There they go again. The Biden administration’s campaign against parents continues — this time in a slightly different form. After first acting against the interests of parents and students during the COVID pandemic and then working to demonize those who spoke out at local school board meetings, the political Left now wants to ignore parents and parent groups with whom they disagree altogether.
The Department of Education announced recently that it has created a National Parents and Families Engagement Council, the purpose of which is ostensibly to help parents and families engage with their local schools and districts.
It all sounds very appealing — until one examines the details. First, the list of council members reads like a “who’s who” of leftist groups. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network counts among the participants, as do several other groups affiliated with Black Lives Matter, which supports the abolition of the nuclear family. The department has said the council “will reflect the diversity of the educational system,” but a reported 80% of the leaders of the council groups have donated to President Joe Biden or to other Democrats.
In addition, the group has apparently met in secret in violation of transparency requirements under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. As a result, a group of parent organizations has had to sue the Biden administration just to learn more about this secretive, left-wing cabal masquerading as an “engagement council.”
By this point, parents shouldn’t be shocked at the lengths to which the Biden administration is willing to go to cut them out of the picture. The Left’s war on parents started years ago and accelerated during the COVID pandemic.
Back in 2020, teachers’ unions and their school board allies worked with Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep schools locked down for months or longer, causing learning loss that will take years, or even decades, for students to overcome. Even after full lockdowns finally abated, strict quarantine requirements kept children out of schools due to potential exposures, while mask and vaccine mandates prompted some parents to pull their children out of the public education system entirely.
How did the Left respond? With contempt, for starters. Recall former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s infamous response during a gubernatorial debate last summer when asked about his approach to education. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” he said. He’s far from the only Democrat who thinks this way — he’s just one of the only ones willing to say so out loud.
When parents raised objections to school districts’ policies, whether regarding the pandemic or the ways in which schools indoctrinate children with racist and explicit sexual material, liberal politicians on local school boards and in state legislatures told parents to go away.
Last fall, Attorney General Merrick Garland went even further. He sent a letter, after possible coordination with the White House, instructing federal prosecutors to investigate protests against school boards as possible incidents of domestic terrorism. Despite public outrage that the Justice Department was potentially infringing on constitutionally protected free speech, Garland has yet to rescind that memo, which conflates the legitimate concerns of worried parents with terrorist organizations.
With the Left having spent the past several years alienating parents across the country, where else could this administration turn to for “parent engagement” than a self-selected group of political cronies?
American families deserve better than the Biden administration’s war on parents. And students deserve the right to a quality education. Indeed, if Biden truly wanted to bring parents together and empower them to do what’s best for their children, he would support education freedom initiatives being passed in several states.
But the Biden administration has made it clear from day one that it doesn’t care about parents or their rights — it just wants to control them.