In the past two decades, left-wing ideology has been seeping into our public schools at an accelerated rate. In the months since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we have witnessed the complete and bold hijacking of the public schools’ curriculum in broad daylight by radicals with a left-wing agenda.
The floodgates have opened, and the radicals are seizing on the opportunity with the cooperation and encouragement of “woke” administrators, teachers, and parents.
Now, parents who want no part of this radicalization are on the defensive, and are scrambling to react to the magnitude, intensity, and speed of this takeover.
>>> Read more about how woke activists are infiltrating the public school system: Progressive Sex Education and the Battle for Our Children; Parents Challenge ‘Radical’ LGBT Curriculum in New Jersey Schools; Woke History Is Making Big Inroads in America’s High Schools; Disputed New York Times ‘1619 Project’ Already Shaping Schoolkids’ Minds on Race.
Last June, two days before the end of the school year, the principal of Gladwyne Elementary School in suburban Philadelphia, where both of my sons attended, sent an email to all parents advising us of a last-minute change to the online lesson plans for the next day for kindergarten through grade 5.
A book assigned to grades K-3 was “A Kid’s Book About Racism,” by Jelani Memory. The main character is a child who explains that his skin color is brown since his father is black and his mother is white. He defines himself as “mixed or African American, biracial, black or a person of color.”
Astonishingly, his white mother was deleted from his identity completely through the book. He says kids of color are “being treated badly, made fun of, excluded from playing, or looked down on because of their skin color …call it racism.”
Might a bully be mistreating these children for reasons other than their skin color? Perhaps a child of color is being excluded because he is not a nice kid. Is the reader to assume that the offending child is white? Couldn’t the offending child be of color too?
The author makes a sweeping generality that mistreatment is always attributable to skin color, and not, for example, personality. This is a dangerous proposition.
The author concludes that racism “happens all the time” in big ways and sometimes in “small ways that are almost invisible, like a look, a comment, a thought, a joke, a word, a belief.” Is the author actually accusing little children of microaggression?
The content and resources of these lessons, for all intents and purposes, replaced the school motto—“respect yourself, respect others, respect the environment” —with the implication of “hate yourself” (for white kids) and “I am a victim” (for children of color). This is a sharp deviation and a complete contradiction to the uplifting teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., in which children have been immersed for many years.
When the school year concluded, I wrote a letter to the superintendent, the school board, and the school principal expressing my frustration that the school was programming impressionable young children into the “woke” culture. I questioned the purpose and validity of this teaching and stressed the harm it would inflict on all children.
Receiving no response from any of them, I posted my letter on the Gladwyne parents Facebook page to generate a thoughtful discussion. Instead, I was met with derision from a handful of vocal and woke parents who branded me “racist” and demanded the immediate removal of my post. It was removed soon after by the site administrator.
At the same time, however, I received scores of private messages of gratitude and support from my community for taking a public stand. Many were parents anxiously looking for alternative school options for their children.
They shared stories about leftist friends, colleagues, and even family members shunning them for not accepting their ideology. So they opted to keep a low profile, fearful of the social, occupational, and economic consequences that might result from expressing opposing views.
It was then that I realized that we needed a voice. I launched the No Left Turn in Education movement to be that voice—a voice to push back on the radical left-wing agenda sweeping our K-12 public education and to underscore the ideals and values that make our country exceptional.
Shortly thereafter, I made a guest appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” Within a week, the Facebook page for No Left Turn in Education had over a million visitors from all over the country.
Tens of thousands of people shared stories of indoctrination in their schools and expressed gratitude, support, despair, a cry for help, outrage, and a desire to join the movement and push back.
Many supportive school educators, counselors, and administrators vented their distress over these developments and how the teachers unions and the National Education Association have promoted leftist indoctrination.
Unable to oppose this for fear of retribution, as an example, one teacher from Gladwyne sent me an anonymous thank-you letter, writing:
I was appalled … by the book chosen … and felt very uncomfortable teaching the lessons. I was afraid to voice my opinion for fear of negative retribution or treatment on the job. I believe that we should not be pushing liberal political agendas on our children. Please keep speaking out for those of us that feel we have no voice. I know there were other teachers that felt uncomfortable with the books/lessons—but we felt pressured to comply.
Some reported that often the curriculum and lesson plans are described with innocuous terms such as inclusivity, equity, diversity, social justice, health education, human rights education, gender equality, HIV prevention, and even climate change.
Schools that traditionally decry the scarcity of funding have been paying large sums of money to notorious radical, left-wing groups such as Black Lives Matter; Teaching Tolerance; the Southern Poverty Law Center; Planned Parenthood; the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction; and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States; as well as to many “social justice” opportunists and social justice charlatans such as Ibram Kendi and Robin DiAngelo.
Public schools have been graduating illiterate students yet have been devoting valuable teaching time and other resources to indoctrinating our children with leftist ideology.
When the Department of Education was established in 1979, Congress enacted a statutory law specifying that “parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children,” and that “states, localities, and private institutions have the primary responsibility for supporting that parental role.”
The events of recent months revealed that these roles have been reversed.
Many educators and administrators engaged in the indoctrination have become the true schoolyard bullies, using taxpayer funds to brainwash impressionable children in their political agenda. Consequently, parents increasingly are losing their trust in public education.
To restore the original purpose of public education, schools must “return to the basics.”
No Left Turn in Education is an example of a grassroots movement of parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens that empowers parents to assume their central role in educating their children.
We spell it out in our mission: “To revive in the American public education the fundamental discipline of critical and active thinking, which is based on facts, investigation, logic and sound reasoning.”