Pushing Parents Out, Biden Administration Further Weaponizes ‘Education’

October 25, 2021 Updated: November 10, 2021

Commentary

This is part 21 in a series examining education in the United States.

When it comes to education policy, the Biden administration is making the radicalism of the Obama years look mild by comparison.

The goal is to ultimately replace parents with bureaucrats and “experts” to facilitate the indoctrination of America’s youth. That transformation is accelerating.

Not only are the education system and America’s children being weaponized against America, federal law enforcement is now being weaponized against parents who speak out about it.

If left unchecked, catastrophe awaits. However, the more monstrous the federally directed abuses in schools become, the more outraged Americans join the fight.

The future of the nation is literally on the line in this issue. The outcome of the battle between who will raise children—government or parents—will determine the fate of America.

Parents, Get Out of the Way

The attitude toward parents in Washington has long been hostile. Hillary Clinton famously claimed in 1996 that it “takes a village” to raise children. What she really meant, of course, was a government village.

In fact, during the Obama years, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan publicly called for some children to be in government “boarding schools” 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Others should remain in school, including “after school programming,” for 12 to 14 hours each day, he declared.

A policy document (pdf) drafted by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services called for home visits by government officials and argued that parents could be “equal partners” with government in the rearing of their children.

But as fringe as those totalitarian views may sound to normal people, the extremism has now been taken to a whole new level under the current administration.

When Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona if parents should be the “primary stakeholder” in the education of their children, it would have been easy to spit one’s coffee on the floor.

“Stakeholder”?! What?

Of course, parents should never be viewed as mere “stakeholders” in the education of their children, “primary” or otherwise. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “stakeholder” is defined as “one that has a stake in an enterprise” or “one who is involved in or affected by a course of action.”

To call a mother or father a “stakeholder” in one of the most important facets of their child’s life is like calling a pilot of a private plane a “stakeholder” in whether his plane will land successfully or not. Technically it’s true. But it’s an outrage nonetheless.

Mothers and fathers should be in charge of their children’s education—not bystanders or “stakeholders.” This has been the case in virtually every human society for millennia. It’s also what the Bible clearly prescribes.

But the Biden administration, by contrast, does not believe parents should have any say in the “education” of children.

Cardona could not even bring himself to concede that parents should be the “primary stakeholders” in their children’s education.

“I believe parents are important stakeholders,” Cardona responded to Braun’s question, adding that “educators” also “have a role in determining educational programming.”

Indeed. That’s a nice way of saying: Parents, get out of the way, the Biden administration and its “experts” know better what and how your child should learn. More on that later.

Democrat Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAullife, who wisely sent his children to private school, famously put it this way in a debate in September: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Targeting Concerned Parents as ‘Terrorists’

As if matters could not get any worse, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, responding to an outrageous letter from the National Association of School Boards (NASB) painting concerned parents as possible “domestic terrorists,” decided to sic the FBI on moms and dads.

Among other concerns, Garland cited (pdf) “harassment” and “intimidation” by parents against the people brainwashing their kids with critical race theory (CRT), Marxist ideology, gender confusion, hyper-sexualized propaganda, and more. No examples of actual, legitimate threats were cited.

One of the examples of the supposed “threat” cited by the NASB was Scott Smith. What sort of dangerous domestic terrorist was Smith? Well, he was arrested for “disorderly conduct” while trying to tell the school board about his daughter being allegedly sodomized by a male pretending to be a girl in the girls’ restroom under the federally supported “transgender” dictates on bathrooms.

The other examples are equally outlandish: a ticket for “trespassing,” a nasty letter, a “Nazi salute” to protest mandatory face masks, somebody describing the school board as “Marxist,” and similar horrors requiring the might of the federal beast.

This is, of course, not about actual threats or violence, however. It’s naked intimidation of parents who are struggling to make their voices heard.

It’s also the political weaponization of federal law-enforcement in a way that’s unprecedented in American history. In fact, most parallels involve totalitarian dictatorships rather than civilized and free societies.

Fortunately, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state and local leaders are working to protect children in their jurisdictions from this outrageous abuse by the Biden administration. But it’s not enough to stop the freight train of evil being pumped into local schools by Washington.

The irony of treating desperate moms and dads as terrorists after pretending not to see months on end of actual domestic terrorism from rioters and looters burning down major American cities and even police precincts defies belief. Welcome to the “new normal.”

Even the former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, Kevin Brock, has warned that the FBI should ignore Garland’s Orwellian directive.

After sparking a firestorm of criticism and alarming Americans across the political spectrum—and after being rebuked by state and local school boards nationwide—the NASB reluctantly apologized.

But nobody with a brain believes for a second that the education establishment would not sic the FBI and Homeland Security on angry parents if it thought it could get away with it.

Targeting State and Local Leaders, Too

Not long before announcing that the FBI and the Department of Justice would be employed to bully and intimidate parents, the Biden administration announced “civil rights” investigations into state leaders that refused to force children to wear masks at school against their parents’ wishes.

The threat, made by Cardona, invoked the communist understanding of “rights” to claim that everyone has a “right” to a government “education.” As such, states that do not force all children to wear face masks are somehow violating the supposed “rights” of some children to an education.

Yes, seriously. This is the so-called logic of the people who have usurped control over “educating” your children for you.

When Florida and other states sought to limit the ability of local school boards to force masks on children against their parents’ wishes, the Biden administration also vowed to send COVID stimulus money to local officials who defied their state government and state law.

Before that, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a video urging children confused about their gender to report their local communities to the feds if government schools did not fully bow down to the “transgenderism” madness being pushed on America from D.C. and Hollywood.

The video, which featured transgender Health and Human Services bigwig Dr. Rachel Levine and senior officials from the Department of Education and the DOJ, gave multiple websites for children to get the feds involved in protecting their “rights” to use opposite-sex bathrooms, play on opposite-sex sports teams, and more.

The message was clear: Trust Biden, not your family or your community. And if anyone interferes with your supposed “right” to shower or relieve yourself or wrestle with members of the opposite sex, team Biden will unleash the fury of the weaponized federal machine.

So far there has been no federal intervention to protect the rights of Scott Smith’s daughter, though.

The Biden Agenda: CRT

At the top of Biden’s “education” agenda is using the education system to further divide parents and children, as well as the nation, while weaponizing impressionable youngsters in the war against their own country and its institutions.

Earlier this year, for example, the Department of Education proposed a “regulation” to inject even more Marxist race-mongering and CRT into public schools nationwide.

Under the scheme, the feds are bribing schools with “grants” and “incentives” paid with U.S. taxpayer money.

Among other elements, the administrative edict creates “American History and Civics Education programs” designed to radically change the teaching of history and civics. Between statements on “systemic racism” and “anti-racist practices,” the nature of the changes being sought is easy to discern.

Indeed, the Department of Education actually cited the debunked “1619 Project,” a fake history narrative addressed in part 17 of this series, as one of the inspirations for the effort.

The New York Times’ propaganda version of history, which has been ridiculed even by left-wing historians for its errors, turns U.S. history on its head. It paints the first nation in history founded on the premise that all are created equal—the first nation where abolition of slavery took root—into a uniquely evil nation with racism and slavery supposedly in its very “DNA.”

Also cited by the Education Department for the proposed regulation was the work of Ibram X. Kendi, one of the premier proponents of CRT and author of books such as “Anti-Racist Baby.”

Among other ideas, Kendi advocates a “Department of Antiracism” that would serve as an unelected racial dictatorship with power to overturn any law or rule it dislikes.

To qualify for the Education Department funding, state and local “education” officials would have to incorporate the administration’s extremist ideologies into the classroom—evil ideologies that divide children by “race” for sinister purposes while teaching a twisted (and false) version of American history and government.

Almost 40 U.S. senators and tens of thousands of citizens in official comments blasted the scheme’s overtly anti-American extremism.

Only after that massive outcry did the administration backtrack even slightly and remove some of the most outrageous language and references. But the somewhat scaled-back rule was still implemented, and the vision remains clear despite the attempted obfuscation.

To illustrate just how committed the administration is to this poison, in early October they appointed political activist Precious McKesson to a senior post at the Education Department. McKesson is a strong advocate of CRT, and she even recently expressed her support for teaching all children about the alleged “systemic racism” of America.

Ironically, perhaps, Garland’s son-in-law’s company reportedly supports CRT teaching in government schools, sparking concerns about a potential conflict of interest in the decision to sic the feds on parents.

The O’Biden Agenda: Centralize and Get Them Young!

The proposed $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” abomination that Biden and congressional Democrats are trying to ram through Congress without the support of a single Republican is packed with “education” gimmicks, too. If approved, the descent into collective madness will accelerate.

One of the major schemes Biden and his handlers are trying to get through, this time with the “Reconciliation” bill, is a $200 billion program for universal pre-kindergarten. The goal: Get all of America’s children into government indoctrination programs even earlier.

Under the proposed plan, which may be rammed through Congress on a partisan vote with no filibusters allowed, all children in America ages 3 and 4 would receive federally directed, tax-funded “pre-K” through government schools.

None of this should be surprising. During the Obama years, the same warped view of “education” and parents reigned in Washington and throughout the monstrosity improperly referred to as the nation’s “public education” system.

Common Core, for example, was used to cement national standards into place using bullying and bribes from the stimulus slush fund.

And lest anyone think this was actually about “improving” education, the federal government funded a study showing “significant negative effects” on grade 4 reading after the standards were put in place. Less than one third of the victims of government school at grade 8 are proficient in core subjects, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reveals.

But academic achievement was never really the goal. Under Obama and Common Core, parents and elected school boards were out, while D.C. bureaucrats and special-interest groups funded by billionaire profiteers were in.

The plan succeeded wildly, with parents nationwide unable to help their children with “Common Core” math while states and school districts struggle for breathing room in the straitjacket of the national standards.

Also under Obama, federally funded so-called Full-Service Community Schools revealed perhaps the most brazen attempt to sideline parents in American history. These federally backed institutions, which are now scattered across the nation, promise to handle the dental health, mental health, nutritional needs, and much more for every child in their “care.”

It would be more honest to refer to these institutions as “parental replacement centers,” but of course those behind the agenda would never be so honest.

As explored in part 10 of this series, this federal usurpation of authority over families and schools accelerated rapidly under Obama. It’s now reaching a climax under Biden. And it has resulted in the absolute decimation of whatever may have once been decent in America’s disastrous “education” system.

From the 1960s’ Supreme Court opinions imposing humanism and ousting Christianity to the federal funding that eventually paved the way for control over standards and so much else, Washington’s influence over schools has been toxic from the start.

Under Obama and now Biden, the globalization of the indoctrination system described in part 9 of this series also came out of the closet, with Obama’s Education Secretary referring to the U.N. education agency as his “global partner” in the process.

Indeed, Common Core’s own architects and proponents bragged that the controversial standards were aligned with “international standards” even as training for “global citizenship” became ubiquitous.

This is about more than the government simply brainwashing your children. This is about removing you from the picture almost entirely so that the forces of wickedness, perversion, and tyranny can poison your children’s minds and souls unimpeded by pesky parents.

As this series has documented extensively, this was always the goal of the “education” establishment going back to the Utopian and even socialist architects of the system: communist Robert Owen, collectivist Utopian Horace Mann, and socialisthumanist luminary John Dewey.

Obviously, attending school board meetings to express concerns is not a viable strategy for protecting children. In fact, it may even lead to harassment and intimidation from the politicized and disgraced FBI. It may be worth doing, but it will not save your children.

While it’s critical for parents to be involved and for state and local government to resist the Biden administration’s escalating attacks, the only true long-term solution is an exodus from the government’s indoctrination system.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Alex Newman
Alex Newman is a freelance contributor. Newman is an award-winning international journalist, educator, author, and consultant who co-wrote the book “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.” He is the executive director of Public School Exit, serves as CEO of Liberty Sentinel Media, and writes for diverse publications in the United States and abroad.