Recently, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was photographed without a mask, sitting among students at a Decatur elementary school who, unlike her, had their faces covered. The image was left as evidence to expose the true side of those who believe they have the right to choose over others.
While Adams smiled at the camera and breathed freely, the children — who are now obliged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 — had to comply with the imposition of covering their faces against the recommendations of experts who assure that the use of masks in infants is harmful.
The image of the Democratic candidate is nothing more than a reflection of how the state acts: it imposes norms, subjects and ideologies, trampling on the will of parents and the freedom of children.
A mother is capable of leaving everything behind, crossing borders and making tough decisions just to improve the quality of life of her children; many Hispanic mothers are proof of this. Despite all this, now the state is beginning to take over this “parental authority” to force them to be vaccinated, to cover their faces, and to indoctrinate them with new political orientations.
Organized mothers are beginning to move around the world to denounce “abusive” measures and decisions against their children. It happened in Spain, for example, where recently a group of mothers from Navarre organized a rally in protest of what they consider abusive protocols in schools. “The children are the least affected and the ones who are suffering the most,” they denounced.
In Canada, at the Freedom Convoy demonstrations, mothers and children also protested against the health measures. “My eldest daughter starts school in September and I don’t want her to have to wear a mask,” says Katherine Welk, who decided to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but says she is “fed up” with the health measures.
Delayed language learning, a concern
In the United States, organizations such as the Independent Women’s Forum constantly raise their voices against the “injustices” of the state.
Karina Gómez, principal of the Rainbow Land preschool in New Jersey, said in an interview for El American that as an administrative official, she must deal not only with the state, which imposes rules such as mandatory masks, but also with situations where it seems that “the children, today, are the ones who impose themselves over the parents.”
Gómez expressed concern about the imposition of the masks because it will bring consequences in the short term to children with language learning delays.
“Children learn to read and speak with sounds and lips. How will they see the teachers’ mouths? It is very difficult for a child to learn phonics as it is with their faces covered. We are going to see this consequence in 2 and 3 years. Children who are going to be very behind in reading because of the use of masks, both in the teachers and in the children. This is going to be seen in the long run; children who are very behind in the language field,” she explained.
The school director was against the imposition of vaccines on the children. She anticipates that there will be problems with parents if the COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for the youngest children.
“In New Jersey there is a law that children before the age of 5 and before December must have the flu vaccine, and there are parents who don’t want it. I side with the parents who say, if I don’t feel like getting the vaccine, why do they have to force me, so my child can have access to free education?” said Gomez.
“You’re hearing this month that children under 5 are going to be forced to get vaccinated. That’s going to be a disaster because a large percentage of parents are not going to want to vaccinate their children,” she added.
Health measures imposed by states around the world are just the tip of the iceberg of how governments seek to take over decisions that should be at the discretion of parents.
Recently, WI Rep. Lee Snodgrass, a Democrat deleted a tweet that evidences the mentality of governors who want to influence children’s education by taking advantage of parents’ vulnerability: “If parents want to ‘have say in their child’s education, they should home school or pay for private school tuition out of their family budget,” the unfortunate post reads.
What did the Democrat legislator mean? If you don’t like the state indoctrinating your children, then pay for a private school? And if you don’t have the resources, then you have no choice?
Reactions were not long in coming. Helen Aguirre Ferré, executive director of the Florida GOP, reminded her that the resources with which the state is maintained come from the family budgets of those they want to indoctrinate.
“The left always forgets that family budgets pay for government. It isn’t “their money” it is our money they are spending.”Aguirre Ferré
“Nationality, race or religion doesn’t matter. Handing over our children’s smiles, education, and values to the state is not an option,” Carla Mendoza, a California-based Hispanic mother who has her children in public school, told El American.
Critical race theory and gender ideology: parental dissatisfaction
It is no wonder that since 2018 we have seen an exodus of students from public schools, as thousands of parents are alarmed at the phasing out of religious instruction and the design of schools operating in favor of an “aggressive liberal agenda.”
“Parents who are conservative feel their values are being oppressed. Traditional values are no longer respected in schools. Government has become too big, so a parent’s voice doesn’t count now,” Kari Beckman, executive director of the private Regina Caeli school in Texas, told the BBC.
There is growing parental discontent in the country with a state that increasingly sees itself as having more and more power to influence children’s education.
A Los Angeles Times report revealed that “the proportion of American families home-schooling at least one child grew from 5.4% in spring 2020 to 11.1% in fall 2021, according to a U.S. Census Bureau analysis.” It adds that “the number of Black families choosing to home-school increased five-fold during that time, from 3.3% to 16.1%.”
According to the Times, what all these parents have in common is a desire to take control of their children’s education: “schools implementing too many COVID-19 safety protocols, or too few; the polarizing conversation around critical race theory; neurodivergent kids struggling with virtual instruction; and an overall waning faith in the public school system.”
One Hispanic mother living in California who preferred to remain anonymous commented to El American: “they say they want equality and tolerance, but they separate our children by color. With things like Critical Race Theory, they now impose the narrative that being white is bad and being black is good, the one born white will be powerful and the one born black will be a failure […] They want to impose stereotypes on us and define the future of our children with them,” she denounced.
“We are going to great extremes. I don’t know where this is going to go, it’s the new generation and that’s what we are living, unfortunately, there is no conformity. Every time we have to look for something to modify, they are never going to be conforming,” said Karina Gomez in a frustrated tone.
“In New Jersey what was decided is to add an extra bathroom on each floor that has no gender. Even now the bathrooms no longer have skirts for girls and pants for boys, because then a girl comes in and says: I’m a girl, but I don’t like skirts, why do they put skirts in the drawing?” Gomez noted.
She recalled that, just as children are now trying to control their parents, there are laws such as the “No Child Left Behind” with which students can pass grades without even being prepared.
“Family values are not being taught in public schools and are being lost. It’s frustrating all that’s going on and not being able to do anything.”Karina Gomez
Conservatives launch legal crusades that benefit parents and children
While a group of conservative mothers in New Hampshire is offering $500 to detect teachers who violate a state law that bans some lessons on sexism and racism, according to The Independent, states like Florida have already launched a fight against critical race theory. In December 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced a bill that would allow parents in the state to sue schools that teach it.
Lawmakers in Tennessee and Idaho have banned its teaching in their public school curricula, while parents in Texas oppose a school district‘s efforts to combat racism with “cultural awareness” lessons.
In Virginia, a hotline was set up to report any teacher who teaches “divisive” content. In Oklahoma, a bill was introduced that would allow parents to require the removal of “books of a sexual nature” from public school libraries and authorized fines and disciplinary action against those who do not comply with the demands.
Republican officials joining in to prevent the state’s impositions is evidence that parents are not alone in the fight to protect their roles in the education and guardianship of their children.