During the Sept. 28 Virginia gubernatorial debate, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe promised that as governor, he would prevent parents from removing sexually explicit books from school libraries, because he doesn't think “parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
McAuliffe's disdain for parents who think they should have some say in their children’s education is shared by most “progressives,” as well as some who call themselves conservatives. They think parents should obediently pay the taxes to fund the government schools and never question any aspect of the government school program.
School officials' refusal to obey the wishes of parents extends to the anti-science mask mandates. Mask mandates are not only useless in protecting children from a virus they are at low risk of becoming sick from or transmitting; the mandated mask-wearing actually makes children sick! Yet school administrators refuse to follow the science if that means listening to parents instead of the so-called experts.
Replacing parental control with government control of education (and other aspects of child raising) has been a goal of authoritarians since Plato. After all, it is much easier to ensure obedience if someone has been raised to think of the government as the source of all wisdom and truth, as well as the provider of all of life’s necessities.
In contrast to an authoritarian society, a free society recognizes that parents have both the responsibility and the right to provide their children with a quality education that reflects the parents’ values. Teachers who use their positions to indoctrinate children in beliefs that contradict the views of the parents are the ones overstepping their bounds.
Restoring parental control of education should be a priority for all who believe in liberty. If government can override the wishes of parents in the name of “education” or “protecting children’s health,” then what area of our lives is safe from government intrusion?
Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with government schools is leading many parents to try to change school policies. Parents are also responding by pursuing alternatives to government schools, including the option hated most by authoritarians: homeschooling.
The unnecessary coronavirus lockdowns and the teachers union officials’ support for keeping schools closed have also contributed to the growth in homeschooling.
Parents looking for a homeschooling program that includes an introduction to the ideas of liberty should consider my homeschool curriculum. My curriculum provides students with a solid education in history, literature, mathematics, and the sciences. It also gives students the opportunity to create their own websites and Internet-based businesses. The curriculum is designed to be self-taught, with students helping, and learning from, each other via online forums.
Starting in fourth grade, students are required to write at least one essay a week. Students also take a course in public speaking.
The curriculum teaches history from a pro-liberty perspective, and the economics section is taught from the Austrian viewpoint. But, unlike government schools, the curriculum does not compromise education quality, distort facts, or undermine parental authority in pursuit of an ideological agenda.
Students using my homeschooling program develop a love of learning, study superior communication skills, and gain real-world business experience. They also develop critical thinking skills that will enable them to succeed in whatever career paths they choose.
Parents interested in giving their children a well-rounded homeschool education that includes an introduction to sound economics and the ideas of liberty can get more information about my curriculum by going to RonPaulCurriculum.com.
Ron Paul served as a Texas U.S. representative for more than two decades, also running for the presidency as the Libertarian nominee in 1988 and a Republican candidate in 2008 and 2012.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.