It’s a commonly accepted adage that if you want to make someone angry, all you need to do is criticize their mom. You can commit a whole host of sins against a friend or foe that will receive little more than a shrug of indifference, but if you suggest their mother is a prostitute, the gloves will come off. This principle holds not only for one’s biological parent but also for that “other mother” that almost all of us have in common: our respective alma maters, otherwise known as our local public schools.
As someone who spent his entire career in the academy, I know this to be true. If there is one thing I learned in my 35 years in the ivory tower, it is this: You can find fault in just about anything you want without fear of reprisal, but if you dare to point out that mom is sleeping around, all hell will break loose, and wrath of Khan will fall upon you.
For example, in 2015, I told an entire nation of college students that my university was not the place for them if they wanted to be coddled rather than confronted. “This is not a daycare,” I said. “If that’s the kind of school you want, go somewhere else.” The result? Despite NBC Today citing my commentary as one of its top 10 stories of the year, my academic peers resorted to weeping and gnashing of teeth. “You besmirched the academy,” they lamented. “You called mom names.”
Then in 2017, at the height of the “MeToo” movement, I suggested that today’s long list of boorish miscreants might have something in common — they are products of our nation’s schools and, as such, they might just be acting out the failed ideas they’ve been taught at their respective alma maters. “Teach lechery and get lechers,” I averred. The result? In spite of (or perhaps because of?) my comments receiving national attention again, the local school superintendent here in Northeast Oklahoma said I was little more than a “firebrand,” and the local teachers union called for a boycott of the university I was then leading. “You insulted our mother,” they shouted. “How dare you say she’s been a bad parent?”
Well, let’s fast forward. It’s 2022, school board elections just took place this past Tuesday, and here are some facts pertaining to the Oklahoma school district that I mentioned above: In spite of the fact that this is “the reddest of red states” and that the northeast corner of Oklahoma is touted as a bastion of “conservative” heartland values, our local schools are, well, a hedonist mess.
Consider the following:
The high school in the district cited above proudly flies the politically laden rainbow and transgender flags in its classrooms.
Progressive teachers from this same school openly tell their students to declare their grammar-butchering preferred pronouns at the beginning of each academic year.
The school library for this “conservative community” proudly promotes Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” along with its full-page salacious description of a father raping his daughter.
Critical theory, intersectionality, systemic guilt, racial conflict and the science-denying nihilism of progressive ontology are taught pervasively across the curriculum.
Parents report that their children avoid using the common restrooms in the local school because it is well known they could stumble across other students are “having sex” in those bathrooms.
The president of this district’s school board is on record endorsing a local politician who openly celebrates a “bi” and “poly” lifestyle and who champions the “moral good” of a boy stealing a girl’s bathroom, shower and sport.
The superintendent of this same school district in America’s heartland just instructed his spokesperson (a day after Tuesday’s school board elections) to inform the Gideons that they can no longer offer free New Testaments to children in the local schools. The Gideons, by the way, is an organization that has been distributing this nefarious book to our community’s students for over 50 years.
And for pointing all of this out, what is the response you get from the local educational establishment and its defenders?
Cries of “You’re attacking us! How dare you say such things about our mother?”
Loyalty to a mom who’s known to be sleeping around with an endless menagerie of boorish “johns” has become more important than giving our children a decent education. Loyalty to our alma mater — our other mother — is much more important than the souls of our own children.
Jesus once warned that it is better for you to have a millstone tied around your neck and be cast into the sea than to lead one of his little ones astray. You might want to start investing in millstones. There’s about to be a run on the market.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good.”