To Whom Do America’s Children Belong?

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

This week on the West Coast, the San Bernardino Superior Court blocked a policy requiring schools to notify students’ parents if their children change gender identities, names, and/or pronouns. According to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, this ruling “protects kids from harm” by “ensuring the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of inclusivity.”

According to this worldview, in which schools form an intimate attachment with students that by law excludes these minors’ parents, public schools and by extension, the state—not parents—are the best and most natural custodians of children’s well-being.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest, Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis-Gates—who opposes school choice and has called private schools racist and fascist while maintaining that her own children attend Chicago public schools—was recently found to be sending her son to a Catholic high school. In defending this hypocrisy, Davis-Gates stated that youth in Chicago’s poorer, mostly minority neighborhoods have “unfair choices,” given that “in many of our schools on the South side and the West side, the course offerings are very marginal and limited.” Chicago Public Schools spend over $29,000 per student, yet in 2022 80% of students failed to meet reading standards and 85% failed to meet math standards.

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According to this worldview, in which school choice is anathema for those without the resources to exercise it sans governmental assistance but perfectly acceptable for those with resources, public schools are the only appropriate place for poor and predominantly minority students. Parents with enough income, by contrast, are apparently permitted to buy parental rights, and then make the same sound educational decisions for their children that parents with fewer resources would make if those like Davis-Gates would only let them.

These phenomena—state-employed adults validated for keeping secrets with other people’s children, and low-income children stuck in failing schools while those that keep them there access better for their own children—reveal that progressive educational activists fundamentally see other people’s children as wards of the state.

This puts such activists profoundly out of step with the bipartisan majority of American parents, who want: (1) to know how their children are identifying in school, and (2) universal school choice.

Given America’s rapidly decreasing fertility rate, and the overwhelming concentration of unmarried non-mothers in the progressive wing of the Democratic party that advocates against these parental interests, one can be forgiven for wondering if we could solve several problems at once were such women to have kids after all.

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Not only would the fertility rate tick up, but those invested in children’s “rights” to gender themselves as they see fit without parental knowledge and failing public schools’ “rights” to exert unearned dominion over America’s children would suddenly have an equal stake in the ramifications of these dreadful policies. At least then, they could act in accordance with their alleged beliefs without coopting only other people’s children.

They mostly wouldn’t, though, since parenthood introduces  a reality principle unlike any other. And some of them might even be honest about that.

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This article was published by the Independent Women’s Forum and is reproduced with permission.

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