“Every problem, every challenge we face, each starts with public education.” – George H. W. Bush
Image: House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. spoke to reporters after the House narrowly passed the “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act,” at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2023. Image Credit: Rep. Elise Stefanik / Facebook
By William Haupt III [Tennessee Watchdog Journalist, Columnist, Author, and Citizen Legislator via The Center Square] –
Our colonies were founded by enlightened men who fled societies that forced aristocratic social dictates on them. They wanted a better life for their families where they could pursue freedom of speech, religion, occupation and education. After fighting a bloody Revolution for independence, they feared a band of powerful plutocratic federalists would deprive them of their newly gained rights and freedoms. They refused to ratify the Constitution without a guaranteed “bill of rights”.
The Age of Reason was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. One of the most salient precepts debated was: at what age or time does a child cut the umbilical cord and become a “free thinker” and responsible for their actions?
In every U.S. state, there are laws that make parents liable for the actions of their children; legally and financially for their mischief and the selective crimes they commit. Therefore parents have a moral and legal obligation to teach their children how to act within a society until they are age 18.
Kids enter pre-kindergarten at age 4 and graduate high school at 18. For 14 years, teachers influence them most at schools they attend, 8 hours a day. If we look at the academic and social curriculum force-fed to them today by school boards and teachers, that’s why most parents are mad as hell.
Although the 10th Amendment granted each state the responsibility to educate their own children, Jimmy Carter formed an alliance with the teacher unions in 1979, and federalized state education.
“The federal government will have the loudest voice in education moving forward.” – Jimmy Carter
Teacher unions have been fast-tracking orders from Washington and local Democrats for decades. Local school boards dictate curriculum that glorifies liberalism. Each year they remove salient U.S. events and heroes from history and replace them with obscure incidents from some identity group.
Since President Joe Biden took office, pubic schools have been cloning woke progressives. White kids are taught to feel guilty for being white. Black kids are taught that America is a racist nation. Children are now taught about both heterosexual and LBGT alternative sex in public elementary school.
In the 2021 Virginia governors’ race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should tell schools what they can teach.” On Election Day, indignant parents voted for Republican Glenn Youngkin.
“A quality education is good for the students, and better for the nation.” – Mitt Romney
McAuliffe woke up the sleeping giant. For the next few months Virginia school boards were filled to capacity with angry parents who demanded their seat at the table. And this was contagious. Soon there was standing room only at school board meetings across America filled with angry parents.
In reaction to the parents’ outrage, Biden sent the FBI to school board meetings to remove parents calling them domestic terrorists. During COVID when kids were schooled at home, parents were appalled with the curriculum. School boards added or removed books they liked or disliked without consulting parents. Any parent who questioned the board about anything they didn’t like was told to go home.
Last Friday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy passed the Parents’ Bill of Rights that lists parental rights in the classrooms. He said, “The past two years, we’ve seen a troubling trend taking root in the Democratic Party. They are taking power away from parents and giving it to the politicians and teacher unions so they can dictate what children are taught in public classrooms. And this House bill will curtail that.”
“Society’s problems start and end with public education.” – Michael Bloomberg
This bill follows a growing national movement for the rights of parents to be a part of policy-making and give them the right to restrict how and when teachers talk about race, gender and sex. Our parents have voiced that this is a priority for Congress since “woke Democrats” forced the teaching of CRT and LBGT sex education in public classrooms. Parents are mad and demand that this ends now.
The bill spells out five specific rights for every parent at every level of public education until a child reaches 18: “The right to know what children are being taught; to be heard by all school leaders, to review school budget spending, to protect their children’s privacy, and to keep their children safe.”
“We want parents to control their kids’ education, not the government doing it.” – Kevin McCarthy
The bill is straightforward in detailing the rights parents already have in their school districts. Yet for years, school boards made decisions long before parents arrive at meetings. And parents spend the entire meeting challenging them. Board members won’t listen to their concerns and cut them off.
Chris Dier, a teacher in New Orleans, retorts; “It will make teachers’ jobs harder by fueling the narrative that teachers suppress the parents’ rights in favor of the union and the government.” Yet that’s what they did when Carter joined the unions and government and took control of education.
Ben Hodge, a teacher in York County, Pa., said, “This claim of indoctrination and teachers hiding things from parents, I think is a red herring. I don’t know what this parents’ rights bill will do other than give more pathways to parents on things like book banning and influence on what is taught.”
But those are the issues that concern parents the most and these schools belong to the taxpayers.
Bill Gates said, “It’s hard to improve public education.” And he is right. Parents are not only fighting a battle with school boards and unions but liberal politicians. The NEA and AFT combined, the two largest teacher unions, gave $32 million to the 2020 Biden-Harris campaign. They pour money into every local election especially the school boards so they can control education from the top down.
Most Republicans have cited parents’ rights to advocate for other changes such as school choice.
Donald Trump has supported school choice as the best criteria to improve public education.
“The government should not have a monopoly on something as important as education.” – Donald Trump
For 100 years, the Supreme Court has recognized the role of parents as responsible for the care, custody and control of their minor children. It is time we enshrine a child’s upbringing, education and care as a fundamental parental right. If parents are denied these rights in public schools, they must have the right to choose alternative education with their tax dollars in private, religious, home and charter schooling. And no entity of government, union or school board shall abridge that right.
We must reform education.
“The plain unvarnished truth is public education is a shoddy, fraudulent piece of goods sold to the public at an astronomical price. It’s time the American consumer knew the extent of that fraud which is victimizing millions of children each year.” – Samuel Blumenfeld
About the Author: William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13. His work also appears in The Center Square, The Western Journal, Neighbor Newspapers, KPXJ 21 (Shreveport, LA), Killeen Daily Herald, Aberdeen American News, InsideNova, Kankakee Daily Journal, Monterey County Weekly, Olean Times Herald, The Greeneville Sun and more. Follow William on Twitter @iii_haupt.