I called for his vote.
What I got instead was an earful.
"You don't know what you're talking about. You should be ashamed to talk about schools this way. We are not teaching common core."
It took about five minutes for the central office person to get his feelings out of the way.
Though I didn't appreciate the shaming, I gained new insight.
From this man's point of view, I learned that education is not something we earthlings should trifle with; instead, we should leave it to the experts.
I also learned then and understand now that when someone says, ‘we do not teach that; it's not in our classroom,’ listen up.
Listen up when they suggest that you not believe your lying eyes, eyes that spy fat textbooks stamped with the curriculum they're NOT teaching.
Please pay attention when they shame you for your opinion, though you've listened to theirs. Pay close attention.
I hung up from that call and wondered why somebody so quickly disregarded my opinion?
What did I know? Sure. I was only a parent.
What could I possibly contribute to my kid's classroom?
I felt like an idiot.
Tell the truth: Parents, have you felt that way?
Don't we fund local schools with our tax dollars? We fill classrooms with books we bought. We populate the place with our offspring.
That's where the shenanigans end.
They'll take our money. And our kids. But after that? Could you sit down and zip it?
Let me be clear.
Teachers, Coaches, Principals do their best every day.
It is local and state school boards, national school organizations, and even governors like former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, who said during an appearance on Meet the Press that "parents shouldn't tell schools what to teach their children."
In October, when the National Association of School Boards labeled parents as domestic terrorists, trust in federal school leadership rocketed back to the dark ages. Yes, the NASB apologized. But they still said it.
The “who's in charge” power struggle reached a boiling point during COVID.
Parents were home and saw what their kids were learning online. Over the last year, we heard hot mic moments, in California and the Oakley Union school board, to Los Alamitos Unified School district in California. Beyond, we found out how administrators from across the country felt about us.
They said the quiet part out loud.
It wasn't good.
According to Fox News, “in Scottsdale, the (school board) president, or possibly his father, appears to have kept a dossier on 47 parents who dared to speak out against his policies at school board meetings — a dossier complete with Social Security numbers, background checks, a divorce paper, mortgage documents, trade certifications, and screenshots of Facebook posts.”
"I'd call this retaliation," Amy Carney, a mother of six and candidate for the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) governing board, told Fox News last week. She said, "the list of parents targeted in the drive appears to be anyone who has spoken out about anything against our district publicly or online."
And if that weren't enough, from Ian Prior on Twitter, a quote from one of the first @EquityCollab meetings with the Loudoun County school board: "Adults don't change easily. They're slow. They're slow. I have a theory that I actually think public schools would be better if adults didn't show up."
Canceling the voices of concerned parents is not the answer.
Incorporating them is.
If we want a seat at the table, we have to get brutally honest.
We did the “Jesus take the wheel” thing with education for too long.
We are culpable.
We handed off volunteering in the library to great Aunt Violet. We bypassed the opportunity to see what books filled our school's shelves. We decided that the curriculum committee sounded boring, plus who has time for that?
We must stay behind even when the school board cuts off our mic.
We must do the things no one else wants to do.
We bear that responsibility.
Not because the state gave us that right.
He gave us our children. How we choose to educate them is on us.
Make no mistake.
The education struggle is spiritual.
The battle for our kid's minds will continue to rage.
We cannot give up now.
The Proverbs tell us that we are to train a child up in the way they are to go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.
Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer, and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]