Whose children are they?
My co-author Bethany Mandel and I set out to write our new book, “Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation,” to answer this question and teach parents how to lay down the marker and say: mine.
It’s a question that, not so long ago, we didn’t feel we needed to ask.
In October of 2021, Virginia gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Taken on its own, the comment might even be benign. Sure, parental involvement in education had always been a prediction of student success. A 2010 study called “Parent Involvement and Student Academic Performance: A Multiple Mediational Analysis” by researchers at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro found “children whose parents are more involved in their education have higher levels of academic performance than children whose parents are involved to a lesser degree.” But should parents be designing a curriculum? Maybe not.”
The exchange, however, wasn’t about which math curriculum to use. It was about whether parents had a right to demand pornographic books be pulled from the library. Suddenly the question of parental involvement seems clearer to most people.
The left says it doesn’t happen, pornography in libraries is a right-wing bogeyman, and yet parents at school after school keep discovering these books at the school library.
What’s happening here?
We encapsulate the current moment into the word “wokeness” and it really took hold during COVID. Leftism has always existed but wokeness is something new. Wokeness demands that up is down and black is white and pressures you to believe it too. Wokeness pushes a separation between parent and child.
We open our book with a history chapter and the roots of this wokeness in totalitarian regimes of the past. We trace how places like the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge, and others, tried to sever the family connection as a way of pushing their indoctrination on to the kids and, by extension, the parents.
We are seeing it happen in America today. Kids are told to keep secrets from their parents. Sometimes the secrets are life-changing.
Just recently the story broke about a Long Island teacher who had transitioned a child from girl to boy behind the backs of the parents. The child is 9.
The teacher assigned the student a new boy name and referred to the child as a boy. The parents were only alerted to what was going on when the girl started having suicidal ideation.
The important point about this story is that it took place in a “red” area. It happened in a red hamlet of a red town in a red county. Parents who think they are safe from the reaches of wokeness because they live in a conservative area have to think again.
We heard so many stories like this one, about parents being cut out of their child’s life.
Part of the reason we wrote this book is we saw the concern that so many people have, correctly, about the indoctrination that happens at college campuses. What alarmed us is that it starts far earlier than college now and parents seem unprepared to grapple with the onslaught.
This wokeness doesn’t just target children at school. We trace the way this forced conformity has taken hold at medical schools, teachers’ colleges, publishing companies and so on.
Everyone is afraid to speak up and step out of line. We chart parents who have shown bravery in fighting for their children and show other parents how to take a stand.
It’s going to take a fight but it will be worth it. Because whose child is this? Yours. Fight for them.