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OPINION

Awakening the Sleeping Giant

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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There is a quote at the end of the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! by the Japanese commander after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that applies to the pro-parent education movement today: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”  

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All over the country, parents have been “awakened” to the indoctrination of their children by the liberal, woke education establishment… and they are resolved that it will not stand.  

School boards have become key ground to take and hold, both because of their influence on education and the low turnout rates which make these elections feasible to swing.  

What provoked this education revolution? Drag queen story hours for children. Pornographic library books. Abolishing honors courses in the name of “equity.” Hiding a student’s gender transition efforts from his or her parents. Allowing male students to use female restrooms and locker rooms. Resisting parents’ efforts to find out exactly what their students are being taught.  

These are all examples of decisions made by or under the oversight of school boards who have bought into the tenets of critical race theory and the cult of LGBTQ activism, or simply refused to stand against them. This has pushed parents and citizens to become involved in school board races — as candidates, activists, and voters. By flipping seats, they are determined to restore sanity for the sake of their children and the future of our country.    

This education revolution will not succeed unless voters can determine whose side their candidates are really on. Local races are especially difficult because information is scarce and most voters do not know where to look, or what to look for. Thorough research and evaluation of candidates is needed, which is where iVoterGuide comes in. 

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Nuggets of information iVoterGuide staff researchers look for include:  

  • Campaign finance records 
  • Political associations 
  • Stated positions on the candidate’s social media and websites 
  • Public statements in School Board meetings or Candidate Forums 
  • Endorsements by known conservative or liberal individuals and organizations 
  • Answers to our detailed questionnaire 
  • Key votes of sitting school board members  

Based on this information, each candidate receives a political ideology rating on the conservative to liberal spectrum from our volunteer panelists. These ratings are not endorsements; they are simply descriptive labels based on the evidence.   

It is vital that parents are equipped and empowered to identify (and replace if necessary) those school board members who are promoting woke and gender ideologies. It's time for us to stand up and retake the power over our children’s learning back from the educational establishment. That can only happen with information. As the saying goes, knowledge is power.  

Voters are motivated. I witnessed their resolve in the results of the school board elections iVoterGuide covered in 2022. Unfortunately, 25 percent of races we covered did not even have a conservative on the ballot. And 10 percent of the races had more than one conservative candidate, splitting the vote. But in the races with only one candidate who was rated on the conservative spectrum, the conservative candidate won 69 percent of the time! (72 of the 104 races.

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There are many lessons we learned through that experience. The most important is that more conservatives need to step up and run, even if they don’t have children in the public school system. I am encouraged that we see this happening! Additionally, it is essential that we cooperate to avoid splitting the vote. But none of that matters if we don’t inform conservative voters. 

 This year, roughly 69 percent of the nation’s school districts are holding elections. If we don’t speak up and vote on behalf of our children, others will — and have been for many years. I am praying an army of concerned citizens will commit to do three things: 

1. Vote in their next school board election. 

2. Cast an informed vote using sound research.  

3. Encourage and equip likeminded friends and neighbors to cast an informed vote. 

In addition to all this, we must be in prayer for our children, for the candidates, and for current school board members. In many cases, the policies being fought against are not just poor education; they are pure evil. 

The “sleeping giant” of parents and concerned citizens has awakened. They just need the tools to succeed. When it comes to children, we can never back down from the fight.  

Debbie Wuthnow is the president of iVoterGuide and a member of the Board of Directors. She joined iVoterGuide in 2011 as a data analyst and was named president in 2018. iVoterGuide is a one-stop resource for candidate ratings and election information. In 2022, iVoterGuide’s expert researchers gave an in-depth analysis — and overall rating — for 13,000+ candidates in 5,190 races nationwide. Additionally, iVoterGuide offers election dates, registration deadlines, polling locations, and other information needed to help Americans vote wisely and identify candidates on the ballot who share their values.)

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