Home Nonviolent defense Extremism in Advocating for America’s Children Is No Vice – AMAC

Extremism in Advocating for America’s Children Is No Vice – AMAC


AMAC Exclusive – By David P. Deavel

They just don’t understand, do they? Public schools in the United States have hemorrhaged millions of children in recent years. This was not caused simply by the widespread abandonment of in-person education during Covid or even the absurd demands that they be masked or vaccinated by Covid. It involved exposing how few modern teachers have focused on the three Rs (“reading”, “ritin” and “rithmetic”, in the traditional formulation) and how much they have focused on CRT and LGBTQ and on all other letters. were added this week. American parents have responded either by withdrawing their children or by fighting back against out-of-control school boards, administrators and teachers.

Yet the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) has decided that what will win parents back is an advertisement calling parents who criticize them “extremists” who “attack our schools” because they simply want to “score political issues”.

This is, to put it politely, insane.

Yet this is what we expect from the mass of education, of which the teachers’ unions are today one of the most notable outgrowths. After all, it was with the connivance of a national school board group that Merrick Garland decided to prioritize the treatment of American parents as potential terrorists last year. It was the largest teachers’ union, the National Education Association (NEA), which allocated $140,000 this year for opposition research against a list of enemies of groups opposing the radical theory of the gender in schools. And Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said in April this year that parental rights bills like those in Florida and Texas are how “wars start.”

To be fair, however, these groups are not purely negative. NEA has worked hard on children and reading. The problem is that all the evidence points to the parents being right about what’s going on. The NEA’s 2022-23 Reading Across America Calendar encourages children to read books by Ibrahim X. Kendi. The end result is that a fifth-grade student in Atlanta learned that Frederick Douglass was a racist.

It’s at least better than the AFT. As an Illinois teacher who managed to suffer from Weingarten’s insufferable 2022 AFT convention speech noted, education itself seems to be much further down Weingarten’s priority than political issues. :

It was 23 minutes into his speech before Weingarten mentioned students and a foundation that addresses reading, math and science skills. The first part of the speech touched on political issues such as the pandemic; the attempt to cancel the 2020 elections; gun laws; the war in Ukraine; and the conservative Supreme Court majority that overturned Roe v. Wade, changed the way Miranda’s rights worked, and made other controversial decisions.

Who exactly are the extremists? Who exactly are those trying to score political points?

I think we all know. The problems in American elementary and secondary education are not caused by parental involvement. Instead, they were caused by those responsible for American education itself. Still, the discussion above can be somewhat misleading. Although there are many dissident teachers and administrators in this country, the problems are not limited to the large unions to which I have alluded.

Chris Rufo and Chaya Raichik (Libs of Tik Tok) have served our country well by exposing what is happening in countless school districts across the country regarding the teaching of topics related to race, sexuality and gender. In too many schools, it is the local administrators, counselors and teachers who bring wrong and destructive ideas to our children. More than simply introducing ideas, many of them act explicitly to help children go against their parents to “transition” into another “gender”. Libs of Tik Tok social media posts are usually just the repost of teachers bragging about such teaching and action. Very often they explicitly say that they post about how they circumvent parents and political authorities in more conservative areas so that others can do the same.

This topic is very close to this writer’s heart right now. We moved to Texas this summer and for various reasons are able to have our five school-aged children in public schools this year in the greater Houston area. I’m not very happy with it. Last year they were in a very strong Catholic school in Minnesota where traditional Christian (and human!) understandings of the human person were supported. This year we need to be on alert in a different way.

We’ve visited the schools so far and seen no explicit signs of a CRT and LGBTQ focus; it’s been the three r’s kind of thing. One of my children says of course it is. He tells me not to worry. “He is TexasDad!” Well, maybe. I warned him that education everywhere is largely the same. The same schools of education pump out all the teachers and administrators. whose kids went to public schools here said to me, “You gotta look at these things; they can turn on a penny. So they can.”

I’m going to give one thing to the teachers’ unions. They are right that American parents will do everything possible to protect their children. They will even “start wars” – not violent, of course, but political and legal – to ensure the education of their children. I know I will.

Don’t fool me. I’m not looking for a fight for the sake of fighting. Nor am I looking for one to score mere “political points” in a tribal sense. But I seek to ensure that my children receive an education that is not distorted by race or gender or the United States or anything else. And while I will not physically attack anyone, I will indeed go to nonviolent war in all sorts of other ways if my children and the children in my community are malformed by teachers, counselors, and administrators.

While that may sound extreme, I think it’s fair to say that extremism in advocating for my children is not a vice at all. Instead, it’s a virtue I hope to encourage in others.

David P. Deavel is associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and senior contributor to The Imaginative Conservative. Follow him on Gettr @davidpdeavel.

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