When the extended school closures and mandatory masking mobilized parents in 2020, the progressives began labeling these accidental activists as “radicals” and “extremists.” Parents and taxpayers who dared to push school boards to open classrooms for those students who wanted and needed in-person education were lionized by the mainstream media. Those who believed that parents should make the decision about masking for their children were called selfish and told that they wanted people to die.
When schools finally reopened and the masks were eliminated, the hardcore Democrats continued to call out parents who were concerned about a number of issues in the schools. Imagine parents wanting to be included in discussions about their children. At some point, the progressives led by union boss, Randi Weingarten, decided that these parents were extremists.
I believe that the progressives are the pot calling the kettle black. And yes, I know they are going to call me a racist for using this Don Quixote analogy. These social justice warriors are not moderates, nor do they actually care about students, teachers, or academic achievement. They are the real extremists.
Moderate ( that is, normal) parents believe that they should be partners in their children’s education. They are their first teachers and know their children best. Radicals believe that schools not only have the right to encourage a child to change genders, but they think that they have a moral responsibility to do so. The extremists enact policies that allow a school to call children by different names or pronouns than those that their parents decided upon. Then they withhold that information from parents.
Regular parents believe that all children should have access to a high quality education and the opportunity for high academic achievement. They believe that every child should learn to read by the time they leave elementary school. Reasonable parents understand that the key to addressing racism is to ensure that every child can read. Despite what the extremists think, ending racism will not come from discriminating against any race. It will not end by teaching white children to hate themselves or their country. It will not end by telling black and brown children that regardless of their background or experiences that they are automatically victims.
Balanced parents know that there is no such thing as an actual book ban in this country. They know that any book is available at the public library or on Amazon. We do not live in communist China where real book bans are enforced. Judicious parents believe that there are better books to have in the library than those with illustrations depicting teenagers engaging in oral sex. They know that this is not an anti-LGBT stance.
Savvy parents understand that once children see an image, it cannot be unseen; therefore, they want to decide on the type of content for their children. Nor do they judge other parents for their decisions. Unreasonable extremists believe that there is no objectionable content or pictures. They think that children should have unfettered access to materials that they may not be emotionally prepared to handle.
Objective parents think that girls should not have to compete against boys in sports, nor should they have to use the same bathroom. These parents are committed to upholding girls’ and women’s rights. They are the true feminists. Radicals think that children who still believe in Santa Claus are capable of making a decision to change their gender. They argue that transgender student rights are more important than heterosexual student rights. Reasonable parents want every child to feel safe at school and not at the expense of any other group.
Sane parents want schools to focus on academics and teaching kids how to think, not what to think. They want a return on their tax dollars to ensure that districts are preparing students for the workforce. Prudent parents are dismayed that school districts are raising taxes unnecessarily and funding programs that are not evaluated or related to academic outcomes. Progressives care more about feelings than outcomes. They support programs that create division and instill hate and that are completely unrelated to academic achievement.
The social justice warriors are the true radicals and extremists. They believe that they know better than anyone else, including parents, what is best for children. They are committed to discriminatory programs and actions, questionable materials, and unscientific beliefs, and they reject parental rights, academic achievement, and equal opportunity.
Five years ago, the radical positions of progressives and what is happening in our schools today would be unimaginable. My friend and colleague, Guy Ciarrocchi, describes the situation with one of the best analogies I have heard. Imagine an incoming freshman who played football in middle school. He loved football but his parents didn’t want him to play in high school due to his size and ability level. The young man showed up at school and the coach met with him and said not to worry about his parents. The coach and principal decided that this kid should be able to play football regardless of what his parents would say. They got him a uniform and arranged for him to attend practice and created a plan to keep the parents in the dark.
Most sane people would recognize this behavior as criminal. Yet our social justice warriors would likely endorse these actions as they do the rest of the insanity that is happening in schools. Sadly, the majority of voters continue to fall for their deceptive messaging. These radicals continue to deflect their extremist title to the moderate parents who just want their kids in school to focus on academics.
While the mainstream media viciously attacked many Republican school board candidates and applauded the extremist Democratic candidates, it became clear who the real radicals are. Unfortunately, the educated elite in Southeastern Pennsylvania were incapable of identifying the true extremists, and now our children are forced to live with those consequences.
Beth Ann Rosica resides in West Chester, has a Ph.D. in Education, and has dedicated her career to advocating on behalf of at-risk children and families. She covers education issues for Broad + Liberty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.