Stephen Smith | Parents Have Awakened to Education Failures

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

One of the consequences of the C0VID-19 mandated shutdown of public schools and forcing remote learning via the internet was awakening parents, who are now monitoring their child’s use of the computer, to the serious failings of public education. 

At first it was the discovery that our precious rising generations could not read, write, or do math at level. Protest over the sexually explicit material approved by the boards of education is happening all over the country.

Recently a Loudon County parent, when reading aloud from school-board-approved sexually explicit reading material, was admonished to stop because children were present. 

The teaching of the divisive Critical Race Theory is outraging parents. School closures have stolen more than one year of needed schooling. 

The gubernatorial election in Virginia has made one thing clear: Parents have had enough. Blue State Virginians opted to vote instead for the candidate who reflected traditional values and the empowerment of parents over their children’s education. 

Talking-head Democrats are in a state of denial. The ex-governor said parents have no rights over their child’s education. Glenn Youngkin voters are being accused of being racist and Trumper insurrectionists. CRT? What CRT? 

Leftist progressives, whose world view is based on promulgating divisions based on race, class and gender and rejecting the Constitution, have become the kettle who calls the pot black. Based on the education issues and the failed leftist government policies we are experiencing, It is shocking that Youngkin did not win by a landslide. That is further proof of how the leftists have infiltrated education and the mainstream media. 

Parents who protest the shift from creating future productive, self-reliant citizens to developing social justice warriors are being viewed as enemies of the state. Leftist progressives are individual rights deniers. Virginia’s motto, “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” indeed. 

What once was a local issue in Virginia, due to the recalcitrance of our ruling elite, has become the No. 1 national issue. Our nation is at war with itself. The agenda of leftists works for a form of government where the states exert control over every aspect of our lives, with exceptions for the ruling elite. With the passage of the massive spending bills, the means of production, where you live, where you work, how much you earn, what you eat, rewriting history and the moral formation of our rising generations is the province of the state. The purpose of the individual is to serve the state, for their own good, of course. 

The Constitutionalists believe the purpose of government is to protect and defend our individual rights, from outside forces as well as the government. 

With the remote learning imposed by COVID-19 mandates, parents’ eyes were opened wide with looking over their children’s shoulders. They saw firsthand what is happening in public education. Parents have now been activated despite admonitions from the teachers’ unions and school boards, in spite of the message from the left not to trust their lying eyes. 

However, it’s too late; outraged parents know what they’re seeing. In leftist-progressive-dominated states such as California, the only answer for parents who are troubled by our race down “The Road to Serfdom” is to remove their children from public education. Few can do so. 

The rights of the parent to take charge over their child’s education is well established. 

From State of WISCONSIN, Petitioner, v. Jonas YODER et al.: “The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition… The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” 

Others object to state funding for religious-based schools as being in violation of the establishment clause. The Supreme Court disagrees. 

By a vote of 5-4, the justices ruled in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that the state court’s interpretation of the Montana constitution violated the U.S. Constitution, which protects the free exercise of religion. “States are not required to subsidize private education, but if they opt to do so, they cannot exclude religious schools from receiving those funds simply because they are religious.” 

Despite the objections of elected officials, teacher unions and school board members, the Supreme Court has made it clear that parents have the primary obligation and right to supervise the education of their own children. 

You must ask yourself, who is most likely to have the child’s best interest at heart? Politicians who are influenced by what consolidates their power or parents who love and want nothing but the best for their children? 

The first ends up taking actions that create obedience and dependency while the second seeks their children to be free, happy and independent. For many parents that also includes a religious education that also provides moral formation that is consistent with the parents’ beliefs and values. 

Get involved at 

Stephen Smith is a graduate of UCLA. In 2010 and 2012 he was the Republican Party-endorsed candidate running against longtime incumbent Xavier Becerra for the House of Representatives. He is currently working to empower parents by bringing school choice to California. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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