The left has a new message for parents concerned about critical race theory and similar ideologies being foisted on their children in public schools: Sit down and shut up.
The left has already pretty much abandoned the “critical race theory is not in schools” narrative. Parents just aren’t buying this absurdity. It’s clear that ideas that stem directly from critical race theory are showing up in classrooms and teacher trainings around the country.
Some of the same institutions that are saying critical race theory doesn’t exist in schools are promoting it in schools.
The next tactic was to admit that critical race theory is in schools, but that it’s a good thing, and left-wing groups would rally around educators prohibited from teaching it.
But opposition to critical race theory continues to grow as parents voice their concerns and anger at school board hearings around the country. It’s clear a lot of people from different parts of the political spectrum don’t like a message that defines children by their race into oppressors and oppressed.
The Bat Signal has clearly been lit, and the left is leaning into its newest message: “parents, stop your squawking, you don’t even have a right to determine how your child is educated.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, recently said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Blue check mark left-wingers on Twitter and social media are now coming up with absurd straw man arguments for why parents shouldn’t have a say in what schools teach their children.
Establishment left-wing media outlets are of course giving cover to the new Narrative. The “experts” are weighing in again to tell you that everything the left tells you is right.
Jack Schneider, who is a professor at the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, wrote in The Washington Post about how parents really don’t have a right to determine what their children learn in schools.
“Common law and case law in the United States have long supported the idea that education should prepare young people to think for themselves, even if that runs counter to the wishes of parents,” Schneider wrote.
Is subjecting children to critical race theory in public schools really preparing students to “think for themselves,” or is it about indoctrinating children in a perverse ideology?
Schneider explained why giving the power to parents to determine how their children get educated is dangerous when their “interests” diverge from children.
“When do the interests of parents and children diverge?” Schneider asked. “Generally, it occurs when a parent’s desire to inculcate a particular worldview denies the child exposure to other ideas and values that an independent young person might wish to embrace or at least entertain.”
Again, this is absurd. Is the teaching of critical race theory and similar ideas not inculcating a particular worldview?
At no point does Schneider explain who, besides parents, really understands the interests of children. We are simply to assume that the schools, or whoever runs those schools, know best.
Schneider and others on the left are essentially arguing that children are the wards of the state. Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, explained on The Daily Signal Podcast why this isn’t just wrong philosophically, but runs afoul the American legal system.
The 1922 Supreme Court case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, which The Washington Post article cited, expressly concluded, “the child is not the mere creature of the state.”
“I think the authors forgot,” Burke said. “Maybe they had the Cliffs Notes version of the court case, but that really is the most important line. And that’s absolutely right. The child is not the mere creature of the state. They belong to their parents. Parents are their first and foremost educators. So they should be, of course, involved in what their schools are teaching.”
This may seem like common sense, but not to many in our country’s education establishment, apparently.
No surprise, then, that Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the largest public-sector union in the country, loved The Washington Post piece.
If you really think public teachers unions have a deeper interest in giving America’s children a quality education than parents I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
But Weingarten, unions, and schools don’t have the ultimate power over education in this country, you do.
To quote one of my favorite Westerns, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” in this country, the people are the “boss.”
And because the people are boss, they are using a little bit of old-fashioned democracy, what one might call “self-government,” to pressure schools to change. And in the case of schools failing to change, Americans—who assumedly still live in a free society—have often decided to home-school their children and send them to private schools.
That’s also clearly an outrage to many on the left.
This whole issue is not really about democracy versus the rights of individuals and parents, it’s about the institutions versus parents and democracy.
Left-wing proponents of critical race theory don’t want to see American parents organizing and opposing the agenda of their institutional cabal. They would prefer that decisions about your child’s education be left to left-wing insiders.
They would rather you just keep quiet and let them indoctrinate your children. And they want to define any opposition to that arrangement as either illegitimate or dangerous.
But the widespread anger and opposition to critical race theory and the obnoxious insiders who think it’s their right to foist their ideas on America’s children is gaining momentum.
The American people aren’t peasants, willing to bow low for their betters to make decisions for them.
Something tells me the “sit-down-and-shut-up” tactic isn’t going to work.
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