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How One Group Is Arming Parents with the Tools They Need to Fight Indoctrination in the Classroom

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Posted: May 11, 2021 3:30 PM
How One Group Is Arming Parents with the Tools They Need to Fight Indoctrination in the Classroom

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion is principally applied to physics, but the concept holds true in politics as well, especially in the increasingly feverish push to impose leftist agendas in schools. Set in motion in some parts of the country years ago, radical new curricula are being imposed from Massachusetts to California and everywhere in between. But the effort is being met by an equally strong pushback. 

One of the newest groups on the block fighting against the indoctrination in our nation’s schools is Parents Defending Education—a national grassroots organization that’s seeking to remove politics from the classroom by shining a spotlight on incidents, litigating where necessary, and arming parents with the tools they need to stay informed and engaged.

Behind the group is Nicole Neily, who’s also president of Speech First, an organization that protects First Amendment rights on college campuses. Neily told Townhall she initially began thinking about a similar group for K-12 during the lockdown after she heard about a school in Evanston, Illinois, where the superintendent wanted to give priority to "black and brown students" for in-person learning. 

"I just wanted to sue all these schools," she told Townhall, recalling a conversation she had with a friend about how unconstitutional the idea was. "And he was like, 'I don’t think a lot of people know this is unconstitutional.'" She realized he was right.

"Over a couple of months it kind of morphed into something that was bigger than what Speech First does," she said.

Neily knew there was an opportunity here—to inform people what their rights are in an education setting. 

"How do we make it easy for people to know … where the lines are drawn? And so when the lines are crossed, then people know that something should be done about it," she said. "So, if your kid goes to a public school, what is compelled speech—if your kid is forced to acknowledge their privilege when they don’t want to…"

The idea was to make understanding legal rights "easy and approachable," giving parents the tools necessary to become engaged. 

One part is providing the resources they need to be informed on topics like debunking white fragility or alternatives to the 1619 Project. Another way parents can get engaged is to submit tips to Parents Defending Education to help "shine a light on some of the malfeasance taking place in some of these schools," she explained. 

Parents Defending Education helps individuals understand how to begin addressing each issue and how to appropriately escalate ongoing problems. 

And cognizant that many people are fearful of being outed, Neily's group also has suggestions for how to continue holding schools accountable while remaining anonymous. 

"Politics goes to he who shows up," she said, quoting Dick Armey. "If we care about our schools, then we have to let schools know that we are here, we are engaged, and we're not going away."