Across the country, Democrats continue to insist the ongoing culture war is nothing but a right-wing talking point. In occasional moments of self-reflection, their party leaders have come to accept that running on cultural issues in contested elections not wholly dominated by the coastal elites spells nothing but doom for their prospects. By waving away the behavior of bad actors in local politics, Democrats appear keen to control the media narrative – and usually do. Making each election about Donald Trump and continuing to blame him for their stalling policy proposals has become the go-to strategy for these politicians, even as numerous cases reveal the harm progressives do to the country’s moral standards.
When Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe stated that he didn’t believe parents should tell schools what to teach their children, the implications were clear. Democrats understood the bad press they were receiving weekly for their obsession with identity politics and race-baiting reflected a reality in the public education system. In their efforts to appease progressive standards on moral behavior, establishment Democrats in Virginia empowered schools to circumvent the legal system and handle reports of sexual assault internally. When parents began to aggressively dissent against this biased extrajudicial behavior, which led to lax punishments for the offenders, they were accused of threatening school officials and, in at least one case, arrested by local law enforcement.
These latest events in Virginia are just one case study of many, and the problems aren’t just in blue states. At Hazard High School in Kentucky, photos surfaced of a “man pageant” in which male students cross-dressed and wore lingerie while giving lap dances to school staff and administrators. Simultaneously, female students were photographed dressed up as Hooter’s waitresses at the event. Various images surfaced on social media, with the most prominent showing the school’s principal, Donald Mobelini, engaging with another student as spectators watched. The photos were overwhelmingly criticized after being published on the high school’s athletic page. An investigation from the Hazard Independent Schools district allegedly led to disciplinary action against those involved, but the district didn’t reveal who was punished.
In Florida, Broward County School Board member Sarah Leonardi took schoolchildren from Wilton Manors Elementary on a field trip to Rosie’s Bar and Grill, a local gay bar in the area. Though the photos posted online appeared innocent enough, users on social media began to question the rationale behind taking young children to a bar in the first place. Critics speculated that, like so many cases around the country, Leonardi might have been attempting to subtly push pro-LGBTQ views on the students with just enough plausible deniability to frame it as a visit to a local business. A cursory look through Leonardi’s social media pages also showed an abundance of political posts arguing in favor of abortion rights, criticism of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), and support for the Florida LGBTQ Democratic Caucus.
Notably, the events described took place this week, but further investigations show behavior like this has been going on for years at these schools. With parents’ renewed focus on holding schools accountable for their serious shortcomings, there should be no surprise that parents across the country want increased oversight over their children’s education. Democratic politicians insist Republicans are making a boogeyman out of the public education system, often proposing strawman arguments that conservative parents are angry their children are becoming socially conscious or learning about racism. When taking an interest in the education of one’s children and demanding that schools be held accountable is portrayed as dangerous and threatening, it could be time for a major course correction in public schooling.
~ Read more from Jose Backer.