October 7, 2021
Guest Perspective by Rebecca Kleefisch
The Left just does not know how to handle the parent protests rippling through America’s school districts.
First they wanted to deny the outrage was from parents, pretending the protests were from a network of professional groups when in reality it was upset moms organizing themselves.
Now they want to paint parents as violent extremists using radical measures to make their voices heard.
Their efforts to shut down citizens’ voices didn’t work in the past, and it won’t work this time.
Late last week, the National School Boards Association sent an under-the-radar letter to President Biden, asking him to use the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate the parents protesting school board decisions.
Why? Because grassroots organization not seen since the days of the Tea Party movement is thriving in local communities where school policies have become a focus of controversy. 38 parent groups in Wisconsin have already signed letters to Tony Evers and Joe Biden opposing mask mandates and closed schools. Instead of answering the calls of their constituencies, left-wing education groups are trying to grossly paint a one-size-fits-all picture of frustrated parents.
Let’s be clear: violence to achieve political ends in America is wrong. I myself have faced the screams of protestors threatening violence when the Walker-Kleefisch Administration and the Republican Legislature passed our Act 10 reforms in 2011. I didn’t notice outrage from the Left then.
Where was the outrage from NSBA when liberals shouted and threatened violence against school board members in Waukesha over their decision to end an expanded free lunch program?
Where was the outrage from the Left when rioters burned down entire city blocks in Kenosha? When they set police cars on fire in Madison? Or when they looted and destroyed small businesses? Instead of demanding investigations and federal reinforcements, liberal leaders only asked that protestors wear their masks.
Parents are angry, and they have a right to be upset. Many of them have watched their children suffer from difficulties wearing masks in the classroom all day, or anxiety, depression, or learning loss during the pandemic.
But these attacks from NSBA paint all concerned parents as right-wing extremists deserving of FBI agents or Homeland Security descending on their homes. It’s a foolish statement meant to intimidate parents from speaking out, pushing back, and demanding that school boards and unelected bureaucrats listen to their concerns.
My team and I will continue to support good parents who are doing the good work of getting active locally. Last week, my team was on the ground in Waterloo, helping organize parents who wanted to push back against an unelected administrator acting unilaterally.
As a government, we need to get back to listening to the people. That’s why I’ve proposed moving state agencies out of the Madison bubble and closer to the people. The best ideas in government are delivered to the government by the people, and not the other way around.
We must also reform education to give parents more of a say. Bills that provide more transparency on education spending and curriculum are a priority of the Republican Legislature. Sadly we have a governor who cares more about protecting the status quo of our failing school systems than he does making changes that put parents in charge. As governor, I would fully support a plan that allows parents to see exactly what’s taught to their children.
We cannot sit idly by and accept failure from schools while our children’s future hangs in the balance. So please get involved. Show up to school board meetings. Don’t let bullies intimidate you from sticking up for your kids.
Recently, a liberal candidate for governor in Virginia publicly said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” They’re afraid of parents regaining control over their child’s education because when you empower families, you take power away from the special interests in charge of government schools.
It’s past time we take back our school boards. Are you with me?
Rebecca Kleefisch is a republican candidate for Governor and Wisconsin’s former Lieutenant Governor
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