Schools are places where children are supposed to receive a well-rounded education that helps prepare them for adulthood and a successful career. That’s been the norm for decades and most parents took it for granted. But as the home became a classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic, some parents grew increasingly aware that the teaching in their local schools had been replaced with something less educational and much more radical.
From a sex education curriculum created by Planned Parenthood that encourages elementary and middle schoolers to experiment with sex, to bona fide critical race theory (CRT) lessons replete with a disdain for American ideals and Western civilization, many public schools have become the front lines in the battle for the hearts and minds of American children.
And courageous parents across the country are fighting back.
In the last two years, more parents have been attending school board meetings across the country and reminding all who will listen that parents—above all others—have a right to know what their children are learning. In recent months, parents and voters removed three left-leaning school board members in the progressive bastion of San Francisco. In Virginia, mobilized parents and grandparents were instrumental in handing the gubernatorial election to a Republican long shot, Glenn Youngkin.
Part of the surge that pushed Youngkin over the top was his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
If the election was an indicator, parents strongly disagreed.
The perceived threat of informed parents is considered so grave to some in the progressive movement that some school districts and activists have opened dossiers on parents as well as others they consider threats to their agenda.
In response to this new battleground, parents have now become a powerful force in the U.S., and it’s one that transcends the boundaries of political parties and religious faith.
“Those school board members in San Francisco were ousted because they were not responsive to the needs of the parents in that community,” said Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for education at the Family Research Council (FRC). “In a way, it doesn’t necessarily matter what your ideological perspective is, the schools and administrators are not responsive to parents, whether they are parents coming from a liberal perspective or parents coming from a conservative perspective.”
But parents are the best advocates for their children, Kilgannon said.
That’s why so many have sacrificed time and money to stand before school administrators and advocate on behalf of their children and the broader community.
Brian Echevarria, a biracial North Carolina father and businessman, went viral in February after speaking up on behalf of his “pecan-color children” against the tide of CRT and the notion of trans-identifying biological males competing in sports against biological females.
“There were a couple of things that brought me to that school board meeting,” Echevarria said, “… I just credit the grace of God for getting the message out there.”
Echevarria and many other parents are strongly against the leftist agenda, which includes allowing biological males in female restrooms, as well as CRT being lauded as a guide for solving racial problems. Critical race theory is a racial justice ideology that began in academic circles four decades ago, but is now being infused in curricula across the country. A common CRT refrain is that the world consists of two groups: oppressors and the oppressed. An example of this approach to history is the “1619 Project,” a New York Times essay series, now a book, that reframes U.S. history entirely around the idea that racism is a foundational aspect of America, and that slavery was the sole catalyst for the Revolutionary War.
“This is wrong in so many ways. This is anti-Dr. King,” Echevarria said, referencing a portion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” in which the civil rights leader said he hoped his children would live in a country where character is more important than skin color.
CRT, Echevarria argues, leads to the antithesis of King’s vision. There are reports of teachers who are using skin color—a divinely given trait, Echevarria says—to further divide and confuse students.
“God’s sovereign decisions affect us in a variety of ways,” Echevarria said. “He determines what sex we are. He determines our time and boundaries. God’s sovereign decisions are what’s always under attack by those on the opposite side of this conversation.”
Some parents are so frustrated by these types of educational exercises that they have created a new nonprofit, Parents Defending Education, aimed at pushing against “harmful agendas” in education.
“There’s a saying that the left doesn’t have children, they have your children,” Kilgannon said. “We need to take that very seriously, because if they’re not forming families and raising children of their own, they are going to need to talk to our children to perpetuate their own ideology.”
States from Alaska to Florida and New Hampshire have all proposed or passed bills that give parents more oversight of curricula, and aim to diminish the infusion of CRT and LGBTQ propaganda within education.
“God made us so wonderful,” Echevarria said. “And in America … if you have the character and the ability, there is nothing that you can’t get done. … We happen to be in the greatest nation on earth, and we need to make sure that our children have greater opportunities than we have today.”
Above: Brian Echevarria with his family.
Photo: Courtesy of Brian Echevarria