We believe our children’s education should be based on scholarship and facts, and should nurture their development into the happy, resilient, free-thinking, educated citizens every democracy needs. Our classrooms should include rigorous instruction in history, civics, literature, math, the sciences, and the ideas and values that enrich our country.
Yet in recent years activists have targeted public, private, and charter schools across the country with a campaign to impose toxic new curriculums and to force our kids into divisive identity groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. Many schools have already embraced this campaign, and many more are preparing to embrace it.
This new educational mission is not only at war with basic American values, but with our kids’ happiness and ability to succeed in life. Couched in vague slogans such as “social justice,” the new curriculum divides our children into “oppressor” and “oppressed” groups. To one, it teaches guilt and shame. To the other, grievance and anger. To all students, it spreads unhappiness, radicalism, and failure.
Schools are adopting this illiberal mission at the behest of a narrow group of activists — without the consent of the students, parents, and communities whose interests the schools are supposed to serve. Those who dissent risk being attacked as bigots and shamed into silence.
This must stop. If you are disturbed by these destructive developments, you are not alone. If you want our schools to return to teaching our children what they need to grow and succeed, please join us. We come from diverse races, religions, economic backgrounds, and political orientations — but we all agree that it is time to join together and stop the madness in our schools.
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Nicole Neily is the president & founder of Parents Defending Education. She is also the president of Speech First, a national campus free speech organization, and has worked at the Independent Women’s Forum and the Cato Institute.
VP for Strategy & Investigations
Asra Nomani is the Vice President for Strategy and Investigations at Parents Defending Education, where she is the editor of the IndoctriNation database and FOIA work. She is also cofounder of Coalition for TJ, a group of parents and community members in Virginia, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, codirector of the Pearl Project, and cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement.
Director of Outreach
Erika Sanzi is the Director of Outreach at Parents Defending Education. She is a former educator and school committee member and a current senior visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. She is also the mother of three school-aged sons.
Elizabeth Schultz is a Senior Fellow for Parents Defending Education. She served as the U.S. Department of Education’s Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology and was twice-elected to serve on the Fairfax County School Board, the nation’s 10th largest school system. Elizabeth is an education and public policy expert and former senior contracts and negotiation manager with 25+ years of experience in the areas of asset management, information technology, and global and K-12 education. She is the mother of four sons, who range from college graduate to middle school.