Less than 48 hours after Christianity Today ran an article telling Christian parents that they shouldn’t run for the school board, conservatives captured seats on multiple boards in local elections across Florida, removing them from liberal/woke control and putting the districts back in the hands of parents who believe in biology, reality, and common sense.
National Review reported that “multiple school boards across the state of Florida flipped conservative on Tuesday thanks to a groundswell of parental rights activism and GOP turnout.”
A total of five school boards changed hands. Now, in Clay, Miami Dade, Duval, Sarasota, and Martin counties the school boards are controlled by conservatives.
In Sarasota, Florida, it was a massive upset. The board went from being controlled 4-1 by Democrats to now being in the hands of Republicans with a 3-2 majority.
Even more remarkable, perhaps, is that the Miami-Dade County school board is now the largest county in the entire country controlled by conservatives. Millions of students in the incredibly diverse Miami area will now have educational decisions and priorities made by a majority of parents who reject wokeness and will fight for reason, truth, and goodness in the classroom and the educational curriculum.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, R, had amazing success as well — approximately 25 of the 30 school board candidates that he endorsed won their races. DeSantis has made education a pillar of his governing agenda, working with the state legislature to pass the Parental Rights in Education Act (smeared as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill) that prohibits teachers from teaching or discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with kindergarten through third graders.
As he has started saying, “Florida is where woke goes to die.” And die it did on Tuesday night. In advance of these successful results, DeSantis boldly said, “Florida has led with purpose and conviction that our school system is about education, not indoctrination.” The voters responded in kind.
Many of these candidates were also supported by the newly founded 1776 Project, a political super PAC that is “dedicated to electing school board members committed to abolishing CRT [Critical Race Theory] from the public school curriculum.” National Review noted, “Out of the 49 candidates that the organization endorsed in Florida school-board contests, 35 won their elections.”
It’s an encouraging omen for the future of public education in one of our nation’s most populous — and politically significant — states.
The surge in concerned parents attending school board meetings, protesting misguided policies, and even running for a seat themselves, was birthed in large measure by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns and mandates. With kids at home in virtual classrooms, parents started overhearing what was really being taught. They realized poisonous ideas like Critical Race Theory and destructive ideas like radical gender theory were being spoon-fed to their kids like sugar-coated propaganda. When the schools opened again, many districts instituted insane policies such as mandating masks for elementary-age kids, or even younger.
Over the last two years, a movement has been building in our country. It’s a movement composed of millions of fed-up parents who are sick of the radical ideology and anti-American brainwashing that passes for “education” in most schools these days. These parents are mad — and they aren’t going to take it anymore.
Parents began protesting these unscientific and even harmful measures. They petitioned to get the perverted and toxic sexual education material off the bookshelves and out of the classrooms.
In response, teachers’ unions petitioned the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice, which went as far as directing the FBI to investigate school board meetings as if these concerned parents were potential domestic terrorists.
But these parents won’t be deterred — as evidenced by the conservative sweep in Florida on Tuesday night. One can only hope this is a good sign of even better things to come.
At the Standing for Freedom Center, we have regularly written about the importance of parents taking back control of their children’s education from the state and government. God gives children to their parents, not to the state. Even if parents choose to put their children in a public school, they are still responsible, before God, to ensure that their children are being taught good and true things — and not transgender nonsense.
Vigil Walker recently wrote about this in his article, “What’s the Pitiful Problem with Education?” In it, he argued that Christians cannot afford to abdicate their responsibility before God to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. He writes, “Christianity, unlike any other worldview, is an intellectually rigorous worldview. For far too long, we’ve delegated education to public school systems. Only recently have Christians taken a stand, as we’ve witnessed the proliferation of homeschooling across the country. The next phase of growth, however, will require true vision and sacrifice as followers of Christ re-stake our claim in the area of education.”
Whether re-staking our claim means pulling our kids out of public schools, or running for school board, either way, the point stands: Christians need to continue pressing into education activism in the United States.
The purpose of education, from a biblical worldview, is to teach children to know and fear God (Deuteronomy 10:20); to know and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 6:6-7); and to obtain wisdom (Proverbs 9:9) that they can use to order their lives towards the best things in God’s creation — the true, the good, and the beautiful.
What happened in Florida on Tuesday shows that thousands of voters are waking up to the reality of how far the American public schools have drifted from these formerly recognized virtues and values.
Christians, as the holders and heralds of God’s truth and the Gospel, owe it to our fellow citizens and our nation’s schoolchildren to join the fight to take back our education system from the anti-god woke ideology that has taken our country by the throat.
That’s at least part of what we saw happen this week in Florida. Woke died a little more. Perhaps, if Christians get involved and stay involved, it will be biblically-based truth that grows up instead.
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