Michigan Democrats criticized after dismissing parents’ role in public education

Linda D. Garrow

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The Democratic Party blasted the idea that parents should have a voice in what public schools teach, saying in a Facebook post over the weekend that public education teaches kids what society “needs them to know.”

A Saturday post made by the Michigan Democrats on their official Facebook page criticized the parents who want to play a role in what public education teaches their children. The post was deleted Monday morning after intense criticism. 

“Not sure where this ‘parents-should-control-what-is-taught-in-schools-because-they-are-our-kids’ is originating, but parents do have the option to send their kids to a hand-selected private school at their own expense if this is what they desire,” the post read.

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“The purpose of public education in public schools is not to teach kids only what parents want them to be taught,” the Michigan Democratic Party’s post continued. “It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client of the public school is not the parent, but the entire community, the public.”

The Michigan Democratic Party later deleted that post and issued a quasi-apology.

“We have deleted a post that ignored the important role parents play—and should play—in Michigan public schools. Parents need to have a say in their children’s education, end of story,” a subsequent post on Monday stated. “The post does not reflect the views of Michigan Democrats and should not be misinterpreted as a statement of support from our elected officials or candidates.”

The state’s Republicans were sharply critical of the Democrats’ original post. 

“Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Democrat Party continue to be in the pockets of teachers unions and are so out of touch with Michiganders, they believe parents shouldn’t be involved in their children’s education,” Michigan GOP communications director Gustavo Portela told Fox News Digital in a Monday statement.

“Studies have shown time and time again that parent involvement leads to student success,” Portela continued. “Parent involvement is exactly what our students need now more than ever after a year of learning loss that will impact them for years to come thanks to Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdowns.”

The Wolverine State GOP also torched their political rivals in a Sunday tweet, writing the Democrats are “ready to indoctrinate your children with what ‘society needs them to know.’”

Republican Governors Association (RGA) spokesman Chris Gustafson told Fox News in a Monday statement that the Democrat Michigan governor must take action over the post.

“Gretchen Whitmer must condemn the Michigan Democrat Party or admit that she believes teachers unions should control public education, not parents,” Gustafson said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Detroit police chief James Craig released a statement declaring parents the “true stakeholders” of their kids’ education as well as blasting the Michigan Democrats’ post as “disgraceful” and demonstrating “they have an agenda of indoctrination, not education.”

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This same kind of messaging on public education was the death knell for former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2021 gubernatorial campaign against Republican Glenn Youngkin, who was inaugurated Saturday.

McAuliffe said in a debate that he did not believe parents should be telling public schools what to teach their kids, in a soundbite that came to define his campaign. 

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/michigan-democrats-criticized-dismissing-parents-role-public-education

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