“I’ve been hearing about this stuff happening in California and New York and all over the place. I didn’t realize it was happening in my own backyard.” And in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, neither did parents.
It took a young, courageous Spanish teacher to stand up and say, “Not in my school district” to open the eyes of Americans all across the country. Now, a month later, his viral video is sparking a nationwide movement to expose the left’s biggest lie: It’s not happening here. It is, Jonathan Koeppel insists. People just don’t know it.
Koeppel didn’t plan to be on Fox News or Newsmax or headline stories around the country. He just knew something in his classrooms was wrong—and if he didn’t say anything, he worried no one else would.
“When I found out that kids in my community were being exposed to this wokeism—woke curriculum and woke education—I said, ‘Somebody needs to expose it. Somebody needs to let the public know what’s going on,'” he explained. “I just happened to be the guy to do it.”
When Koeppel stood up in the school board meeting last month, his goal was to warn local parents. Thanks to a powerful message that caught fire online, he ended up warning a lot more.
“A man cannot menstruate,” he argued when it was his turn for public comment. “A man cannot lactate and breastfeed a child. You cannot give birth if you’re a man. If you want to be an adult and do whatever you want with your life, I’m OK with that. Don’t push this ideology on children. I’m not going to work in a district that’s OK with that … ”
Parents are already pulling their kids out of public school … Their going online is going to increase as this liberal ideology comes into our schools. This isn’t a political indoctrination camp, OK? It’s public education. We want to teach education, not left-wing ideas that aren’t backed up by facts or science.
He blasted critical race theory, the new gender radicalism, and teaching resources like BrainPOP that are infiltrating classrooms like his and promoting horrible ideas to children.
“I said, ‘I’m not going to be silent on this. This stuff is disgusting,” Koeppel told listeners on “Washington Watch.” “It’s dividing kids against each other. It’s dividing classrooms. And it’s not good.” Even more incredibly, he explained, this is a middle- to upper-class Republican area. “And I think nobody was really looking for it.” But it’s here, he shook his head, and it’s dangerous.
Since Koeppel’s speech at the April board meeting, he says he’s heard from parents all around the area who’ve done some digging and are shocked that this leftist indoctrination is in their area. And some of them are following Koeppel’s lead and fighting back. At least one elementary school in Tammany Parish canceled BrainPOP and others are looking into it.
Moms and dads are upset that this is going on, he said, but they’re glad that someone brought it out into the open. “I haven’t had one negative response from a parent.” In fact, Koeppel explained, more of them are “starting to take the initiative and step out.”
So are other states. In Oklahoma, a teacher-turned-state legislator was so outraged by the woke curriculum invading his state that he wrote a bill to ban it.
On “Washington Watch” this past Monday, state Rep. David Bullard, R-Durant, said that of all the people who were grateful for his idea (which is now law, thanks to Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican) teachers have been the most appreciative. They see these things creeping into their classrooms that have nothing to do with real learning and they’re frustrated. They don’t know what to do or where to go. That’s where parents and local citizens come in.
“There are other things happening in high school right now that we have to go toe to toe with [the left on],” Bullard urged, “or it’s just going to get worse.”
And yet, as Koeppel pointed out, too many people are living in fear. He knows from the avalanche of positive feedback that his speech has gotten that “a lot of people share my views and my Judeo-Christian values. But they’re scared to death. They are literally scared and paralyzed by fear, because they’re concerned about losing their jobs, losing their family, losing their friends over making these statements … ”
To those people, Koeppel says, “You’ve got to stop being scared … If we’re going to live in fear, you might as well … live on an island somewhere. We need bold people, especially [as] Christian[s]. The righteous are supposed to be bold as a lion. How can you be a Christian and live in fear? You’ve got to stop that. That’s not of God. God didn’t give you that spirit. I mean, that’s all I can say. Be bold. Don’t be afraid. Step out. There’s more for you than against you. And that’s exactly what I’ve seen.”
Maybe you will face opposition. Maybe you’ll be punished. But Koeppel’s right—Christians are called to be bold ambassadors of truth. And his story is exactly why we need believers in public education. This generation desperately needs men and women of faith to pursue teaching and go into these classrooms—not to proselytize—but to be a positive influence.
“If we’re going to be salt and light,” Koeppel pointed out, “we have to infiltrate every area of life—from politics, education, Hollywood, business, you name it. We can’t just be limited to being an influence inside of our churches or inside of our church community. The world needs us.”
If you’re going into education, he acknowledges, “you may be the only one like you. But that’s a good thing, because now there’s light in a dark area, and there’s no limit to what God can do.”
What happened to me, Koeppel shakes his head, “I never would have imagined. I never would have thought that God would have used me for the things he’s used me for recently. It’s truly remarkable and quite miraculous, very supernatural, because this … is not something I planned. I didn’t think it would happen. But because I was just simply doing my job and being a Christian at the same time, God was able to use me. And so, he can use anybody.”
Originally published in Tony Perkins’ “Washington Update,” which is written with the aid of Family Research Council senior writers.
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