Focus on the Family President Jim Daly interviewed Senator James Lankford regarding his proposed Senate Resolution 493, which promotes parental rights in education, opposes the teaching of “critical race theory” (CRT) and supports empowering parents with school choice.
The interview, “Championing Parents’ Rights in Education,” will air on the Focus on the Family Broadcast on Monday, February 21, 2022.
Lankford introduced SR 493 on January 19, along with ten other senators, to support National School Choice Week. The measure recognizes “the necessity of school choice as a tool to empower all parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environment for their children and to combat destructive ideologies like Critical Race Theory promoted by many public schools.”
Lankford explained that many parents had their eyes opened to what their children were learning during the COVID-19 lockdowns. As they helped children with homework or listened in on Zoom classes, parents became upset with the radical political and sexual ideology their kids were being inculcated into.
Daly mentioned Loudoun County, Virginia, which has come to typify education battles across the country, along with the rise of “mama bears” – mothers fighting to take back control of their children’s education.
Daly was referring to the more than four-year-long struggle between parents and Loudoun County’s school administrators and board members over grossly inappropriate books and curriculum; transgender mandates that threaten free speech, privacy and safety; and the promotion of racist curriculum in the name of racial reconciliation.
Lankford said moms and dads are realizing,
OK, I just thought my kids were going to learn how to read more and learn about history and learn science and learn all the things that I learned when I was in school. And I’m finding out they’re hardly getting any of that and that my child is really learning more indoctrination and liberal perspective than they are actually real education.
He suggested that parents who discover this indoctrination in their children’s schools should meet with teachers and administrators, ask questions, and show them the inappropriate homework, books or lessons.
When asked by Daly about critical race theory, the senator said that schools should not separate parents and children into “oppressed and oppressor categories.” Nor should they teach children, “You really don’t have the same chance as everyone else has at the American dream.”
The pair also discussed the Marxist roots of CRT, with its roots in critical legal theory and critical theory in the 30s at The Frankfurt School, a Marxist institute that started in Germany and moved to the U.S. to Columbia University, New York.
The Senator said parents must be vigilant, “And you’re going to find some of these things are going to be taught even in a good school. There may be a teacher that’s actually still trying to be able to slip this in.”
He explained, “But the parent is the most important person in the life of a child,” quoting from Deuteronomy 6, where God tells parents to pass on His truths and the love of Him to their children.
Both Daly and Lankford emphasized the importance of strong families as part of the solution to education issues in our country. The senator said,
For those of us that are conservative that believe in limited government, the way that you have limited government is have strong families. If you have weak families and broken families, then government rises up to become the surrogate family.
Daly also asked about the overreach of Attorney General Merrick Garland and of the National School Boards Association calling for the Department of Justice and the FBI to intervene in local school board issues.
Senator Lankford said this was a real concern, “What the FBI is doing is they’re trying to push back parents and to say, ‘don’t organize or we will consider you a domestic terrorist.’”
He reassured parents who are concerned about the FBI opening a file on them, “We are working on and exposing this issue, so that is not going to happen,” adding, “Don’t let them silence you and push you into the corner.”
Lankford offered several suggestions about what parents can do to stop CRT, promote school choice, and maintain their parental rights.
He said that “from a biblical perspective, we start with prayer,” adding that we should “start by praying for our teachers, praying for administrators and praying for our children.” We should ask “God’s wisdom for next steps.”
He suggested organizing with other parents and emphasized the importance of meeting with and getting to know teachers, administrators and school board members. If there is a specific issue, parents should make sure it is placed on the school board agenda for discussion. Have a specific goal in mind for the discussion, how you want to see the issue resolved.
Finally, Senator Lankford encouraged listeners to support SR 493, the resolution calling for school choice, eliminating CRT from schools and affirming parents’ rights in education.
You can reach your senators at the U.S. Senate site, “Contacting U.S. Senators.” Choose your state to find contact information for your two Senators.
Listen to the Focus on the Family Broadcast with Senator James Lankford, “Championing Parents’ Rights in Education,” airing Monday, February 21, 2022,
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