Can parents be considered “domestic terrorists”?

Can parents be considered “domestic terrorists”?

By Dalia Díaz

Under the present administration, that’s what is happening.  Anyone questioning the decisions made by government officials can no longer be trusted and will be subject to arrest, incarceration without the benefit of an indictment or judicial order for weeks, maybe months.

A group representing public school committees is calling for the Biden administration to invoke The Patriot Act in response to parents and community members appearing at school committee meetings protesting against recent changes.

Those changes are worthy of protest range from vaccination mandates, mask mandates, and the Critical Race Theory (CRT) teachings.

Viola M. García, President of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent President Biden a letter saying that “educational leaders are under an immediate threat,” for the aggressiveness of demonstrators at their meetings opposing board policies and adopting other measures.

In the letter, the NSBA requests to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, as well as the FBI’s counterterrorism division.

The Patriot Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and across the globe, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools and for other purposes.

The forced mask mandate has caused lots of demonstrations all over the country and now, the vaccination requirements have incensed many more who see their employment in jeopardy launching violent revolts everywhere.

But, the mandate with the most opposition has been that of CRT.  Parents and community groups, in general, have strongly objected to what they consider “brainwashing” of our children.

According to Wikipedia, this movement began after the civil rights struggle to study the intersection of race and laws in the United States to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice.

CRT examines social cultural and legal issues primarily as they relate to race and racism in the United States.

The studies were sensible enough; the problems began with the implementation by the schools and the teachers, resulting in lively complaints at school committee meetings.  Their findings should be taught in schools just like we all should learn about slavery but only with the goal of understanding history and keeping this country united.

Instead, it’s being used with very small children in grades K-12 and what it is creating is hatred and division among them.  With younger children, teachers separate students by race and discuss how the white students are the oppressors, while the Black students are portrayed as victims.  Older students may understand the concept but at any age, it creates animosity and hate.

Since the civil rights era, this country has done everything possible to achieve equal rights and opportunities for everyone.  But it seems that we are going backward.  This movement is creating the divisions among races that we left behind.  Universities are now holding separate commencements for different racial groups at the request of Black students; many have also set up separate dormitories to suit the cultural groups within their institutions.  Whatever happened to unity?  The phrase of “systemic racism” is widely used and the only point of reference dates from history.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was asked on CNN if parents should be the primary stockholders of their children’s education and he responded that “parents are important stakeholders but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programs.”

Parents allow school systems to choose the educational program and we send them to school to be educated but CRT has nothing to do with history.  Pointing out the differences among us and anointing a negative label on some of them will only inspire resentment and even violence.

If we look at our own families, we find that we have a rainbow of colors.  That reminded me of an interview with Stuart Varney, a British commentator on the CRT subject.  He said that in his immediate family he has three races, two religions (Christians and Hebrews), and seven cultural backgrounds.  He worries about his Black granddaughter hearing that her three sisters are her oppressors because they are privileged by being White.

That’s exactly what is going on today in public schools and parents have every right to know what’s being taught to their children.  Violence is certainly not the answer but we must make the school systems understand that we disapprove of teaching racial disparities that could only lead to chaos and division.

Parents have the fundamental right to decide the type of education they want for their children and now, the FBI will be watching the school committee meetings to immediately escort and apprehend anyone becoming irate.

We now hear there’s a huge conflict of interests in this order given to the FBI because Attorney General Merrick Garland’s daughter is married to the Xan Tanner cofounder of Panorama Education, a Boston-based company which is under fire for its multimillion contracts with school boards.

For months, parents have been fighting what they describe as “woke” indoctrination in schools.  Panorama Education is using data collection as a pretext for school officials to push controversial ideas about race, identity, and sexuality.

They recently discovered a contract for Panorama for more than $2 million to conduct social and emotional learning (SEL) monitoring in Virginia, resulting in data on students.

They seemed to focus more generally on social behavior and emotional health, but also included some content about race.  “Social and emotional learning” (SEL) and “culturally responsive” training have become seemingly innocuous buzzwords in education, but critics have worried that they served as conduits for left-wing ideas about race and identity.

We don’t foresee that happening in Lawrence because most parents have never attended a school committee meeting and are totally unaware of what CRT means or the danger that represents to this country.

Through the years, I have been commenting on the public participation in local issues.  I am in dismay of the lack of concern and that includes going into the child’s classroom to observe what he or she is learning.

Unless we learn to be on the alert about everything on our health, security, and freedoms, we’ll lose everything, including our children.

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