- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Leon County Schools has joined a growing list of districts in Florida that are outright rebelling against Gov. Ron DeSantis and his executive order prohibiting the forced face-masking of students returning to the classrooms.

It’s really a rebellion against parental authorities, though.

Break it down more and it’s really a defiance of the power of the family, of individualism, of self-determination — of even God’s creation.

This is what Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna said in a live Facebook post, about the decision to force all students, pre-K through eighth grade, to wear face masks: “I am aware that I am the first elected school superintendent to take such action. I am also aware, fully aware, of the consequences I may suffer. Governor, I do have an obligation to uphold the laws of the state of Florida. I have a greater obligation, however, to protect for the health, safety and welfare of the children in Tallahassee and Leon County.”

No. Not really.

The job of a government servant is to uphold the laws that protect the Constitution and individual rights of the employers — the taxpayers.

It’s not the job of a government servant to determine which laws to uphold. And it’s certainly not the job of a government servant to decide, in place of parents, in place of caretakers, how best to protect the health and how best to provide for the welfare of children. If that were true, government servants would be able to dictate what kids eat, when kids go to bed, where kids go to college, how much exercise kids get, what television shows kids watch, what jobs kids ultimately choose, what recreational activities kids select — and more. Ostensibly, government servants would then have to pay for all those dictates, as well. And then what would be the point of parents? Exactly. 

No need for family — save for the bearing of children for the state to train.

No need for traditional mothers and fathers — save for the semblance of giving state-trained kids a place to call home.

Voila, the family unit as tradition has shaped, as God Himself has created, crumbles. 

When children are taught to prioritize the state and government interests above parents, above family, above God, the culture and politics of a country undergo extraordinary shifts. That’s a communist way of doing business, and it’s one the causes a collectivist mindset to seep and dominate and a secular heart to spread. The family unit is basic to godly instruction; the government in America, particularly the government-run schools in America, must never be handed the reins of control of children. Teachers and administrators do have an interest in providing for the health and safety and welfare of students — but never to the level of surpassing or supplanting parental authorities. 

Teachers should ask, not demand.

Administrators should request, not dictate.

Superintendents and staff should advise, not order.

Parents are quite capable of deciding whether or not their children should wear face masks when they go to school. Today’s face mask mandates are tomorrow’s — whatever. That’s how liberty in free nations fall: one small step at a time.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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