Butt Out, Mom and Dad: How Much Say Should Parents Have in Their Kids’ Education?
This single topic may decide the mid-term elections.
On March 2 in Mississippi, as part of Read Across America Day, an assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary School read the book I Need a New Butt! by Dawn McMillan to second-graders. The children’s book is a humorous story about a boy who notices the crack in his butt and thinks it’s broken. Any parent who’s ever done Mad Libs with their children knows that the most popular word for kids 6 to 10 to fill in the blanks is “butt.” They cackle hysterically when they read the Mad Lib aloud, emphasizing “buuuutt” each time. That’s why every animated movie, including those from Pixar and Disney, has multiple butt and fart jokes. With no public backlash.
However, soon after reading the book, this 20-year education veteran was fired for breaking the Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics. This is not a single incident. Teachers across America are under intense pressure to restrict what they teach or lose their jobs. And who’s setting the agenda for what should be taught in the classroom? Educational experts with academic degrees, years of classroom experience, and an understanding of the research done to improve our children’s education? Nope. Parents with no expertise, no knowledge, and no sense.
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So, how did this happen? Why this sudden national mass movement of outrage aimed to silence teachers emerge? Did Dr. Strange open a portal in the multiverse to a humorless, clueless, dim-witted world?
Nope again. It’s just one of the sad and destructive results of a political ploy to exploit parental fears by rousing an emotional mob eager to hang education from the nearest tree. Suppressing education is the typical practice of every totalitarian and repressive government throughout history. It is how the leaders of Russia, China, and North Korea stay in power. If parents haven’t learned this basic history lesson by now, they never will. Which is why they should be prevented from keeping their children from learning about history and anything else that nurtures a free and open democratic society.
Democrats and Republicans agree on little, but they have found common ground in asserting that one of the main reasons Republican Glenn Youngkin won the governorship of Virginia against a one-time popular Democrat incumbent is because he rallied angry parents against the invisible boogeyman of Critical Race Theory hiding sinisterly under their children’s school desks. Once Republicans saw how effective this strategy was, they immediately mobilized in other states where they had a legislative majority, passing laws to prevent teachings that might make White kids feel bad about America’s history of slavery and the systemic racism that still exists.
The justification that they are protecting these kids’ fragile feelings is a self-serving lie. The real reason for censoring information is that they don’t want their children looking askance at them and asking, “What did you do in the human rights war, Mommy and Daddy?” Because the answer for these parents is “Absolutely nothing, kids.” They can add, “Instead of joining with others to right these wrongs, I simply denied there were any wrongs.” One way to continue the facade of parental protection is to put a stranglehold on what their children are taught. The less their kids know, the better the parent looks.