Parents, activists, media figures, and members of Congress gathered outside the Capitol Tuesday to rally for parents’ rights in education.
The “Government Is NOT A Co-Parent” rally, organized by the Independent Women’s Network, featured some of the most vocal figures in the fight for parents rights’ in K-12 education. Parents across the country are organizing against controversial ideology, such as Critical Race Theory (CRT), transgender policies and graphic sexual content in school libraries.
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
“Democrats have deemed that reasonable and concerned parents who get in the way of their radical agenda, as domestic terrorists. They put them in the same category, for example, as the Unabomber for God’s sakes,” said Republican Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger, referencing a letter from the National School Board Association (NSBA), which likened parents actions to hate crimes and those of domestic terrorists.
“They’re being told by bureaucrats that they are better equipped to raise our children than we are,” she added. “Parents have every right to be deeply concerned about this.”
The parent education movement that has mobilized in Virginia is happening across the country, because Americans want to know what is being taught in their schools, Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy told the crowd.
“Right now the most important thing we could be doing is taking back our school boards, taking back our schools across this country, reinstating in our children the proper understanding and respect for the history and the greatness of this country unapologetically,” Roy said.
Larry O’Connor, host of “O’Connor & Company” on WMAL sarcastically thanked Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, former President Barack Obama and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten for their roles in propelling parent outrage in public education and helping Glenn Youngkin win the gubernatorial race.
“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe said during a Sept. 29 gubernatorial debate.
Obama called parental concern over education “phony, trumped-up culture wars,” while campaigning for McAuliffe on Oct. 25. Weingarten spent the night before the Nov. 2 election by McAuliffe’s side.
“Don’t tell voters that their main issue is bullshit number 1, number 2… stop accepting endorsements from the teacher’s unions,” because right now, American schools are not public schools, but government-run schools,” O’Connor added.
“The endorsement of the teachers unions is a black mark on a politician’s record and the check … that teachers union money … has strings attached that are dirty and despicable and are harming your children,” O’Connor said.
Stacy Langton spoke about her opposition to sexually explicit books in school libraries. Despite alleged threats against her family and children, Langton said she won’t stop speaking out until Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) takes action regarding multiple graphic books depicting sexual abuse and pornography available in the district’s libraries.
She has called for the removal of books such as, “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison and “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, which contain child pornography and pedophilia available to teenagers in the FCPS libraries, as well as “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George M. Johnson, which depicts the author’s experience of sodomy and sexual assault by his older cousin, according to Langton.
Since first speaking out, Langton said she has been called anti-gay, because many of the books she takes issue with depict same-sex or transgender characters. But Langton explained for the first time publicly on Tuesday that she grew up in the LGBTQ community because her mom was a lesbian, which she hopes will put a stop to the criticism .
“It bothered me because I’m not anti gay, because my mom was gay,” Langton told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I was in that community growing up… them [critics] constantly redirecting it into Stacy Langton is just a bigot of some kind, is obscuring the very important reality of what it is.”
Claims that she is against the LGBTQ community are a distraction from the real issue, that the material found in the books is pornographic and “objectively wrong,” Langton said.
“This isn’t about the gender of the people depicted having sex in these books, it isn’t about the sexual orientation of the people depicted having sex in these books, it’s about the fact that it is x-rated pornographic sex that includes pedophilia… it’s wrong period,” she said.
Federal intervention in local education issues, such as Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memorandum which directs the FBI to “use its authority” against parents amid a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school officials, has had a chilling effect on parents’ conviction to speak out, Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education told the DCNF.
“We focus everyday on just talking to parents, getting their stories, letting them know that they’re not crazy … because once people know what is going on in their backyards, it spurs other people to action,” Neily said. “It gives other people courage to speak out, but it also encourages state legislators to get involved.”
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