Outrage for me – but not for you


October 7, 2021

Guest perspective by Rebecca Kleefisch

The left just doesn’t know how to deal with parental protests reverberating through American school districts.

First, they wanted to deny that the outrage came from parents, claiming that the protests came from a network of professional groups when in reality it was upset moms organizing.

Now they want to portray parents as violent extremists using drastic measures to make their voices heard.

Their efforts to silence the voices of citizens have not worked in the past, and it will not work this time around.

Late last week, the National School Boards Association sent a secret letter to President Biden, asking him to use the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate parents protesting the school board’s decisions.

Why? Because grassroots organizing not seen since the days of the Tea Party movement is thriving in local communities where school policies have become a subject of controversy. 38 Wisconsin parent groups have already signed letters to Tony Evers and Joe Biden opposing mask warrants and closed schools. Instead of responding to calls from their constituents, left-wing education groups try to crudely paint a single picture of frustrated parents.

Let’s be clear: Political violence in America is a mistake. I myself faced the cries of protesters threatening violence when the Walker-Kleefisch administration and the Republican legislature passed our Bill 10 reforms in 2011. I didn’t notice the left’s outrage at that time.

Where was the outrage in the NSBA when the Liberals shouted and threatened violence against Waukesha school board members over their decision to end an expanded free lunch program?

Where was the outrage on the left when rioters set fire to entire city blocks in Kenosha? When they set fire to police cars in Madison? Or when they looted and destroyed small businesses? Instead of demanding federal investigations and reinforcements, Liberal leaders only demanded that protesters wear their masks.

Parents are angry and they have a right to be upset. Many of them have seen their children suffer from difficulty wearing masks in class all day, or from anxiety, depression or loss of learning during the pandemic.

But these NSBA attacks portray all concerned parents as right-wing extremists deserving of FBI or Homeland Security agents descending on their homes. It’s a silly statement meant to intimidate parents into speaking out, pushing back and demanding that school boards and unelected bureaucrats listen to their concerns.

My team and I will continue to support good parents who do the good job of getting active locally. Last week my team was on the ground in Waterloo helping organize parents who wanted to fend off an unelected administrator acting unilaterally.

As a government we must start listening again to the people. That’s why I proposed to take state agencies out of the Madison bubble and bring them closer to the people. The best ideas of government are presented to government by the people, not the other way around.

Education must also be reformed to give parents more voice. Bills that provide more transparency on education spending and study programs are a priority of the Republican legislature. Sadly, we have a governor who is more concerned with protecting the status quo of our failing school systems than making changes that hold parents accountable. As governor, I would fully support a plan that allows parents to see exactly what their children are being taught.

We cannot stand idly by and accept failure in school when our children’s future is at stake. So please get involved. Show up at school council meetings. Don’t let bullies intimidate you into standing up for your children.

Recently a Liberal candidate for governor of Virginia said publicly, “I don’t think parents should tell schools what to teach.” They fear that parents will take back control of their children’s education, because when you empower families, you take power away from the vested interests in charge of public schools.

It is high time that we resume our school boards. Are you with me

Rebecca Kleefisch is a Republican candidate for governor and former lieutenant governor of Wisconsin

Editor’s Note: MacIver accepts political column submissions from all candidates. MacIver’s decision to publish a column will be made on a case-by-case basis.


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