Twenty years ago, Paul Carson said he never would have hesitated speaking out at a school board meeting about any issue affecting his children’s education.
But one day, that changed. “I just don’t do it,” Carson told me. A physician who practices medicine in an urban Pittsburgh hospital, Carson said it has nothing to do with his being 20 years older. “It has everything to do with the culture we are navigating.”
Anyone, he said, can take a video of what you say, edit it to his or her advantage, then post it on social media. Or they can just simply claim on social media that you are a racist or extremist because you express an opinion outside the sensitivities of the cultural curators who define what is acceptable and what is not in our country.
When Carson used a media platform in discussions about school district issues , as he did last year when the children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools went for months without in-person education, he said he had to be “profoundly cautious” in expressing his views.
School board meetings have been around forever, and they have always had the potential to become raucous. I remember attending them with my mother as a teenager, then as a mother myself when my children were young. I also had to attend a few as a reporter for the local newspaper I worked for at the time. Emotions often ran high, as they should when children’s welfare is involved. Good parents never lose sight that the people who educate their children spend more day time with them in a classroom setting than parents themselves do. Emotions also ran high when new buildings were proposed, which always eventually meant higher taxes.
I have often told young reporters that if they want to see firsthand the most important political process in the U.S. system, turn off cable news, get off the iPhone, turn their eyes away from Washington, and cover a local school board meeting.
No one should accept threats or physical violence at a school board meeting or anywhere else. But such conduct is fortunately rare. The problem today is, can we trust our government to distinguish between the actual threat of violence and the passionate expression of viewpoints by parents?
That question became a reality this week when Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo suggesting a nationwide federal crackdown on parents at school board meetings. And the answer from parents like Carson is, “Absolutely not.”
Garland made his decision under pressure from the National School Boards Association. Its interim director responded by saying Garland’s memo sends a “strong message to individuals with violent intent who are focused on causing chaos, disrupting our public schools, and driving wedges between school boards and the parents, students, and communities they serve.”
Freedom is messy. Our discussions about things that matter to us, such as our children, are chaotic, disruptive, and, yes, divisive. They drive wedges — that’s a feature, not a bug.
In the past few months, parents across the country have become frustrated with extremist curriculum choices that their school boards are making. In response, they have done what Americans have done for generations — show up at school board meetings to voice their concerns.
In many cases, their concerns cross traditional political, racial, and socioeconomic lines and are at odds with the Biden administration.
Garland is now using the FBI against parents on the grounds that school board members feel threatened. But what does “threatened” look like? Is it someone yelling at you? Disagreeing with you? Holding an opposing opinion? Who is defining those threats?
This memo wasn’t just designed to target those who would commit violence. It was also clearly designed to stop regular people with real concerns from voicing those concerns because of the fear anything they say will deem them a domestic terrorist, an event that would destroy their personal, community, and professional lives.
It is downright chilling to think that there are parents out there who are worried that they are going to end up on a government list or under some type of government scrutiny if they decide to go into a school board meeting to give a public comment on an issue.
Eighty years ago, dairy farmer Jim Edgerton stood up at a town hall meeting in his hometown of Arlington, Vermont, to voice his disagreement with the town councilors’ decision to build a new school. Edgerton was the only person at the meeting or in town who objected to the proposed building.
Video: Rhode Island Teacher Warns CRT ‘Absolutely Everywhere’ In Schools
“It’s in the plot narratives; it’s in the characterization; it’s in the imagery, it’s in the art projects, the history class, the English classes.”
A middle school English teacher in Providence, Rhode Island has warned that critical race theory, which teaches children they should feel guilty for being white, is “absolutely everywhere” in schools in the area and that it is causing “great harm and racial divide and hostility between children.”
Ramona Bessinger described to RT host Steve Malzberg how she has been barred from giving classes for speaking out against her school district’s “radicalized” CRT “culture”, noting that there used to be “lots of diversity [and] lots of multicultural materials” in the curriculum, but now its essentially all CRT.
“We’re not teaching critical race theory. It’s implicit in the culture,” Bessinger explained, adding “It is implicit in all the reading materials. It is implicit in all the projects that the kids are doing.”
“It really has to stop,” she urged, adding “It’s in the plot narratives; it’s in the characterization; it’s in the imagery, it’s in the art projects, the history class, the English classes.”
“It is in the language that we are told to use in our professional development,” the teacher further warned, adding. “It is absolutely everywhere.”
“Just to speak to the fact that our libraries are being dismantled and books are being moved into archaic basement rooms around the school or flat-out thrown out,” Bessinger emphasized, adding “there’s a whole shift taking place and we really need to pay attention to this.”
She ominously added, “I don’t believe we’re going to recognize our country if this is allowed to take place because the culture is changing from within our schools and it’s changing rapidly.”
“Once they turn children against you and kids start believing this narrative that you are somehow racist, then it’s over,” she further warned.
Leftists are adamant that CRT is not being taught in schools, as the following video highlights. However, as Ramona Bessinger points out, it doesn’t have to officially be on the curriculum to exist in schools.
Large LA crowd protests against vaccine mandate
Thousands gather outside Los Angeles City Hall Monday to protest the mandate for all city workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 18.
The vaccine requirements for city workers are meant to increase vaccination rates and stave off another deadly COVID-19 surge as the virus continues to circulate and the more-transmissible delta variant spreads.
The group Firefighters 4 Freedom organized the rally, dubbed “A March for Freedom,” saying it will be attended by firefighters, police officers, electrical workers, sanitation workers and city government employees.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed a large crowd of people gathered in the area of 200 Main St. around 11 a.m., many carrying “thin blue line” and “thin red line” flags, and signs including ones saying “stop the mandate.”
Retried LAPD Detective Moses Castillo was attending the rally.
“I’m here to show support for the men and women in law enforcement, the firefighters, those working in sanitation… who are here not so much against being vaccinated, or the vaccine, but they’re against being forced to do so by our local government,” Castillo explained.
John Knox, of Firefighters 4 Freedom, called the mandates unconstitutional.
“That’s an overreach on the government’s part, because it’s not your right to tell me what I do with my health care, what I put into my body,” Knox said.
A flyer for the rally calls for participants to speak out against both local mandates and federal ones.
The Biden Administration last week announced that Americans working at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, or get tested for the virus weekly.
In L.A., Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that city employees who don’t get vaccinated by Dec. 18 “should be prepared to lose their job.”
The L.A. City Council in August passed an ordinance requiring all city employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they are granted an exemption for medical or religious reasons.
The deadline for L.A. workers was initially set for an earlier date, but was extended by the city council to give unvaccinated workers more time to comply.
The ordinance states that the requirement is meant to protect the city’s workforce, and the public that it serves, against COVID-19, which was responsible for 26,750 deaths countywide.
The Los Angeles firefighters union last week voiced their opposition to the city’s mandate, saying officials should allow firefighters to choose between getting the shot or tested weekly.
Members of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City President Freddy Escobar warned that the L.A. Fire Department is already facing staffing shortages that could worsen as a result of the mandate, the L.A. Times reported.
11/3: AZ Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Leads AZ Election Integrity Rally
Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake will host a rally tomorrow at 6 p.m. tomorrow in Glendale, Arizona and we will hear from some of the Patriots who have led the fight for the truth.
Get tickets, here.
Appearances or videos will be made by Candidate for Arizona Secretary of State Mark Finchem, Liz Harris, Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers, Arizona State Senator Sonny Borrelli, Christina Bobb, Mike Lindell, Congressman Paul Gosar, and more!
Lake has a message from a “very, very special someone”, named President Donald J. Trump.