Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

It’s time to abandon the public schools

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Oct 06, 2021

Are you a domestic terrorist?

Vision Book Cover Prints

Let me rephrase the question. Are you concerned about what your children are being taught in American public schools?

(If you have no children, or if your children are beyond school age, then where I say “your children,” think of your nephews and nieces, your grandchildren, your younger brothers and sisters—or for that matter your neighbors’ children. You may not have as much at stake as the parents of young schoolchildren, but we all have a stake in the future of our society.)

Do you want your children introduced to the varieties of sexual activity—all varieties—when they are not yet 10 years old?

Do you want them to wear masks all day, so that don’t develop a natural ability to read facial expressions? And to be pressured to take a vaccine that they don’t need, with unknown long-term side effects?

Do you want them to learn that a male can become a female, and vice versa, by an act of will? And to acknowledge as a woman someone who has obviously male physical characteristics? Do you want them taught to assert as true something that their common sense tells them is untrue?

Do you want them to study critical race theory? To understand Western culture as a system of oppression and exploitation? To “cancel” historical figures who do not live up to the fashions of political correctness? To regret the founding of the United States and the introduction of Christianity to the Western hemisphere?

Do you want them to act out scenes of same-sex romance? To share bathrooms with members of the opposite sex?

Do you want them told that there are some things said and done in the classroom that should never be discussed at home: things their parents wouldn’t understand and should never know?

If you answered No to those questions, then for heaven’s sake get your children out of the public schools.

American public schools once provided children with a solid education, built upon an admittedly vague but discernibly Judeo-Christian moral framework. The public schools of the American past were ultimately controlled by the parents, and provided the sort of education that the parents wanted for their children. It’s time—past time—to recognize that those schools are gone.

For years religious parents have been swimming against the secularist tide, struggling to preserve (or maybe to recover) the old public-school tradition. Sad to say they have been losing, again and again, overwhelmed by the power of radicalized teachers’ unions and their political allies.

(If you happen to live in a community where public-school education still responds to the standards of the community, count your blessings. But don’t expect that situation to last. And by the way, are you sure that you should be satisfied? Have you looked into the latest curricular changes?)

It would be convenient, in some ways, to blame the deterioration of public education on the Democratic Party. Certainly the Democrats have danced obediently to the leftist tunes. But the situation has continued to deteriorate under Republican leadership as well. In fact it was a Republican administration that pushed for federalization of educational standards—thereby allowing radical activists to focus their lobbying efforts on Washington, secure in the knowledge that the victories they won there would be rolled out across the countryside.

And now the Biden administration has launched a campaign to silence any opposition to the radical educational agenda, with Attorney General Merrick Garland ordering the FBI to investigate “disruptions” of school-board meetings. This utterly unprecedented federal order—an order to treat citizens as suspects if they express themselves too forcefully in public meetings—was issued because of an alleged “rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.” But the National School Boards Association, which reported that rise in crime, could only cite one incident of alleged criminal activity.

So now if you object to something happening in your local public schools, you can bring your concerns to a school-board meeting. But be careful! If you raise your voice, or if a querulous school official claims to be intimidated, you might be the object of a federal investigation. You might even be investigated if someone else, who shares your views, crosses that invisible line.

Spirited public debate is still acceptable, the attorney general tells us. (And isn’t that nice of him, to allow free speech?) But he, and the FBI, will decide what is spirited debate and what is intimidation. Which means that in practice he and his political allies will be able to intimidate you.

You can continue to fight the good fight, with one hand tied behind your back. Or you can recognize that the public schools are now controlled by a cabal of forces hostile to your beliefs, and indifferent to your concerns.

Will it be easy to find an alternative to the public schools? No. It may involve real sacrifices—for parents and children alike. But many families have already made those sacrifices, and done so gladly, to preserve their children from the abuses of the current system.

Educate your children at home, if you cannot find another school. Find other parents who share your concerns and will match your commitment, and start your own school. Scrimp and save and do your best; it will not be perfect, but it will be better for your children than the indoctrination program that now confronts them.

Don’t wait for the next outrage. Don’t wait until your children are seriously hurt. Get them out of the public schools. Now.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Retired01 - Oct. 09, 2021 11:55 AM ET USA

    And of course, "devout" Catholics who fully support and push for the brainwashing of children in public school should not be denied the Eucharist, because that is using the Eucharist as a political tool according to much of the current leadership in the Church. May God help us!

  • Posted by: velazquez37031 - Oct. 08, 2021 6:34 PM ET USA

    There are many supports available to new homeschooling families including excellent Catholic curricula, online learning via Catholic providers, and local homeschool groups. Talk to parish or neighborhood friends who home school. We love to share our stories and favorite resources.

  • Posted by: miketimmer499385 - Oct. 07, 2021 10:53 AM ET USA

    Even 20yrs ago I saw the handwriting on the wall, stopped contributing to any education higher than Catholic elementary. Schools are expensive for parishes to operate. I know, I was a school board president. The pastor unfortunately wanted the school to disappear. He could raise 100K for Christmas toys; not a cent for education. I donated thousands before I moved, the school is still one class per grade, but the pastor was "retired" for multiple misbehaviors. The hill is steep but worthy.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Oct. 07, 2021 10:43 AM ET USA

    Yep. Made that decision 25 years ago and homeschooled. Putting your children in government schools is a stupid move.