Parents claim they have a right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They do.
In a recent Washington Post editorial, Jack Schneider made many bold claims about the respective role of the state and parents in education. Read HSLDA President Mike Smith’s response here, but suffice it to say, Schneider’s arguments were . . . unique.
It is baffling when homeschooling is held up as an argument for why the government should be allowed to teach things parents oppose. It is even more odd when he concludes his article arguing for state control by saying this:
Parents may end up with a new set of “rights” only to discover that they have lost something even more fundamental in the process. Turned against their schools and their democracy, they may wake from their conspiratorial fantasies to find a pile of rubble and a heap of ashes.
We aren’t positive what conspiratorial fantasies he is referring to, but if he means millions of parents’ first-hand experience watching what their children are being taught in their own homes during a pandemic, then no. We won’t wake up from that “fantasy.” We woke up and found that teaching our children is incredible. Watching them read for the first time, seeing them discover science and art and music, and being there to share in that joy is both incredible and fulfilling, beyond our expectations. It is our greatest joy to see them achieve incredible things and share with them the freedoms and rights we hold dear that give them these awesome opportunities. And it’s our greatest hope to see them develop into strong, independent thinkers who are caring, active members of their community and their world.
And speaking of rights, we aren’t sure what “rights” he is denying. . . . but if they are the rights guaranteed in the first amendment, as in, the right to speak out at school board meetings, the right to religious expression, the right to protest the actions of government officials—or if he means the right to vote elected officials out of office who are not representing the interests and beliefs of the community—then no. We won’t end up with a new set of “rights.” We already have them.
So yes. Parents are claiming they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. That’s because they do.