MILLER: Lessons in domestic terrorism

FILE – In this July 2, 2021, file photo first lady Jill Biden speaks at the National Education Association’s annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

In 2021, when Attorney General Merrick Garland redefined “terrorism” to include parents who protest at school board meetings, he aimed to scare parents witless and no doubt was stunned when parents countered, “We will not be silenced!” 

To combat this new breed of “domestic terrorists,” Virginia’s teachers union has assembled a “toolkit” teachers can use to sidestep parents who oppose their mission to “dismantle cis-gender privilege” and advance “the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics.” If you’re among that new breed of “terrorists,” what follows is a toolkit you can use to challenge the educrats who subvert public school instruction. 

For starters, you could cite the origin of the plot to turn public schools into a redoubt for leftists. You weren’t around in 1972 when Marxist scholar Herbert Marcuse announced plans to recruit a “subversive majority” who would launch “a long march through our institutions” — and teach “intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.” Their first stop was public education, and their first target was the schoolmarm who held that being able to speak and write standard English should be a requirement for graduation. 

No more. 

Beguiled by the Marcuse doctrine, the National Council of the Teachers of English decided that requiring students to use standard English was a racist, rightist value and ruled against it. In 1974, the NCTE passed a resolution affirming “students’ right to their own patterns and varieties of language — the dialects of their nurture or whatever dialects in which they find their identity” because allowing “one social group to exert its dominance over another” is “immoral.” So began the decline of literacy nationwide and the rise of the “social justice” warriors whose resolution betrayed the very students whose “varieties of language” they meant to uphold. 

Nor was reading instruction safe from the scythe-wielding NCTE. In 2022, they decided that “the time has come to decenter book reading and essay writing as the pinnacles of English language arts education” and to promote “media literacy” instead. If you think that reading and writing instruction should remain the centerpiece of English education, you might point out that requiring students to take classes in “digital media” and “popular culture” would be like asking Taylor Swift to enroll in song-writing classes. 

You might also note that the College Board’s National Commission on Writing has found that depriving students of instruction in reading and writing will handicap them in the workplace. In 2004, they published the results of a nationwide survey of business leaders who claimed that literacy was the “ticket to professional opportunity” while illiteracy was the “kiss of death” for job applicants. Those findings still hold true — unless a job applicant aims to join that cabal of educrats who would “transform” public schools into a no-go zone for old-school standards. 

If you are among those parents who impose strict standards of literacy and civility at home, your youngsters will never be caught on camera goading law students to bully a conservative judge, all the while claiming, “Me and many people in this administration do absolutely believe in free speech.” With that one statement, Stanford law school DEI deanlet Tirien Steinbach exposed both the ignorance and the hypocrisy of the hard left, but it was her malice aforethought that triggered the backlash that left her suspended. 

The failure of the Steinbach stunt should embolden you to challenge the provocateurs who would make public schools a “safe space” — for leftists only. 

To achieve that aim, the National Education Association, our largest teachers union, lobbies for all school employees to practice “restorative justice,” which is code for “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Enter the DEI militia, which will retrain teachers to typecast white students as irredeemably racist and black and brown students as their unwitting victims. Even The New York Times now admits that “mandatory training that blames dominant groups … may well have a net-negative effect on the outcomes.”  

Social philosopher Eric Hoffer is often attributed as saying, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” In 2020, the DEI racket cost taxpayers an estimated $3.4 billion — and provided a whopping reason for you to join that new breed of “terrorists” who would loosen the grip subversives have on public education.