personal agenda rather than teach students factual science.
Eliminating “gendered terms,” according to one of the presentation slides, ensures that “people with diverse (a)sexualities, (a)genders, bodies, and (a)romantic orientations are included and respected.” Discussing biological sex in terms of men and women “marginalizes” those born with both male and female genitalia, “who have been persistently discriminated against.”
Intersex, a rare genetic condition that results in the affected person having both male and female physical characteristics, is present in about 0.018% of the population. However, the parent activist group found that the teacher was falsely claiming that 2% of the population is intersex and that they should be properly accommodated in everyone’s daily speech habits.
“Needham High School promised a science class and instead delivered a pseudoscience class,” said the director of outreach for Parents Defending Education, Erika Sanzi. “The slides shared by the biology teacher are harmful and wrong because they are factually inaccurate, sow confusion, and rely heavily on regressive sex stereotypes. Perhaps most absurd is the implication that biological sex in humans is fluid, or can literally change, because it happens to be true of non-human species like clownfish and tree frogs.”
The biology class at this high school is working hard to push other people’s beliefs onto these children. Telling students they must erase gendered terms from their vocabulary is no business of a high school biology teacher. This doesn’t fall into the “science” category, but instead falls into the woke Liberal agenda.
Arizona Sues Biden Admin After They Threaten State Over Funding for Schools Without Mask Mandates
President Joe Biden’s Treasury Department wants COVID-19 funding back from Arizona because the state is sending money to districts that don’t have mask mandates — and the state’s Republican governor is taking them to court over it.
According to The Arizona Republic, Gov. Doug Ducey filed a lawsuit against the administration on Friday, alleging it was trying to “bully Arizona” into adopting Democrat-endorsed COVID policies by threatening to withhold or claw back money allocated under the American Rescue Plan.
The Biden administration using the power of the purse to punish states over masking in schools is a new low in the social tug-of-war over COVID policy, particularly since there’s little demonstrated benefit to the policies and considerable psychological costs. (Here at The Western Journal, we’ve been making readers aware of these facts since the beginning of the pandemic. You can help us continue to bring readers the truth by subscribing.)
In a Jan. 14 letter, the Treasury Department said Arizona’s $163 million Education Plus-Up Grant Program and its COVID-19 Educational Recovery Benefit Program undermined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on reducing COVID transmission, according to The Hill.
The former program only funnels funds to schools without mask mandates, while the Educational Recovery Benefit Program provides up to $7,000-a-student payouts to parents whose children are in schools that have imposed “unnecessary closures and school mandates.”
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The Treasury Department said in the letter that the funds allocated to Arizona under the American Rescue Plan were intended “to mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency, including by supporting efforts to stop the spread of the virus” and that the money must be used for programs that, in the administration’s view, don’t undermine efforts to prevent COVID transmission.
The Treasury Department gave Arizona 60 days to come into compliance and redirect the funds, warning that if they didn’t do so, they’d try to claw back the money and withhold further aid.
Ducey blasted the move on Twitter, calling it “the latest example of a President that is completely out of touch with the American people” and saying the administration was “attempting to rewrite rules around public dollars that will result in LESS funding to schools and kids — particularly in low-income communities.”
“When it comes to education, President Biden wants to continue focusing on masks. In Arizona, we’re going to focus on math and getting kids caught up after a year of learning loss,” Ducey said. “We will respond to this letter, and we will continue to focus on things that matter to Arizonans.”
That response came Friday, when Arizona filed suit against the Biden administration over the threat to revoke funding.
“Treasury’s actions far exceed the statutory authority granted to it under” the American Rescue Plan Act, the lawsuit read, according to The Hill.
The lawsuit states Ducey used money from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, or SLFRF, “to create two grant programs that addressed the long-term, negative economic impacts on disadvantaged communities from school closures and overbearing mask mandates. The programs empower parents and students to exercise their freedom to make informed decisions regarding their health and educational needs.”
Furthermore, the Treasury Department had previously noted states had, to quote their own guidance, “broad latitude to choose whether and how to use the [SLFRF funds] to respond to and address the negative economic impact” caused by COVID-19.
Ducey’s lawsuit said, “Treasury arbitrarily changed its guidance, and through a clear abuse of discretion, is seeking to unilaterally amend [the American Rescue Plan] by adding new health conditions on how SLFRF monies may be used.
“In particular, and even though Treasury has no background expertise in public health, Treasury recently issued a Final Rule that purports to prohibit SLFRF monies from being used in a manner that, in the subjective and ill-informed opinion of Treasury, would undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Furthermore, even if the Treasury were in a position to make bad public health judgments, the American Rescue Plan doesn’t authorize that, the suit alleges: “Nothing in that underlying statute authorizes Treasury to condition the use of SLFRF monies on following measures that, in the view of Treasury, stop the spread of COVID-19.”
“If Congress had truly intended to give Treasury the power to dictate public health edicts to the States, and recoup or withhold SLFRF monies based on an alleged lack of compliance with such edicts, it would have spoken clearly on the matter. It did not.”
Ducey, meanwhile, said in a statement that, “The Biden administration is attempting to hold congressionally-appropriated funds hostage and is trying to bully Arizona into complying with this power-grabbing move.”
A Treasury Department spokeswoman said the administration “believes the rule is correct and allowed by the statute and Constitution,” setting up a battle in court, according to The New York Times.
No matter how that ends legally, it’ll put the Biden administration in the uncomfortable position of defending policies that don’t “follow the science,” to use an execrable idiom.
Masking in schools hasn’t proved efficacious, no matter what the administration chooses to believe.
Gov. Ducey introduced two programs to combat it — and, because it doesn’t follow the administration’s dogmatic views regarding COVID, they want to take money away from Arizona. If this doesn’t tell you the battle is about politics and not public health, I don’t know what will.
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