Washington Examiner | Empower families with educational freedom so the state can’t take our children

We the people have lost authority over our schools and desperately need educational freedom. The school system our founders created, designed to be free from government interference, has been hijacked by government intrusion, corrupt, union-controlled politicians, and entrenched special interests. These united forces are enriching themselves and radically transforming our culture through government-run “public” schools.

For example, disastrous new sex ed curricula, marked by explicit depictions and uber-liberal views of sexuality that sharply contradict the sincerely held values of most parents, have been forced on millions of families in schools.

That’s why hundreds of my fellow Californians and I traveled to Sacramento to force our state to provide parents “opt-in” protections and transparent, online access to full curricula content. Thousands of letters in support of our bill flooded the legislature, and hundreds voiced their support in person during the bill’s hearing in the Senate Education Committee on Jan. 15.

But we were shot down by union-controlled Democrats who voted unanimously to ignore parents in favor of the special interests pushing the sexualized content onto our children.

Before defeating our parent-sponsored bill, the committee chairwoman, state Sen. Connie Leyva, a Democrat from San Bernardino, lectured us from her throne. Using prideful and condescending tones, she dismissed our concerns and basically told us we’re too stupid to make decisions for our own children and too afraid to teach them about sex.

She also stated the law already permitted “opt-in” rights, even though it specifically denies them, as does Leyva’s committee’s own legislative analysis of our bill. She then threatened to have us removed for instinctively reacting with gasps of horror while personally witnessing communist state-like injustices within the halls of our supposedly free republic.

We “stupid” parents and teachers are well versed in the entire law and painstakingly fight daily to expose the concealed, horrific, state-imposed materials foisted on our children. We had the facts and the Constitution on our side, but we lost anyway.

This is exactly the sort of state control our founders risked their lives to escape, and it’s just one example of why they provided safeguards to keep government out of our schools and the will of the people in. It will take us some time to fully remove the entrenched interests degrading our schools, but we must take immediate action to protect children today.

The quickest way to empower Americans is with educational freedom.

According to a recent national school choice poll, the vast majority of the country agrees wholeheartedly. A whopping 82% of Latinos, 68% of African Americans, 71% of millennials, and 82% of Republicans surveyed agreed that people should be permitted to “use tax dollars to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs.”

It’s common sense, and it’s constitutional, but many pundits claim we’re running afoul of the Constitution if we permit tax dollars to be used at private “religious” schools or that religious schools must incorporate state-mandated instruction if they receive tax dollars.

Clearly, those pundits don’t know the history of our country, nor do they understand the spirit of our constitutional republic.

Education freedom more closely mirrors the intentions of our founders, who never intended for students to be forced into “public” government-run schools that stomp on the face of parental authority and American values. Our founders knew the only way to keep a free republic is to have a well-educated and moral citizenry that can self-govern.

That’s why they used the Bible as the foundation for learning, in all schools, and empowered parents, church leaders, and educators to labor together to teach the children. America’s schools offered children a well-rounded education including rigorous, fact-based studies, lessons in wisdom and beauty, and moral literature that stirs the soul. We became the envy of the world because our citizens were empowered with moral goodness and deep knowledge.

The Trump administration has a bold and immediate solution that could jump-start our progress toward freedom from government intrusion. Under the leadership of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Trump is proposing “education freedom scholarships” that states can choose to employ. These scholarships provide simple tax credits for those who choose to donate money for children to receive the education of their parents’ choice. There are safeguards protecting religious schools from government intrusion, too.

According to that 2020 national school choice poll, 83% of African Americans, 83% of Latinos, 78% of millennials, 67% of Democrats, and 77% of Republicans support education freedom scholarships.

Americans are desperate for the self-governance that springs from moral goodness and educational excellence. Our republic is in crisis thanks to government-run, communist-like, state-controlled education factories that intentionally undermine these values. Let’s get back to our roots and, like our founders, let’s fight for liberty.

The state may not impose its sexualized anti-morality religion on us, and it may not have our children, either.

Rebecca Friedrichs is the founder of For Kids & Country, the author of Standing Up to Goliath, and a 28-year public school teacher who led the fight against the divisive tactics, politics, and corruption of teachers’ unions as lead plaintiff in Friedrichs v CTA. Her Supreme Court case paved the way for a precedent-setting ruling that freed all public sector employees from forced unionism.

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