Parents Vs. the Political Class

Loudoun County parents pack a School Board meeting. Photo credit: Idiocracy News Media

by James A. Bacon

Who is sovereign in the United States — the people or the cultural elite and political class? Whose values should be reflected in the public schools — those of the people or those of the cultural elite and the political class?

That is the No. 1 question Virginia voters face in the gubernatorial race of 2021. Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe made the issue crystal clear — and whose side he is on — when he said during the debate with Republican Glenn Youngkin: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

The answer begs the question. If not parents, who should tell schools what they should teach? Sure, public schools need bureaucrats who are expert in the process of devising standards, curricula, methods, and tests. Sure, teachers don’t need parents micromanaging them. But who, ultimately, do the bureaucrats and teachers answer to?

Normally, such a question would not get people exercised. But these are not normal times. A movement of the cultural elites, originating in academia with increasing support from the political class, is pushing to convert schools from centers of learning into incubators for sweeping social and cultural change. 

McAuliffe is not alone in believing that government knows best. Voices in the political class are openly expressing their contempt for the increasingly vocal protesters at school board meetings as an ill-informed rabble.

A reporter recently asked U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona why school board meetings had gotten so heated. “I think it’s a proxy for being mad that their guy didn’t win. … It looks like education is becoming, in some places, a battleground for ideological differences.”

Translation: Right wingers upset by the radical transformation of public schools have seized on school issues as a way to express their inchoate frustration and rage. There’s no need to understand their concerns. The only thing that needs to be understood is mob psychology.

Another example: Yesterday the National Association of School Boards (NASB) penned an open letter to President Joe Biden accusing conservative protesters of “malice, violence, and threats” against local school board, citing 20 instances of “threats, harassment, disruption and acts of intimidation.” “Heinous actions,” such as performing a Nazi salute to protest masking, stated the letter, “could be equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

There are, by the NASB’s count, 14,000 local school districts in the United States and more than 90,000 school board members. Of the 20 incidents cited — one for every 700 school districts in the country — one individual in Illinois was arrested for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct. At other meetings, protesters “incited chaos.” In Virginia, states the letter, “an individual was arrested, another man ticketed for trespassing, and a third person was hurt during a school board meeting discussion distinguishing current curricula from critical race theory and regarding equity issues.”

Horrors! A man was ticketed for trespassing? Head for the bunkers! Call out the National Guard!

True enough, some protesters have gotten out of hand. The right to freely assemble does not give people a right to disrupt public proceedings. Those who do should be admonished for it. I have no problem with escorting people off the premises if they don’t comport themselves properly at school board meetings, or with arresting those who resort to physical violence. I’ve called out Black Lives Matter protesters for disrupting council meetings with shouts and chants, and I’ll apply the same standards to conservatives.

But terming the protests a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” Really? That’s delusional. But it’s a telling form of delusion — it reveals much about the state of mind in the political class and who the nation’s rulers it see as the enemy.

I’ll close this post with a short video from my favorite dissident mom, Nasra Nomani, a leader of the Loudoun County parents’ insurrection.



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20 responses to “Parents Vs. the Political Class”

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

    “A movement of the cultural elites, originating in academia with increasing support from the political class…”

    Sorry but the opposition is nothing but cultural conservatives and their political class. Elected school boards represent those that elected them and often raise the ire of those that did not.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Cultural conservatives? Rabble is far more descriptive.

      Blind leading the blind. But how can you blame them when even the educated conservatives are misleading by calling it CRT.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        I love when liberals get caught doing something stupid. They first try to defend their stupidity by claiming it is, in fact, correct. When that fails they claim their stupidity never happened.

        I think CRT is a perfectly valid term for the claptrap spewed by Ibram Kendi.

        Kendi writes that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination”

        He also claims, “Capitalism is essentially racist; racism is essentially capitalist … they shall one day die together from unnatural causes.”

        Call his rhetorical diarrhea whatever you’d like. I’ll call it CRT and it should not be used as the basis for anything in public schools. Nor should public schools pay Kendi or his acolytes to preach this mindless banter.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          No, that would be “antiracism”, Keni’s word, or at least, Affirmative Action to use a familiar phrase.

          If I were on these boards, I would say, “We will not teach CRT in K12,” and leave it at that. The morons are those who use the wrong words, like astrology for astronomy.

  2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Please define “political class”.

    1. Offering heartfelt congratulations and genuine good wishes to your opponent when conceding an election.


      Although, upon further reflection, that is more of an example than a definition…

  3. DJRippert Avatar

    It’s awfully early for a blizzard but that NASB letter illustrates a storm of liberal snowflakes swirling in terror as arch villains like Asra Nomani take them to task for their attempts to turn schools into indoctrination camps.

    A letter to Joe Biden? I hope they used small words and a large font.

    As for U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona … wow. I guess he slept through the civics class where the First Amendment’s provision for ” the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances” was spelled out.

  4. There should be no surprise that some defenders of woke educational policies and practices are denigrating and bad mouthing people who are openly complaining about those woke policies and practices. Vilifying and demonizing opponents is an old political tactic and goes back centuries, and political hypocrisy and double standards are old tactics as well. There is nothing delusional about the crass, cynical efforts to smear people who are opposing woke educational policies and practices.

    The Virginia Constitution recognizes that the people are the sovereign and have the right to hold governmental officials accountable (Article I, Section 2), and that the people have the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for the redress of grievances (Article I, Section 12). See also U.S. Constitution, First Amendment. Furthermore, the Virginia Code explicitly recognizes the rights of parents to participate in decisions concerning the upbringing and education of their children. Virginia Code Section 1-240.1 (“Rights of parents. A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.”).

    The efforts to prevent parents and concerned citizens from exercising their constitutional and statutory rights to criticize educational practices and policies, and demand accountability of government officials and agencies are profoundly anti-democratic.

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

      “There is nothing delusional about the crass, cynical efforts to smear people who are opposing woke educational policies and practice”

      After all they are patterned on the crass, cynical efforts by Conservatives to smear those who support “woke” educational policies and practices (i.e., those who actually voted the school board members into office… speaking of “profoundly anti-democratic” techniques).

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        The applicable definition os smear is … “damage the reputation of (someone) by false accusations; slander.”

        In your mind, whaat are the false accusations being used to smear those who support “woke” educational policies and practices?

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

          So you are saying you used the word incorrectly then. That’s ok.

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            I didn’t use the word at all. emjak and you did. I’m just asking what you eant when you used the word “smear”.

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

            Oh, perhaps things like “these people are Marxists set on overthrowing our country”…

      2. Packer Fan Avatar
        Packer Fan

        So liberals voted into office people who support rioting, burning things down, looting and taking over government property with no accountability.

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

          DJ… QED…

  5. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    From this article, it sounds like you think there were no parents included in the majorities that elected the school board members.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      If you go back and review the platforms on which school board members ran for office there was not talk of CRT or anti-racism. No talk of making TJ a lotto based application magnet school. No discussion of transgender students using the locker rooms of students whose personal identity is governed by their sex at birth. There was no discussion of illustrated books depicting pedophilia available in the school libraries.

      Here’s the campaign website for the school board member representing my district in Northern Virginia …

      Other than one elliptical point about providing “culturally sensitive” education for a laundry list of student types including those of all sexual orientations there is no mention of anti-racism, etc.

      Tholen was elected in 2019 on a platform of very ho-hum points like creating a board of students from the Dranesville pyramid high schools.

      Then came COVID and the appalling decision by FCPS to shut down the schools for the 2020 – 2021 school year while private school systems and other public school systems remained open with no ill effects.

      Then came Kendi and CRT or “reverse racism” if you prefer (I cannot call a philosophy that says the only answer to past discrimination is future discrimination “anti-racist”, that is truly Orwellian Doublespeak).

      I am sure that a lot of people voted for Tholen thinking she would actually do what she said she would do.

      The problem is that FFX Co School Board elections are held once every 4 years and the recall process is hugely weighted in favor of the officeholder. By the time Tholen is thrown on the ash heap of history (in 2023) the damage will have been done.

      1. Don nailed it. In the past, hardly anyone paid attention to school board races. A small minority of voters determined the outcome. Now people are paying attention, and the agendas, once hidden, are now open. The results this year will be very different.

  6. Wahoo'74 Avatar

    Jim, yet another great column. Thousands of Antifa and BLM members riot in numerous US cities during the summer of 2020 causing tens of millions of dollars in property damage, and Leftists deem these riots “peaceful protests.”

    A year later a small handful of anti-CRT protestors at school board meetings across the nation exhibit violent or far right tendencies and the NASB and Terry McAuliffe brand all conservatives to be violent zealots.

    The blatant hypocrisy and outright lying is obvious to all but the blindly partisan. I applaud the Virginia parents standing up for their children, against CRT theory and the fallacious 1619 Project core tenets, and for objective academic courses that teach the true history of the American Republic. I am hopeful that the electorate wakes up and elects Glenn Youngkin next month.

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