“Parental Rights” Movement Fading?

Loudoun County School Board meeting, 2021 Photo credit: What’s Trending

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

When Glenn Youngkin was elected Governor in 2021, largely on a platform of “parental rights” in schools, a national movement seemed to have been born.  In Virginia, and elsewhere, school board meetings were packed with fervent citizens shouting at the board members and at each other about banning books in school libraries and classrooms, LGBTQ policies, and other issues.  Law enforcement had to be called in to keep order.

With the last election, that movement seems to have lost momentum.  Nationally, Democrats won school board elections in many key districts and candidates backed by progressive groups did well.  Moms for Liberty, one of the leading “parental rights” groups, lost some of the ground it had won two years earlier.  The group pushed back against claims that voters were rejecting its platform, saying that 40 percent of the candidates it had endorsed won, although that hardly seems like a case that its agenda is winning.  Furthermore, it quickly took down its list of endorsed candidates from its website, thereby making it impossible to verify even this claim.

Because Virginia does not allow party identification of school board candidates on the ballot, it is more difficult to ascertain from a distance which party is in the majority on a specific board.  However, parties do endorse, or voice support for, specific candidates and some candidates declare their party affiliation in their campaign materials.  Therefore, based on media reports, it is possible to determine which parties or ideologies prevailed in some elections.

Judging from the information readily available, the results in the Commonwealth were a little more mixed than in the nation, although in those areas in which there had been the most controversy, the Youngkin agenda lost.  By most accounts, Loudoun County has been the epicenter of the “parental rights” revolt.  Perhaps worn out by the controversy, seven of the nine incumbents chose not to run for re-election.  The other two incumbents lost their re-election bids.  Nevertheless, in a large turnout, Democrats won six of the nine seats on the board.  Next door, where the Fairfax County School Board also had been the subject of much criticism over the last four years, ranging from the entrance requirements for the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to release of test scores, candidates endorsed by Democrats won all 12 seats.

Further south on I-95, the Spotsylvania County School Board had been embroiled in lots of controversy.  Two of its members had advocated burning books.  Meetings were chaotic.  The new superintendent hired by the Board had ordered 37 books removed from school libraries.  This month four seats were up for election.  One of the book burners had resigned earlier.  As reported by The Free-Lance Star, the other member who had advocated burning books and was the chair of the board was defeated decisively.  A “parental rights” candidate running for another seat also lost.  A member who had previously been in the minority and whose seat was not up for re-election this year, observed that the results meant that the county “will have a school board that works together toward the primary goal of what is in the best interest of Spotsylvania’s public school children.”

In contrast to bodies in other jurisdictions, the Henrico County School Board has largely avoided controversy.  It has not adopted Governor Youngkin’s new guidelines for LGBTQ issues, but it has not loudly rejected them, either.  At last report, it was “reviewing” the guidelines.  At its August meeting, only three residents addressed the board on contentious issues—two urging the board to reject the new guidelines and one urging a ban on “sexually explicit” books.  Nevertheless, the election results may mean a change in the board’s cautious approach.  There were two open seats on the ballot, and Democratic-backed candidates captured both.  (In fairness, all five of the candidates in the Fairfield District had the support of the Democrats.)  Combined with the re-election of a Democrat-backed incumbent, members backed by Democrats will constitute a majority of the board next year.  These results are more likely the result of the trend in Henrico politics than of discontent with the board.

According to the Henrico Citizen, a local newsletter, all the incoming Democratic members of the Henrico County School Board said they “would stand against implementing the VDOE’s 2023 model policies and against changing book removal policies during their campaigns.”  Two of them said they would support allowing collective bargaining, while the other said she was “open” to the idea.  They may get their opportunity on the latter issue fairly early in their term next year.  At this month’s school board meeting, about a dozen teachers showed up, urging the board to allow collective bargaining.

Although they did not make the headlines that controversies in Northern Virginia did, school boards in other parts of the state saw their share of turmoil over the last few years as well.  In 2022, the chair of the Montgomery County School Board reported that she had received death threats and her husband and children had been threatened.  Cardinal News reported that the meeting of the Roanoke County School Board this past September was the “first Roanoke County School Board meeting in three months where an audience member wasn’t arrested by officers on the premises for disorderly conduct or trespassing.”

However, based on reporting by Cardinal News and elections results reported by the Virginia Department of Elections, conservatives did well in some of these districts.  Bedford County had four school board seats up for election.  Republicans won in all four races including beating an incumbent who had run unopposed in the last two elections.  In 2019, all the candidates for the Pulaski County School Board had run unopposed.  In 2023, each race had two opponents and Republicans endorsed a candidate in each one.  Four of the five incumbent members ran for re-election.  All lost to Republican-backed candidates.  Only in the open seat contest did the Republican-endorsed candidate lose.  In Roanoke County, although protesters had hotly protested (some so hotly that they were arrested) the Board’s decisions limiting pride-themed classroom décor and adopting the Youngkin administration’s new rules for transgender students, voters elected Republican-backed candidates in the two races for school board seats.

In Montgomery County, it was a different story.   Although a conservative activist had once announced on Fox News, “We’re getting these liberals off of our school board,” the voters had other ideas.  Four seats were on the ballot, three of them contested.  Democrat-backed candidates won in all three contested races, although the winning margin was razor-thin in one race.  The candidate endorsed by Moms for Liberty lost by 86 votes (less than one percentage point).  In another race, the challenger, who had campaigned on restrictions on transgender students, lost by almost four percentage points.

Finally, further up the Valley, Republicans were victorious in the Rockingham County School Board races. The party had endorsed candidates running in two of the three races on the ballot and they won both races, beating one incumbent running for re-election in the process.  One of the Republican winners was said by the Daily News-Record to have “campaigned to lobby for Republican party ideals and values,” among other issues.  And you thought Republicans were against indoctrinating students.


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97 responses to ““Parental Rights” Movement Fading?”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    You progressives just don’t get it. You stare slack jawed and glassy eyed at Donald Trump’s popularity. You brand him a racist, an isolationist, an egomaniac. You can’t see reality. Trump is an iconoclast. He seeks to tear down the institutions that have grown up in this country. He seeks this because he believes that the institutions have become corrupt. Those institutions no longer represent the will of the people, they represent the desires of the global elite.

    This column is another example of denial. Down ballot races in an off year election are held out as some kind of defense of the elite’s control of the institution of public schools.

    The law in Virginia is clear – “A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child. 2013, cc. 668, 678.” The fact that the elite don’t like this law and choose to ignore it is the problem. It is the wellspring of Trump’s power and will be the downfall of the elite in America.

    The battle is coming. Whether that battle is led by Donald Trump or some other person is irrelevant.

    The elite’s days of ignoring the laws of the people and the will of the people are numbered.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      DJ, when you characterize voters as “elites” and “progressives” you really do miss the realities and are essentially spouting Trump propaganda to his base of which you are apparently one, yet again!

      Trump is quite excellent at “speaking” to the folks who want change, no question.

      But what he promises is not less corrupt govt, but 3rd world type governance with an authoritarian dictator type who decides what is right or wrong, not unlike other dictatorships in the world of which he has expressed unabashed admiration of.

      How many people who have worked for him express great concern over his aspirations to take over the institutions that actually set this
      country apart from 3rd world countries?

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        We live in a dictatorship now. It’s just spread out over many people rather than concentrated in just one.

        60 stooges with current or former roles in the US government signed a letter declaring Hunter Biden’s laptop to be likely Russian misinformation on the eve of an election. What was that if not election interference?

        I’m watching videos of peaceful protesters in Congress on Jan 6. Why are those videos only being seen now?

        Parents have a legislated right to supervise the upbringing of their children. That right transcends whatever some school board rep thinks is correct. So, should a school be able to hide a child’s transgender ideation from his or her (or zhe’s) parents? No.

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “That right transcends whatever some school board rep thinks is correct”

          Yes, if they disagree with the duly elected school board, they have the right to withdraw their child from public schools. They do not have the right to dictate to the duly elected school board.

          Also…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d72daf237a8186ba8b41ce5569c7823dc68bc3432ec0e5f51f2bf2979a42898.jpg

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          Elections are how we govern. We have people indicted and some pled guilty to actually interfering
          with elections. That’s how law & order in Democracies work. We don’t want or need a 3rd world approach with one dictator who decides guilt or innocence and then directs their idea of justice.

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            We elected a legislature which passed a law that reads, “A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child. 2013, cc. 668, 678.”

            No school board has the right to upend that law.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Would you say the same thing about private schools?

          3. DJRippert Avatar

            Yes.

          4. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Larry will never stop, D.J. I make the same mistake myself in engaging him.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            repeatedly in fact and you’re supposed to be a “smart” guy.

            Geeze!

          6. And you once pledged never to respond to another of his postings/comments.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            So private schools can kick out kids who the parents say should not? Or tell the parents what will be taught or not taught or how the kids is to behave or not?

          8. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            To take your position to its logical conclusion, each parent has the right to veto any part of a class curriculum which he or she does not want his or her child exposed to. What if two sets of parents disagree on what should be in the curriculum?

            Furthermore, the law also sets out what must be included in a curriculum. For example, sex education is required whether or not a parent wants it. Also, the law does not leave the fundamental decision of whether a child gets educated to the parent. A parent must send his or her child to school or teach the child at home under prescribed regulations.

          9. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yes. The law and regulations determine this , not parents.

            If we had each parent “decide”, then there actually WOULD be chaos and worse!

        3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “That right transcends whatever some school board rep thinks is correct”

          Yes, if they disagree with the duly elected school board, they have the right to withdraw their child from public schools. They do not have the right to dictate to the duly elected school board.

          Also…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d72daf237a8186ba8b41ce5569c7823dc68bc3432ec0e5f51f2bf2979a42898.jpg

    2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      Not sure how you can get more of an idea of “the will of the people” than an election… 🤷‍♂️

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        the “will” of the non-progressives and elites!

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          Also funny he thinks Trump and his handlers are not “elitists”… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6f70ed557d15c58a98105f34d8dff775b14c1b8d37f2d05dcc5073846e6032ec.jpg

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Oh because he believes what Trump says!

          2. DJRippert Avatar

            This is what you libs don’t get – it’s not about Trump. It has never been about Trump. It’s about a group of elites on both sides of the aisle controlling the United States for their personal benefit.

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Using the term “elites” as the new Conservative catch-all attempt to vilify the “others” is no excuse for turning over the country to those who would gladly burn the whole thing down and demonstrate that daily.

          4. Damn. The rightwankers have found another buzz word. First it was “politically correct,” then it was something, then something, then something, then “parental rights,” then “grooming,” now it’s “elites.”

            I wish these fools would settle on one pejorative and stick with it. It’s tiresome trying to keep up with the Enemy of the Day.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Space lasers!

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Trumpsters don’t “think” like others!

          There apparently is great hope in a guy who can shoot someone on 5th avenue and claims to be a stable genius, loves dictators, and who can grab them you know where, etc.

          That man will “save” the nation!

      3. DJRippert Avatar

        If the United States had voted on the eve of the US Civil War there would have been no war.

        40+% of the population believing that there are two sets of laws – one for the elites and another for everybody else is a very dangerous situation.

    3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      The attitude of conservatives is that a parent has the fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child as long as that child is not transgender and as long as that child is not exposed to certain books that conservatives don’t like or to uncomfortable facts about history.

      And these were elections in which all the people participated, not just the elites.

      And you are right about Trump. He seeks to tear down the institutions that have grown up in this country such as the rule of law. He is not willing to accept the “will of the people” as expressed in a free election and tried to instigate a revolt to overturn that election to maintain himself in power. He does not seek all this because he believes the institutions are corrupt. He seeks it because he wants the power for himself. He has expressed no coherent framework of ideas that would be the basis of his governing–only power for him and loyalty to him.

      You tend to have a broad, vague definition of “corrupt”. It seems that you do not limit the term to mean “taking money or favors in exchange for government preference” or seizing government power by illegal means. It seems that any action or agency or policy of government that you do not approve of is “corrupt.”

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        Did you see the election results in Argentina?

        Have you been paying attention to Brazil, France, Germany?

        It’s not just the US and it’s not just Trump.

        People all over the world are sick of pseudo-democracies where the elite rig the system and do whatever they please.

        School boards are not legislatures. They don’t get to make law. They don’t get to ignore the laws that are made.

        Commonwealth Attorneys are not legislatures. They do not get to ignore the law.

        Look at the gag order on Trump. Elitist prosecutors working with elitist judges muzzle his free speech. They claim that allowing Trump to be critical of the court would undermine people’s faith in the justice system.

        Guess what – undermining people’s faith in the justice system is a right of every American.

        1. Matt Adams Avatar

          You can’t have a rational discussion on the topic of unelected bureaucrats with someone who was one.

          The Federal Government is run for and by the Aristocracy to maintain their power and enrich themselves on the backs of the Tax payer.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          Just what we need – to be governed more like 3rd world countries!

          re: the “gag” order – individual people like judges and lawyers and even staff people are being attacked on social media and we already know some crazies out there will do like one of the did to Pelosi’s husband or other others who have been physically assaulted as a result of them being targeted on social media.

          When “undermining” incites others to physical violence against specific individuals, it’s more like 3rd world countries where there is little or no law & order.

          That’s what Trump is promising IMO.

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            Criticizing the courts does not incite anybody to riot. No more than “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” incites Jewish Americans to riot.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            When you specifically target individuals in the courts, it does.

            Support of Palestine is support of Palestine, nothing else except for those who want to misrepresent it as such.

          3. DJRippert Avatar

            Targeting individuals should be outlawed? Like the way liberals targeted Trump?

            Why is OK to target some individuals but not others?

            The gag order on Donald Trump is just thin skinned elites protecting other thin skinned elites.

          4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            “The gag order on Donald Trump is just thin skinned elites protecting other thin skinned elites.”

            Look you used the word “elites” twice in one sentence! Extra points!!

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            He’s targetting specific individuals that we know has incited crazies to go after them. You compare
            that to politics between parties and candidates? How do you think Pelosi’s husband got attacked?
            Confusion there.

          6. When you specifically target individuals in the courts, it does.

            Like stalking and threatening Supreme Court Justices?

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            yes. Any/all including candidates for public office and people on trial acting more like Mafia types.

          8. James Kiser Avatar
            James Kiser

            Kinda like what the “pro palestine people are doing.

      2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        One correction and a clarification.

        “The attitude of conservatives is that a parent has the fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child as long as that child is not transgender.”

        You have that wrong, Dick.

        The “attitude of conservatives” is that bringing up of a child, including making decisions in matters concerning a child’s sexuality, is the parents’ right as long as they do not abuse the child or otherwise harm that child in violation of the law.

        The parents’ unhappiness on that issue was centered on the fact that their children’s expressions of sexuality were being withheld from them by the schools as policy.

        Like a growing number of civilized countries have already done, we support a change in Virginia law to make illegal medical and surgical interventions other than psychiatric counseling for gender dysphoria in minors. You can oppose that, but it is a civilized cause.

        Your statement that “all of the people participated” in the November elections requires clarification. Turnout statewide was 39% of eligible voters. Not your fault. Not mine. We voted. But just a fact.

        As you know, you and I agree on Trump.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          After I wrote “all the people participated”, I had second thoughts and started to amend it, but decided to let it go. The fact is that all registered voters were able to participate, but not all chose to do so.

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

            RIP Neil Peart…

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yes.

      3. “And these were elections in which all the people participated, not just the elites.”

        Voters are a subset of “all people” and only 39 percent of voters turned out in the last election.

        “…exposed to certain books that conservatives don’t like…”

        I would submit quotes and pictures from Gender Queer, a book often at issue, but they would be removed for being pornographic. Inappropriate for the very young or downright pornographic is the real issue for conservatives.

        It’s democrats who typically wish to remove books they don’t like – many of which are classics and important historically.

        Of Mice and Men
        Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
        Dr. Seuss

        “…uncomfortable facts about history.”

        What uncomfortable “facts” are prohibited from being taught? Dubious unhistorical interpretations and toxic ideology are the real issues here.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          I agree that Democrats and liberals have campaigned against books such as Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. That is equally distressing and short-sighted.

          As for uncomfortable facts, here is a discussion of that issue by a Virginia high school teacher caught in this bind. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/28/is-it-legal-teach-virginia/

          1. Thanks for the reply.

            Facts are one thing. Interpretation is another. The article you linked to is alarmist.

            The article references HB787. It would appear that this bill has been:

            “Referred to Committee on Education”

            Is that the current status? If so, I have yet to see anyone convicted of breaking a law from legislation stuck in committee.

      4. Turbocohen Avatar

        Yet again your arguments rest on a desire to win rather than a desire to find a resolution by polarising the conversation. You know what an ideal outcome is, yet, you sound unwilling to work towards finding agreeable compromise to find the best solution to what ails public schools. You also appear to have no desire to build a relationship with those of us who you might as well categorize as “other” because it’s painful to accept the bigger picture. If progressive democrats had the desire and capacity to actively listen to parents without blue pilling them and tried to understand their perspective instead of making their battle one of partisan agenda driven ideas, not one of egos, then just maybe there would be some common sense solutions to the most basic failed policies we suffer with now..

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          I fail to see how I was polarizing. For the most part, this was straight reporting of election results. I don’t see any reference to a current school board being a “safe D.”

          1. Turbocohen Avatar

            Do you support having school board members supporting or promoting transgenderism for children? Teaching racially divisive concepts in schools? Undermining parents’ rights? Support boys competing in women’s sports?

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          re: ” Yet again your arguments rest on a desire to win rather than a desire to find a resolution by polarising the conversation”

          “If progressive democrats had the desire and capacity to actively listen to parents without blue pilling them and tried to understand their perspective instead of making their battle one of partisan agenda driven ideas, not one of egos, then just maybe there would be some common sense”

          who is polarizing?

          1. Turbocohen Avatar

            The current school board is “safe” D..

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            but you were berating Dick for using polarizing words, then you proceed to do even more of it yourself?

            The fact the school board is a “safe D” justifies the polarizing language?

    4. Who is this “elite” of whom you speak?

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        FOX News knows…. 😉

  2. DJRippert Avatar

    You progressives just don’t get it. You stare slack jawed and glassy eyed at Donald Trump’s popularity. You brand him a racist, an isolationist, an egomaniac. You can’t see reality. Trump is an iconoclast. He seeks to tear down the institutions that have grown up in this country. He seeks this because he believes that the institutions have become corrupt. Those institutions no longer represent the will of the people, they represent the desires of the global elite.

    This column is another example of denial. Down ballot races in an off year election are held out as some kind of defense of the elite’s control of the institution of public schools.

    The law in Virginia is clear – “A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child. 2013, cc. 668, 678.” The fact that the elite don’t like this law and choose to ignore it is the problem. It is the wellspring of Trump’s power and will be the downfall of the elite in America.

    The battle is coming. Whether that battle is led by Donald Trump or some other person is irrelevant.

    The elite’s days of ignoring the laws of the people and the will of the people are numbered.

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Now, we watch.

    Easy to gin up a issue that inflames people. Tougher to keep it up. Bona fides will out.

  4. The problem with the Moms for Liberty or other social conservative types is that they do not realize what school boards actually do. Budgets, planning, contracts, hiring, and academic performance take a lot of time and study. Those excited about book banning, trans students, or banning evolution are probably not going to stay interested for long.

    1. killerhertz Avatar
      killerhertz

      I can’t figure out why test scores and performance are in the crapper. Oh wait. There was that time we closed the schools and required kids to wear masks so they couldn’t pick up on verbal cues and treated them like disease vectors for over a year. DUH

      1. Test scores were low before that and the achievement gap between Whites and blacks or even Asians and blacks has always been huge. However, the Moms for Liberty want to ignore the issue while banning evolution from textbooks , banning the discussions that homosexuals can be parents, or that trans people actually exist.

  5. James C. Sherlock Avatar
    James C. Sherlock

    Nice research, Dick

    You failed to explain why the widespread chaos and failure in the public schools wrought by progressive policies are popular.

    I could come up with a few, but why don’t you give it a shot?

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      there’s that word again: ” widespread “.

      You can put it on anything and make a point whether it’s true or not… works like a charm!

      1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        Two replies.

        First, look at the results from the schools statewide: http://schoolquality.virginia.gov/virginia-state-quality-profile#desktopTabs-6

        20% chronic absenteeism.

        Statewide the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) Offenses Data: behaviors that impede academic progress 108,144; Behaviors related to School Operations 139, 346; – Relationship Behaviors without Physical Harm 108,994; – Behaviors of a Safety Concern, 131,935; – Behaviors that Endanger the Health, Safety, or Welfare of Self or Others, 38,147; – homicides, sexual offenses, assaults, and incidents involving the possession or use of a weapon, 485.

        Now look at the SOL performances (assessments). Reading, writing, math, etc.

        Now go to Spotsylvania County. 26% chronic absenteeism. 29 schools total. Now look at the Standards of Accreditation (SOA) Offenses Data. Do the math on offenses of each type by school. And those were the reported ones.
        http://schoolquality.virginia.gov/divisions/spotsylvania-county-public-schools#desktopTabs-6

        Second, my question was to Dick.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          yep, saw the question to Dick but in a public forum and I see you answer the same way at times to othrs, so is that a complaint?

          The absentee problem is real , no question. You’d have this SAME problem if it were private schools IMO, except the private schools are not held accountable for it.

          But does chronic absenteeism lead to less graduation from others? Less others going to college?
          when you say “chaos and failure”, are you also referring to the others that stay in school and graduate and go on to productive lives?

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            Private schools boot the chronically truant, just like public schools should.

            Every jurisdiction needs a high school for miscreants where truants and troublemakers are sent until they turn 18.

            That would let the kids who value an education get one.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            We have Alternative schools that do exist and miscreants and truants get sent to:

            https://www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/o/wright/page/alternative-education

            Kids who value an education largely do get one. Can you show data that says those kids are not succeeding and getting one just because there are others who do not?

          3. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            “Same problem in private schools”. You made that up out of whole cloth.

          4. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            No comment on the breathtaking offenses data?

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            I don’t know what to do! If I answer, you’ll say I never stop!

            😉

            Plenty of comment. Things HAVE gotten worse since COVID as well as what adults now do outside of school – some kids will emulate that.

            But NONE of this means that other kids are not getting decent educations and getting employed or going to college also.

            Conservatives seem to have only one way of looking at the world – totally biased and one-sided and ignoring the rest that is good.

          6. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            “The absentee problem is real , no question. You’d have this SAME problem if it were private schools IMO, except the private schools are not held accountable for it.”

            And they can selectively exclude the undesirables from their populations as well.

      2. DJRippert Avatar

        “The school closures that took 50 million children out of classrooms at the start of the pandemic may prove to be the most damaging disruption in the history of American education.”

        Red State?
        Brietbart?

        No.

        The New York Times.

        The elites said the public schools should be closed and thus it was so.

        And now an entire generation suffers.

        ‘https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/18/opinion/pandemic-school-learning-loss.html#:~:text=The%20evidence%20is%20now%20in,the%20history%20of%20American%20education.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          How many workplaces did the same thing DJ? Not just here, around the world?

          Cruise ships? Airlines? Churches? even Funerals?

          all due to “liberal” bad stuff?

          You’ve got yourself into a Trump state of mind and it does not become you at all IMO.

        2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          You spend a lot of time complaining about the “elites” and how they control society and government. Who do you consider “the elite”? I would consider someone who graduated from a selective, highly-regarded university, has been successful in business, has traveled extensively, and lives in an expensive neighborhood as being among the elite. Donald Trump fits this definition as do the Koch brothers and Harlan Crow. I would think that you fit this definition of “elite”. Are these some of the “elites” you are so upset with? If not, what would be your definition?

          1. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            If you look down on the working class, you are an elite.

          2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
            Dick Hall-Sizemore

            If that is the definition, then one will need to go person by person to identify attitudes that qualify them as being elitist. Don Rippert seems to be using a much broader brush than that.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            He’s speaking the Trumpium Language.

          4. Matt Adams Avatar

            The aristocracy and unelected bureaucrats, whom spend their days separating the people from their wealth.

            “I would consider someone who graduated from a selective, highly-regarded university, has been successful in business, has traveled extensively, and lives in an expensive neighborhood as being among the elite.”

            That’s just being wealthy, it isn’t an “elite”.

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Those are different topics for another time. No one has said the chaos and school failures were popular. Many of the conservatives who lost were not running on those issues, but on transgender and “bad books” issues. The voters on all sides are tiring of the culture wars over the schools and want to get back to basics. I called my school board to account earlier this year over the low SOL reading scores in many of the county’s schools and I intend to continue to sound the alarm with the new school board.

    3. Anyone running for a school board in a diverse school district faces the issue that Asians and whites massively outperform blacks and Hispanics. The Moms for Liberty types chose to deal with the issue by choosing to ignore it; blame it on culture or genetic, or claim that school choice will close the achievement gap. Most voters realize that people who adopt those positions are not serious.

    4. What “widespread chaos and failure” would that be?

  6. Fred Costello Avatar
    Fred Costello

    Sounds as if Dick Hall-Sizemore is hoping that parental rights groups are losing momentum. The groups are fighting the more powerful entrenched education government, but don’t think that losing a battle means losing a war.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Here’s your “parental rights” folks:

      ” The Moms for Liberty “parental rights” nonprofit reported $2.1 million in total revenue in 2022, a big leap from the previous year that was made possible primarily through contributions from two anonymous megadonors, according to a tax filing provided to The Associated Press on Friday.

      The dramatic increase was up from $370,000 in revenue the previous year, when it was founded, and reveals the financial footprint of the polarizing group’s massive nationwide growth. That includes high-profile events over the past year with prominent conservative groups and Republican political candidates.”

      1. Fred Costello Avatar
        Fred Costello

        Do you apply “polarizing” to every group whose viewpoint you dislike?

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      “Parental rights” is a loaded term. The people that use it are talking about their rights as parents, but not the rights of other parents that might disagree with them.

  7. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    I think you are right Mr. Dick. The revolt against school boards has run out of fuel. I saw some of the leaders of the revolt in Loudoun on WJLA Channel 7 news. Looks like they are spent, dejected, and beaten. Easier to just move on to a private school or home school if public schools really bother you that much.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Here’s the thing. Were they pawns for an opportunistic political purpose and now thrown-away or were they real and now part of the Conservative ethos or just have to stand
      on their own?

      I hope the folks who were acting out, do drift away but I hope the folks who had honest concerns – not just culture war – stay and help change the schools for the better.

      I don’t think many of the burn-it-all-down folks care one whit about public education. They were more like vandals just looking for things to destroy.

      People like you know the real world of teaching and you’ve convinced me (along with some other teachers) that leadership makes
      a difference and failure to lead causes great harm.

      I don’t know how you fix that though. Sometimes they look around when a spot opens up and they take what they can get. If teaching is tough, I would imagine up the food chain, it can be even harder.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        The world of teaching I knew doesn’t exist anymore. Nobody is serious about reform either. The left has all but clinched a total monopoly on public education. Collective bargaining will complete the job. Public education has waxed and waned for 153 years now. Conservatives must separate from this institution and seek out alternative routes. Not interested in a voucher either for they will ultimately come with strings attached. Not interested in destroying public education either. It will consume itself from within. See C’ville, Richmond, or Petersburg for examples.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          and…. path forward?

          1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            You guys will have to figure that one out. I did my time. Path forward looks like quicksand from here.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            I truly don’t understand how public education “works” in just about every other developed country but not so good here… sometimes….

          3. https://www.gisreportsonline.com/r/france-education-crisis/

            https://inews.co.uk/news/education/schools-crisis-pupils-teachers-classes-curriculum-2586901

            And that is not even the acme of the tip of the iceberg of the problems in European public schools.

  8. Isle of Wight County reelected the conservative members of the school board and replaced an incumbent with a conservative candidate. The board has a conservative majority of 4 out of 5.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Quite a few of the rural counties schools are majority conservative… for some time… way
      before the culture war………

      1. In Isle of Wight, this shift took place over the last 2-3 elections. The county has always leaned conservative for some time but the school board only attracted left-leaning candidates. I credit the parents-rights movement with making people see how important the board is.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          The Board in Spotsy went Conservative two elections ago – they got thrown out this election. Has happened in some other jurisdictions also – rejection of culture war behaviors. Most suburban areas
          are not buying the culture war arguments for schools. Some like Hanover still do. It remains to be
          seen if the movement has “legs” IMO. Public schools cannot do what every parent wants done. They have to operate in the middle for all kids and parents including kids that are bullied for being different.
          More and more kids who act out like their parents are going to be held to account.

          1. By the way, Hanover County has an appointed school board.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yep. They had a referenda on whether to elect it and it went down so I probably misspoke on Hanover.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yep. They had a referenda on whether to elect it and it went down but the BOS is conservative and the culture war is ongoing in Hanover.

  9. Because “Moms for Liberty” and other national “parental rights” organizations are failing because:

    (1) They are NOT grassroots. They are astroturf crowds, promoted and kept alive by shadowy rightwing individuals or organizations — same as the Tea Party.

    (2) Believe it or not, the vast majority of parents are perfectly happy with their kids’ schools. Parents know the teachers and administrators, kids know them, respect and support them and are very leery of the fools who shout down every else.

    (3) Parents know teachers are not “grooming” kids; advising kids to change their gender; or assigning porn for kids to read.

    (4) In Virginia, Youngkin was able to fool enough people to win in 2021. After two years of his nonsense, voters are ready to dup him and his merry band of rightwingers.

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