Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Brittany Raymer.
The Republican-led House has recently passed a Parents' Bill of Rights, which some of the Democrats have denounced as "fascist."
No one should have more authority in a child's life than their parents, it should disturb many Americans that certain radicals want to sever the relationships between children and their parents. In fact, historically speaking, the implications are quite frightening.
When it comes to education, there's been a battle waging between parents and teachers. While historically parents have had broad control over their children's lives and well-being, that's been increasingly co-opted by teachers and teachers' unions, who believe that parents should have little to no involvement in what their child is learning in school or in some aspects of their lives.
A particular point of contention are some books, which feature what many consider pornographic images, graphic LGBTQ+ storylines, and stories that are too young for children or young adults.
One of the books most highly discussed is that of "Gender Queer,"
a graphic novel/memoir that includes depictions of sexual acts and discussions on masturbation.
"It's a matter of indoctrination,"
parent Mike Arata said to FOX 2 San Francisco, as reported by Fox News. "They're going after kids' hearts minds and souls with stuff that neither the parents want, nor is it appropriate for those kids."
This has led to some states, including North Carolina, to consider a Parents' Bill of Rights, which is designed to give a child's guardian transparency when it comes to their education.
When it comes to the U.S. House's bill, as Speaker Kevin McCarthy explains it, "The Parents Bill of Rights has 5 pillars to ensure parents have the right to have a voice in their kids' education: Right to know what's being taught in schools and to see reading material; Right to be heard; Right to see school budget and spending; Right to protect their child's privacy; [and] Right to be updated on any violent activity at school."
But as it turns out, some aren't too interested in giving parents that right and consider a parent's interest in classroom happenings as "fascist."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said from the House floor, "When we talk about progressive values, I can say what my progressive value is, and that is freedom over fascism."
Well, if Ocasio-Cortez really believes this, she should crack open a history book every once in a while.
A fascist, totalitarian or authoritarian state doesn't give families more control over education or their families, but in fact strips them of it. By separating and indoctrinating children and breaking down the family unit, the state is able to have an inordinate amount of control over the lives of their subjects.
This happened in Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s, where children were given the authority to tell the guards on the collective farms if their parents stepped out of line or were hoarding food, in some hope of holding off starvation. This gave children authority and power over their parents and broke down the bonds in these relationships.
More recently, there's also China, where the Uyghur minority children are taken away from their parents, who are often sent to what can only be described as concentration camps, and placed in "orphanages"
where their native language, customs and traditions are stripped away and exchanged for Chinese Communist Party sanctioned ones.
This isn't happening in the United States, of course, but some teachers are using their influence in the lives of children to indoctrinate them to a particular way of thinking, which is sometimes antithetical to their parents' values. This later been weaponized against parents, especially when it comes to trans-identified children. A teacher in Maryland bragged on TikTok about "concealing students' gender changes, 'especially from parents.'"
It's not an isolated incident either.
No teacher or the government should have more say in a child's life than their parents or guardians. Make no mistake, the attempt to strip power away from parents and give it to the government, or worse, giving children authority over their parents, should be seen as deeply frightening.
That's why a Parents' Bill of Rights is so important. No one will love their child more than the parent, and if they want to expose their child to "Gender Queer,"
that is their right-but by equal measure, a parent that doesn't want their child given access to that material should have the same respect.