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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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November 17, 2021

     Since the Glenn Youngkin win in the race for governor in Virginia, seen as the revenge of the suburbs, the concerns of parents suddenly have top billing. Pundits and politicians alike now take school concerns seriously . It's about time parents become politically involved.

     Many on the left spent the time since the election calling parents “racist,” but in a state President Joe Biden won by over 10 points, either the racists went for Biden last time or the charges are completely absurd. So what do parents really want? First, school boards need to offer them a détente. While the news has been focused on angry parents at board meetings, there’s a lot of evidence that — in the parlance of the children they’re all supposed to be protecting — the school boards “started it.”

     Last week, the Governing Board president of the Scottsdale Unified School District in Arizona accidentally exposed a dossier he’d collected on parents in his district. It included photos of parents and their kids, Social Security numbers, divorce decrees, mortgages and so on. In March, a private Facebook group out of Virginia called ​​“anti-racist parents of Loudoun County,” shared the private information of parents opposed to Critical Race Theory. Is it any wonder parents have been irate?

     And, of course, we now know the National School Board Association worked with both the White House and the Attorney General’s Office to craft a hysterical letter comparing parents to domestic terrorists. This spurred a memorandum from the AG that promised to use the FBI to target unruly parents.   The first thing schools must do is accept that the children don’t belong to them. That isn’t even up for debate. Parents must be the ones, ultimately, in control, and school boards should reflect parents’ wants.

     But what happens when a school board and parents can’t agree on major subjects, such as whether school should be open at all?  This happened over the months of the pandemic. Parents were sidelined from the conversation over what was best for their kids. While it was the pandemic that shuttered schools, it was teachers unions that kept them closed. In fact, private schools remained open in places like California, so Gov. Gavin Newsom’s kids got to go to school, while public schools were shut. This is deeply, patently unfair.

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