- - Thursday, January 27, 2022

Parents should have primary responsibility for their children’s education and their children’s medical decisions. This should be a non-controversial statement, but radicals these days are trying to pry control away from parents all across the country. We must fight back. 

In California, lawmakers are pushing legislation that would allow children as young as 12 to receive COVID-19 vaccinations without consent from their parents. While I got both of my COVID-19 shots and booster, I believe that parents should be the ones making that decision with their children. 

The New York State Department of Education is telling school districts that their mask mandate is still in place — even though a county judge ruled it unconstitutional. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that children do not face significant risks and clear guidance that the state legislature must authorize these rules before they can go into effect, the radicals think they know better than the rest of us. 

Even Jen Psaki jumped into the debate as the newly sworn-in Governor of Virginia began keeping his campaign promises by issuing a series of Executive Orders, including one which creates a parental opt-out from mask mandates at both public and private schools in the Commonwealth. The White House Press Secretary mentioned that she was a parent in Arlington County (although it was not clear if her child attends a government-run school) and sided with the liberal administrators who announced they would defy the Executive Order. 

Joe Biden’s chief defender should note that the candidate her boss endorsed lost the election. Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made the politically fatal mistake of saying out loud what so many liberals think: parents should not have a role in their children’s education. 

Parents all across the political spectrum want to be involved in their children’s education. The lesson from Virginia is simple: Don’t piss off parents. 

One of the few bright spots that came from the global pandemic the past two years is that families can now see what is happening in the classroom. Despite many teachers with good intentions, schools are filled with radical indoctrination. Instead of focusing on the fundamentals of learning: reading, writing, science, math — and most importantly — critical thinking, much of the curriculum is driven by woke ideology. 

In many schools, white students are taught that something is wrong with them because of their race. Many are also falsely told that America is a nation founded on slavery. Historians across the political spectrum have denounced the 1619 Project, yet more and more government-run schools are buying into the nonsense. 

Speaking out about this false history and things like Critical Race Theory does not mean that we do not want students to learn about slavery or radical tensions during the history of America. Instead, we want students to learn how we worked to overcome it and what still needs to be done rather than engage in new forms of racism. The mere fact that we have to have these battles should remind us all we have to take a stand for freedom. 

Parents have a few real options with what is happening in schools today. One is to work hard and elect new school board members to restore sanity and balance to our schools. Another is to transfer students to private schools that share their values. Finally, they can choose to homeschool their own children. 

As Governor of Wisconsin, I was proud to make each option easier as I trust parents to do the right thing for their children. Our Act 10 law allows duly-elected school board members to make decisions about their schools instead of the radical big government union bosses.  

Parents with wealth have long been able to provide a quality education for their children. It is much tougher for middle-class and low-income families. During my tenure, we expanded the parental school choice program to families all across Wisconsin. Regardless of what they look like, where they live, or how much their parents make each year, every child deserves access to an excellent education. Now, we need to give that option to parents all across the country.  

Homeschool families need protection too. Often education bureaucrats and know-it-alls try to block these parents from doing their job. Giving families access to online resources is just one example of how we can help out. 

In addition to these options, parents should look for organizations that supplement their values with their children. I am proud of the work we do at Young America’s Foundation to train leaders in the fight for freedom. Student involvement with YAF or other like-minded groups can be a real plus. 

Now, more than ever, we need to trust parents and give them the power to make the right decisions for their children. Parents, it is time to rise up and take control of your children’s future. 

  •  Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.

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