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Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education

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Parents must have a voice in their children’s education

Jun 30, 2023

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The issue of parents’ rights is a hot topic in public education. It comes up during political campaigns and debates covering everything from COVID-19 policy to what gets taught in school, including discussions of sexuality.

Straight Arrow News contributor Star Parker argues that as we head into the 2024 presidential election, the fight for our classrooms is vital. She explains how parental rights groups like Moms For Liberty deserve to have a say in shaping what their kids learn.

For most children right now is the best time of the year — it’s summer. But before you know it, a new school year will begin. And while a new year often means new opportunities, there are far too many parents who have to worry about what this year will bring for their children. Because the challenges facing our kids today are vastly different from the ones we faced when we were children. There used to be established trust between schools and homes, parents and teachers. We used to all agree that topics of sex and other adult content had no place in the classroom. Now it is a battle to reach that once-shared understanding.

And even though children may have the summer off, that doesn’t mean that the movement for parental rights has the summer off. One group that is fighting this battle is Moms For Liberty, a group of parents that initially formed to counter the COVID school closures that were decimating the education of a generation. Yet, just recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center weighed in on Moms For Liberty, and the movement for parental rights. They labeled this organization, Moms For Liberty, as an anti-government extremist group. For the Left, that is actually not the worst label they’ve used for parents in recent memory, considering the fact that President Biden and the Department of Justice had labeled many parents fighting for the same rights as domestic terrorists just two years ago.

This battle is precisely the reason why this coming school year, one that will go straight into an election year, is so pivotal.

For most children right now is the best time of the year, it’s summer. But before you know it, a new school year will begin. And while a new year often means new opportunities, there are far too many parents who have to worry about what this year will bring for their children. Because the challenges facing our kids today are vastly different from the ones we faced when we were children. There used to be established trust between schools and homes, parents and teachers, with all agreed that topics of sex and other adult content had no place in the classroom. Now it is a battle to reach that one shared understanding. And even though children may have the summer off, that doesn’t mean that the movement for parental rights has the summer off. One group that is fighting this battle is moms for liberty, a group of parents that initially formed to counter the COVID school closures that were decimated the education of a generation. Yet, just recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center weighed in on moms for liberty, and the movement for parental rights. They labeled this organization moms for liberty as an anti government extremist group. For the left, that is actually not the worst label they’ve used for parents in recent memory, considering the fact that President Biden and the Department of Justice had labeled many parents fighting for the same rights as domestic terrorists just two years ago. This battle is precisely the reason why this coming school year, one that will go straight into an election year is so pivotal. Former Republican Senator and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander once said that the role of public school education is to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and what it means to be an American citizen. If we can’t even agree on what it means to be an American citizen, or even the content of the subjects that are not appropriate for children to learn, how can we possibly teach them? How can the children of the left and the children of the right even share the same classroom is we witnessed the increasing trends of progressive ideologies invading our classrooms, it is imperative that we address the need for parental empowerment. In they must have these decisions in what goes on in their schools. Parents are the primary educators of their children. They’re the ones who understand their child’s uniqueness, their needs, their values, their belief, and when parents are excluded from the decision making process, it undermines the trust and partnership that should exist between families and schools, and is the right of parents to determine the appropriate timing and manner for discussing especially sensitive issues with their children. These are the reasons why we are seeing so many of the 1.2 million students who left the public schools during the pandemic, not return to the public school system. And it’s why so many parents who have a child entering kindergarten this fall will decide that private school or homeschooling will be much better choice for their children. And while more and more parents wake up to the situation at hand, and both parents and teachers are labeled and punished for speaking out. This issue will not be resolved anytime soon. We, the adults will continue to fight over the values, the mission of education. We used to share it, but now it’s fallen apart. And now it’s a battle. And frankly, this is good news for our children’s future that this battle will continue where parents are fighting for the control over their children’s education. And this is a positive thing going into election 2024

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