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Opinion: The Virginia election, a lesson to be learned

Parents have been showing up, in record numbers, at school board meetings to express concerns about mask mandates, quarantine policies, curriculum, inappropriate materials, woke agendas, mental health, and child safety. Some school boards and administrators have marginalized and completely ignored parental concerns. They are told that critical race theory (CRT) is a hoax and is not being taught despite the fact that parents clearly see schools delving into social issues at every level. They see their traditions and values under attack by cancel culture. They have been told that their successes in life are due to privilege and a product of systemic racism. Parents are being attacked in the media for being passionate and are portrayed as angry mobs that threaten school board members. They have been called a threat to our democracy and are being investigated by the FBI.   

State Rep. Jim Murphy

Many school boards have responded to the COVID pandemic with little to no restrictions while others have instituted strict guidelines and restrictions. The majority of school districts in Missouri have no mask mandates resulting in no more infections than those school districts who have implemented them — leading parents to question why their children need them.

Even though Missouri has made funding available for schools to test for COVID and DESE implemented the “test to stay” program that allows exposed students to remain in school, school districts have sent thousands of students home to quarantine when exposed in school. Students are missing much-needed days in school even though the overwhelming majority never get COVID. Most students don’t even receive at-home support during their quarantine as required by DESE.

Parents are upset that their children are not receiving the quality education they are entitled to.

Concerned parents have sent my colleagues and me many examples of books that are available in school libraries that they feel are inappropriate. If the explicit sexual activities illustrated in these books were a movie, they would be rated NC-17. When parents suggest that they should be given a choice on exposing these books to their children, they are called book banners.

Parents see what is going on around them and want to be able to make decisions on their own children’s health and what is taught to them.

Parents in Virginia and in Missouri are sending a message that no longer will they be quiet, marginalized, vilified, insulted, and ignored. They no longer wish to finance this culture war with their tax dollars. Citizens are speaking out; schools need to be teaching ABCs, not CRTs. Government overreach must stop! Social engineering must stop!  

Their message is clear, listen up or pay the price at the ballot box.