Letter: Officials Should Pay More Attention to Parental Concerns
The following letter to the editor from Michael Leaser was first published by the Fairfax County Times on May 12, 2023:
Eighteen months after Glenn Youngkin and Virginia Republicans rode Terry McAuliffe’s condescending and dismissive comments on parents to the governor’s mansion and a majority in the House of Delegates, Democrats still haven’t learned their lesson.
Less than two weeks ago, State Senator Monty Mason and Delegate Shelly Symonds were caught on a hot mic belittling parental rights legislation killed by progressives in the State Senate. Mason blasted a bill (SB 1515) preventing minors from accessing pornography, calling it “part of this parental crap they are selling.” Symonds responded that Democrats in the Senate had a responsibility to kill this “stupid” legislation.
PSA for progressives in the General Assembly and other elected officials who want to keep their jobs in 2024: Parents do not appreciate their concerns being labeled as “crap” or “stupid.” That may actually cost you their vote.
Here are just a few of those “stupid” concerns:
- Keeping biological men out of girls’ restrooms in public schools.
- Letting parents know if their kid actually asks a school official to help him or her (or them?) identify as a different gender.
- Keeping pornographic material out of school libraries or, at the very least, labeling it as problematic. Not every parent is down with their minor children checking out books containing graphic sexual content.
- Teaching children that they are currently “oppressors” or “oppressed” based on the color of their skin. Whatever else you want to call it, “critical race theory,” “action civics,” “critical self-awareness,” “anti-American,” “a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars,” it’s racist.
It should come as no surprise then that Fairfax County Public Schools, arguably the most hostile school district in the Commonwealth to parental rights, recently found another “stupid” way to enrage parents. As you may have heard by now, several schools within FCPS, in their infinite wisdom, decided to withhold–or at least excessively delay–national merit scholarship recognition from students and their parents, effectively preventing students from applying that honor to their college applications. In response to state wide outrage, the school district acceded to adopt a narrow regulation that addresses national merit scholarship notification, but does not address delays in any other academic achievement reports or recognitions.
This is why I joined The Family Foundation’s Speak Up! Fairfax team, led by Susan Otto, and other concerned Fairfax parents, including members of the Chinese American Parents Association of Northern Virginia, at the Fairfax County School Board meeting last week to address a resolution sent to each school board member calling for transparency to parents regarding student achievement (tinyurl.com/transparencyforparents.) Hundreds of Fairfax parents have already signed the accompanying petition urging the school board to adopt the resolution.
We encourage the Fairfax County School Board and progressive politicians supporting them to pay closer attention to parental concerns. If they don’t listen to parents now, they will hear from them loud and clear in November.
Michael Leaser is a father of four school-aged children in Fairfax County.
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