In a piece rife with gaslighting and denialism, Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire in The Washington Post argue that parents do not have a right to “shape” their child’s education. The article frames public schools as bastions of free thought and concerned parents as zealous ideologues intent on sheltering their children from differing points of view.
Most of the article is lazy and intellectually dishonest. The authors claim that the GOP is relying on “voter suppression” even though studies have shown that voter ID laws do not reduce voter turnout rates. They also claim that critical race theory is not taught in K-12 schools, contradicting what the National Education Association has previously stated.
However, underneath the layer of virtue signaling lies a strategic brilliance that demonstrates why the left holds institutional power and cultural dominance. The authors argue that parents having a say in their children’s education stifles critical thinking.
The claim that public education cultivates free-thinking citizens is a clever argument. It propagates the notions of “academic freedom” and the “free marketplace of ideas,” both of which conservatives and libertarians have argued in favor of.
Unfortunately, like many intellectual theories, they are great on paper but impractical in real life. In Michael Knowles’ book Speechless, he elaborates on the lie of academic freedom: “If conservatives hope to regain the political and cultural ground they have ceded over the past century, they must extricate themselves from the trap laid for them by radicals, who have convinced conservatives to abandon all standards and substantive claims for an abstract ideal of openness that has never existed in practice.”
The left is aware that standards and taboos exist. They rely on the naivety of the right to keep a stranglehold on the reins of power. Any person who believes the left genuinely wants open discussion and a free flow of ideas in public education is sorely mistaken.
Last year, Maumee High School in Ohio offered an extra credit assignment for students. The optional task was to watch a PragerU video and write a response. The left – notably The Huffington Post – was outraged that a mildly conservative perspective was offered to students.
PragerU, an organization where liberals, minorities, and members of the LGBT community have recorded videos, was too extreme for the left. Their supposed crusade for “academic freedom” is a political strategy to coerce parents into relinquishing control of their children to the state.
The Washington Post authors reassure parents that they “can opt out of the public system if they wish, and pay to send their children to private or religious schools.”
If only it were that simple.
Teachers Unions and Democrat politicians consistently oppose school choice, vouchers, and alternative methods of schooling. A Harvard Law School professor advocated for banning homeschooling. She claimed it was “authoritarian” because parents may be “extreme religious ideologues.”
In other words, parents may be teaching their children concepts that contradict left-wing orthodoxy.
The Daily Wire recently broke the story about how Loudon County Schools attempted to cover up the sexual assault of a freshman girl by a “gender fluid” boy. The girl’s father, Scott Smith, was smeared by the media and arrested at a school board meeting after expressing his anger at a woman who denied his daughter had been assaulted.
Many of the meeting’s participants were there to oppose a policy on transgender students, namely letting boys into the girl’s restroom. The Washington Post seems to agree with former President Obama that outrage over these policies is simply a “trumped-up culture war.”
But this is a culture war worth fighting.
The sexualization of children is rampant in public education. In Florida, a school took elementary students to a gay bar that had sexually explicit menu items. A school in Kentucky hosted a drag pageant where minors dressed inappropriately and gave lap dances to staff. A school district in Texas and a high school in Virginia offered the pornographic book “Gender Queer” in their libraries.
The left is willing to use state power to implement its agenda. Conservatives need to learn from them and employ similar strategies. Republicans must use any tool at their disposal to crush these pernicious ideologies and prevent them from disseminating in the classroom. Left-wing authoritarians want to weaponize the PATRIOT Act against dissenting parents. Now is not the time to compromise on our values.
The Washington Post published its article because they are aware of the mass awakening taking place. They fear parents having control over their child’s education because it threatens their grip on power. Ostensibly at least, the far-left wants children trapped in state-run schools so that bureaucrats shape their values instead of families.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.