by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For almost as long as Covid-19’s been around, parent anger at local school boards over this or that issue has been a reoccurring major news story. We’ve all seen the viral social media videos and Facebook posts of parents skewering their local elected school boards over critical race theory, unscientific and abusive mask mandates, maddening repeat quarantines of healthy children, and other educational corruption that wrecks children’s ability to learn.
We’ve also seen those viral videos have little effect on what the school board or state board of education subsequently decides. So parents have filed lawsuits and are mounting primary and general election challenges, all of which are great and a healthy part of self-government.
What these strategies don’t do is provide immediate relief to children, whom parents claim are being abused, taught racism, and denied their right to an education. They require children to continue to be abused at least until the next election cycle or until three or five or more years when lawsuits finally reach the highest court that will hear them. That’s a third of a child’s education years.
These strategies also are predicated on the assumption that the people who have created these outrageously irrational and abusive school climates should continue to be trusted to run schools. The entire leadership teams of most schools, school districts, and state education bureaucracies have disqualified themselves from leading any children at all by the kinds of abuses parents charge, but just filing a lawsuit or kicking a few school board members out of office will still leave almost all corrupt educators controlling millions of kids in perpetuity.
If you can’t trust a principal or superintendent to keep teachers from teaching racism and to accurately assess children’s needs and vulnerabilities through Covid even though the data on that is plentiful and clear, how can you trust any other of such persons’ judgment calls?