Hello! We start of with Part 7 of the election series focusing on the 6th Truth: Parents determine the education of their children.
Parents and Education
There has been a lot of news lately regarding banning books, rewriting curriculums, specific staff boards, and removal/limitation of certain curriculums or classes from schools from parents as well as the government. We’ve seen a lot of it in Florida, under the steadfast action of Ron DeSantis, but a lot of similar actions are also taking part in other states. A lot of these actions take place under removing the ‘woke’ knowledge that can be sene from books. This includes race, racism, characters of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and anything that is felt to be ‘propaganda’ towards these ideas. The question has become quite prominent, ‘Should parents determine the education of their children?’ Let’s turn to our candidates and find out what they feel.
Education in Politics
Let’s start with the most active candidate in this field: Ron DeSantis. Although he isn’t the first governor to embrace ‘parental rights’ or limit how race and gender are discussed in schools he has built a ‘long legislative record as an “education governor”’, and is planning to pitch that across the nation. Ron DeSantis has taken a number of actions regarding education since becoming governor, including: codifying a ‘Parents Bill of Rights’ which calls for vastly expanding school choice, armed teachers, and a new workforce education; rolling back higher education diversity programs; engaging in feuds with College Board over it’s African American studies course; and has worked with many other republicans to reshape higher education in Florida. He has also fought with CollegeBoard over the AP Psychology course, calling for removal of a section talking about gender and identity. He calls it as ‘a war on truth’ and says he has no choice but to ‘wage a war on woke’. The Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, taking effect since last year, was created to give parents more control over their children’s education.
Nikki Haley feels the same way. She feels that the Education Department should have “a narrow mission of teaching children ‘basics so that they can be successful contributors to society.’” She believes that they’re not meant to do anything that doesn’t involve those basic core concepts of education. She’s called out transgenderism and believes that to be the last thing kids should be worrying about at school. She said that, as a parent, ‘we need full transparency in the classroom’ without wonder of what’s being said or taught in the classrooms.
Vivek Ramaswamy believes the same, given this is his truth. He believes that education decision should be pit in the hands of parents, and said he’d opt to send the ‘department’s $80 billion in funding back to taxpayers to “economically empower” them to choose a school for their children.’ President Trump has also unveiled a plan on 2024 education policy, calling for cutting federal funding for any school or program that includes ‘critical race theory, gender ideology, or other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content onto our children.’ His plan also calls for opening ‘civil rights investigations into ay school district that has engaged in race-based discrimination’ particularly against Asian-American students, and has promises to keep men out of women’s sports. Trump also calls for cutting administrative roles and adopting a parental bill of rights.
Mike Pence has said the same, calling to limit federal role in education and eliminate the Department of Education. Tim Scott says the same, supporting parents’ rights to be fully and actively involved in the education of their children, and has rolled out a technology and education plan arguing the President Biden has minimized the role of parents in their child’s education.
President Biden, on the other hand, along with the Democratic Party, believes that the purpose of public education in a public school is not to teach kids only what parents want them to be taught, but also what society wants them to know.
As a student myself, I have some very strong opinions on this. First, let me talk about school curriculums and classes. It may be different for other states or even other high schools, but this is based on what Ive experienced in my schools. I personally really love the variety of classes given to me at my school. Sure, there are a few classes I wish we had – like AP Latin or AP Japanese Language and Culture- but that’s a different story. In all, I really like that there are so many classes with different in-depth focuses we get the option of taking. And, one may say, hey you can do the same as well even with parent controls. That’s true, but in my opinion, I feel like even more than the parent, the child knows its interests the most.
Everyone’s different. The environment and ideals parents grow up when they were younger is far different than the ones we see today. Everyone has a varying opinion, even those bound by blood. We all like and dislike different things, and that’s the matter of being human. We are all unique as individuals, having varying yet similar tastes that brings us together.
Growing up, I’ve always invested my time and learning in areas I’ve grown to love or had an interest for. My parents always put me in classes that suited my abilities and skill levels when I was younger, but also made sure to take into account what I liked. Where did my core interests and passions lie, and what could I be put in to help me take action in these further? It’s how I’ve continued playing violin until today, how I’ve grown as a writer, how I’ve grown as a student, as an athlete, and so much more. I do violin because I wanted to play that sole instrument when I was younger, no matter what. I do kickboxing because I decided I wanted to learn how to use my strength properly. I’ve continued writing because I actually love the way I can create something informational or even impactful with words. Words I don’t have to say out loud, but can still cause change. (That may be a little bit of exaggeration) Now, you may say again, these apply to extracurricular. There’s nothing on education so far. Well yes, but this idea also ties into education.
What I’m saying is that children know the most what they’re interested in. Some kids are interested in Calculus while others are into Psychology. Some are linguists dying to learn a new language every second, while others are history and culture nerds looking for the next great revolution to learn about. Everyone is different. I feel that we as students and children, should be allowed to take the classes we feel most drawn to. The ones we want to learn about more. Students are meant to learn. The best thing a teacher wants from any student is the desire to learn, to work hard, do their best, and apply themself to the course and material. While some classes are required, causing a sense of boredom and disinterest by kids, others are purely by choice. For me, I feel that it’s unfair for some other kid’s parents to flag an entire course or book and ask it to be removed if I were to have a strong interest in it. Even if I didn’t it would be unfair to other students who are interested in those classes. You don’t want your child to learn about that, so why take it out so other students can’t learn? Why do you feel the need to limit another’s choices and interests simply because of your own ideals?
Simply because it’s a parent’s choice isn’t enough. Parents should know what’s going on in their child’s classrooms, but they should not be taking away the learning privileges of other students by doing so. Students should not have to be limited to a selection of 5-10 books because the others are banned for supposed ‘propaganda’ or ‘LGBTQ+ issues’ and race and racism. We need to learn, and that often goes far beyond the basics of knowledge. We need to know how to function in this world. It’s changing, and there are so many factors as to why. It’s said that history is repeated if we do not learn from it. Right now, we are attempting to hide bits of history simply because it has racism in it. You can’t do that. Race and racism has shaped and affected so many things that makes our world as it is today. You’re essentially trying to create this facade that everything is perfect in the world, that it doesn’t exist when it actually does. You cannot wipe out a detrimental part of history, a part that is the real truth. The ‘war for truth’ is trying to hide the real truth. We need to learn from this, from these actions and events, no matter how wrong or shameful or upsetting they are, in order to prevent that from happening. You cannot try to remove that. We need to know.
Furthermore, with identity and LGBTQ+ ideas, why do you care? You don’t like your child hearing that, then tell them to stay away. Someone’s identity should not be defined with by other people. You can’t restrict a person from expressing themselves or being who they are. Why does it bother you, when they don’t do anything to you at all? Why do you feel the need to influence others for your ideals, and then get upset when others do the same to you? If you believe certain things to be wrong, then stay away from them. Don’t engage with them if you really feel it that necessary. Just don’t go limiting, opposing, or restricting others for what they want to do, learn, think, say, or express. I’m saying this, the day I start getting limitations on which books are accessible to me in my school or which classes I can take, I will fight against it. I don’t want for someone to limit what I can learn about because you feel it as ‘woke’.
We’ll pick up with Part 8 and truth #7- The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind- next week. See you then.