As parents gear up for a new school year, there is more on their minds than just checking off their back-to-school shopping list – which will cost more this year, by the way, thanks to Joe Biden’s reckless tax and spend policies that have caused record inflation.
Instead, moms and dads across Ohio and this country are facing much more serious questions about their children’s well-being and education – questions that the big hand of government is attempting to dictate and control.
Will school be fully in person after a disastrous year of online learning?
Will masks be mandated for children?
Will vaccines be required in order to return to school?
Will Critical Race Theory be taught in a school’s curriculum?
As I travel Ohio, these are issues of top concern to parents as they have witnessed the iron grip of government continue to reach for our children, often using COVID as an excuse to seize more control and power.
But enough is enough. These are our kids and this is their future. We have to stand up and fight back against the left’s continued power grabs that place teachers unions and leftist ideology first, and students last.
That means full in person learning, no new mask mandates, no mandated vaccines, and no Critical Race Theory.
It should be up to parents, in consultation with their doctor, whether or not they want their child vaccinated. It should be up to parents whether or not they want their child to wear a mask. And it should be up to parents if they want their child exposed to radical teachings like Critical Race Theory.
Democrats are interjecting big government where the family should be – and as a mom and a U.S. Senate candidate, I find that dead wrong.
The recent recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children over the age of 2 should be wearing a mask to return to school, regardless of vaccination status, is insane. Joe Biden also ridiculously echoed this in a recent town hall in Ohio saying that all children under 12 should mask up.
If we are supposed to “follow the science,” why are we ignoring the science that says children are at an incredibly low risk for COVID? Why are we ignoring that there is no concrete evidence showing the efficacy of a 2-year-old wearing masks?
We know that the risk of mental health issues and developmental setbacks are much worse for children if they are in remote settings or not able to interact with their peers. We know that children can better connect when they see smiles from their teachers and their friends. And we know that learning is better when children can effectively communicate and be immersed in their education.
The lost learning, lost socialization, and lost productivity of last year cannot be understated and must not be repeated. Its long-lasting impacts have only just started to come to light.
While the disastrous China-pandemic brought our country and this world to its knees, one silver lining is that it also allowed parents to see exactly what was going on in their child’s Zoom classrooms. Parents have woken up to the fact that in so many ways, our schools are failing our children. That is why you are seeing parents all across the country – Republican, Democrat, politically active or not – standing up and fighting back at their local school boards.
The restrictive COVID guidelines were often just the first spur, with Critical Race Theory and new government mandates being the last straw. As I like to say, they’ve poked the mama and papa bears, and we are going to protect our children at all costs.
In the U.S. Senate, I will use my voice as a mom to always advocate for what is best for our children. I will be a fierce proponent of school choice and homeschooling options. No child should be confined to a school that is failing them or teaching anti-American values based solely on their zip code. I will fight to defund Critical Race Theory and stand up against leftist government overreach.
It’s time we get our children’s education back on track.
Jane Timken is the former Chair of the Ohio Republican Party and a current candidate for the United States Senate.