An issue that is dominating headlines is the question of parental rights in education. Florida recently passed a law, falsely labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” law, prohibiting educators from instructing pupils in kindergarten through third grade about sexual matters. “Progressives,” as a result, are having a hard time justifying their outrage. During a press conference, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki what the president’s opinion is on an acceptable age to discuss sex in schools, and she punted, claiming the new law is “propagating misinformed, hateful policies” and “putting parents and LGTBQ+ kids in a very difficult heartbreaking circumstance.”
One leftist who has bucked current trends, raising the ire of her peers, is former U.S. representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HA). Gabbard has put herself at odds with Democratic Party stalwarts Hillary Clinton and Vice President Kamala Harris, repeatedly taking the former to task for her warmongering and excoriating the latter for the gleeful enforcement of drug laws when Harris served as California’s attorney general. Now Gabbard is joining the fray over parental rights in schools, and the language she employs sounds very promising. At first. “We should all support the Parental Rights in Education bill that recently passed in Florida, which very simply bans government and government schools from indoctrinating ‘woke’ sexual values in … schools to a captive audience,” she wrote on Twitter. “A captive audience,” she added, for clarification, “that is by law required to attend.”
Gabbard is correct. Students in public schools are in fact a “captive audience,” as they are required by law to attend a government-approved school, which their parents/guardians are likewise required by law to fund via property taxes. (Homeschooling and private education are allowed, but difficult in practice for those who can’t afford to “pay twice” – first for a government school, and then for one of their choosing.) Public schools have become indoctrination centers, and Gabbard rightly points out that, “Government has no place in personal lives. Government has no place in our bedrooms. Parents are the ones responsible for raising kids and instilling in them a moral foundation, not the government.”
But it’s fair to ask: isn’t education itself a parent’s concern as well? After all, those who care for children are responsible for their clothing, housing, and sustenance – what are fairly called the three essentials to sustain life. If we can trust them with such important, fundamental matters, why not education? In another tweet, Gabbard wrote, “Parents should raise their kids, not the government.” This is absolutely true, and Gabbard is taking flak from “progressives” for siding with conservatives. The problem is, conservatives – and more traditional liberals like Tulsi – are laser focused on the “woke” ideology that is infecting public discourse and driving “progressive” politics rather than striking at the root problem. In corporate lingo, they’re in love with the solution instead of the problem.
Writing on RedState, Stacey Matthews (aka “Sister Toldjah”) praised Gabbard and noted that she is making “great points [that] some Republicans make about how there needs to be more of a sense of urgency in the party among political leaders about how ‘woke’ groups and educators work to indoctrinate students in all grades, whether it be on topics related to sexual orientation and transgenderism to critical race theory and hating America.” Tulsi Gabbard, Ron DeSantis, and Stacey Matthews are right to push back against the torrent of anti-freedom and mind-destroying principles that are driving the government school bureaucracy in this country. But if they truly want to see government replaced by parents as the rightful guides in a child’s upbringing and education, they should be demanding that government get out of the education business completely. A school that allows males and females to compete on the same teams, or share the same bathrooms, or learn Critical Race Theory, will quickly find itself starved of patrons – that’s why “progressives” need a captive audience. They don’t trust parents. Tulsi Gabbard, and the conservatives currently adoring her, should prove that they do, and start fighting for the separation of school and state.