Time to Give Up on Public Education?
Should Rockwood parents stay and fight or put their children first? Plus, a 10-point checklist for winning elections.
Schools are turning your kids into bad people, and you know it. Do you love you love you children enough to stop that abuse before the point of no return? It’s closer than you think.
The Root of All Evil
Love of money is the root of all evil, and your kids are in public school because of your love of money. Don’t believe me?
Why do you live in a good school district? Two reasons:
You want your kids to get a good education from a recognized school system.
You want your property value to go up.
Why do want your property value to go up?
Why do you want your kids to get a good education from a recognized school system?
Answer: So they can get into a good college.
Why do you want your kids to get into a good college?
Answer: So they make a lot of money.
Your answers might very a bit, but, at the root, you choose to live in recognized, award-winning school district because you want your kids to be rich and you want your home value to rise faster than the sum of inflation and the interest you pay on the mortgage.
Money and money.
Yes, you love your kids and want them to endow them with the best of everything, especially their school experience. But, you measure that experience by how much money they make when they get out.
Yes, you want them to live in a nice, safe, clean neighbor. The kind of neighborhood where home values increase enough for you to borrow against the equity to pay for the good university they get into.
The root of all evil is the love of money, and if you send your kids to public schools you might accidentally make money more important than your kids’ virtue.
Denial Is Stronger Than Love
You might be saying, “My school district doesn’t have the problems some of those school districts have. This isn’t Loudon County.”
You’re fooling yourself. Or you’re trying to fool me. If you live in a nationally recognized district with a plethora of blue ribbon schools, your schools are a lot like Loudon County’s.
Rockwood School District in St. Louis County is a prime example. Lots awards, lots of blue ribbon schools, lots of scholarships to universities names you know.
And yet, Rockwood has been in the news quite a bit lately. Not for awards, but for the massive gap between the values of the district’s parents and taxpayers and the values the district imposes on their children.
Rockwood’s residents are mostly Christian conservative Republicans with incomes above the national average. Rockwood’s board, administration, and staff teach the children people like them and their parents are racists oppressors who needs to be punished for accidents of birth.
Last year, a Rockwood administrator was caught coaching principals and teachers to publish fake curricula to appease concerned parent while continuing to teach CRT and sexual deviancy to students.
West Magazine, a local weekly newspaper covering western St. Louis County, reported:
After detailing the complaints, Fallert’s email goes on to say: “This doesn’t mean throw out the lesson and find a new one. Just pull the resource off Canvas so parents cannot see it.” Canvas is the district’s learning management system that connects teachers, students and parents, and has been instrumental to the process of conducting school in a virtual environment.
To be fair, Rockwood said the right things in response to the news of this dual curriculum, as detailed in the West Magazine article:
• Putting our curriculum into parents’ hands as part of our beginning of the year orientation information instead of asking them to seek it in online class materials.
• Training our educators on how to curate books so that teachers are giving students a wide variety of choices in their learning materials.
• Asking our educators to provide parents with book choices before a unit of study starts and information about read alouds that will be done in the classroom as part of regular communications with parents (i.e. weekly newsletters).
• Continuing to use the Canvas learning management system. Part of the reason we adopted Canvas during the pandemic was to give parents more transparency about what is going on, and we’ve found it’s an effective tool in that effort.”
Those are all good responses, but a few could go further as we’ll see below.
Rockwood banned symbols of support for military and first responders because, in the minds of Rockwood’s board, administration, and staff, police, firefighters, EMS, and military are divisive.
We also recognize that the thin blue line represents different things to different people, based upon an individual’s perspective and their unique experiences with law enforcement. Any political or potentially divisive symbol has no place on our uniforms.
— Rockwood Letter to Parents on Thin Blue Line ban
A few years ago, I received complaints from Rockwood parents that the board of education abolished public meetings. Instead, parents who wanted to address school issues had to schedule one on one meetings with board members in a speed-dating style forum. That policy may have been rescinded, but it symbolizes Rockwood School Board’s history of muzzling parents.
Rockwood was one of the first districts in the country to sic the cops on parents who tried to voice their concerns about the values deficit in schools.
And, just this week, we learned that Rockwood’s school library contain the same X-rated material that the “bad” school districts put in their libraries. Rockwood is feeding your kids material that would get you arrested for public indecency if you read it out loud during a public school board meeting.
But your property value went up, so let’s not rock the boat. Let’s pretend everything’s wonderful. Let’s pretend we don’t see the erotica the kids bring home. Let’s pretend it’s okay that your son hates himself for being white. Let’s pretend you're fine with your daughter sharing a bathroom the 48-year-old male custodian who suddenly started wearing dresses.
(But, Bill, Zillow says my worth $420,000! I paid less than $300,000 six years ago!)
Face it: it’s all about the money.
I Was In Your Shoes
I get it. I am the worst of sinners in this regard. My kids all went to Rockwood Schools. I couldn’t even afford to live in Rockwood much of the time. But we stuck it out because why?
Good education from a recognized district.
Home values kept going up.
I worked a lot of hours and spent a lot of time on the road so our kids could go to a good school district. At the time, I firmly believed I was doing the right thing. Or, at least, I was doing the thing society told me I should do. “Sacrifice” for your kids. You want your kids to be successful, don’t you? Of course, you do.
And, in the beginning, I believed Rockwood School District was well-aligned with my values: God, country, family. Work. Honor. I was impressed by my kids’ teacher’s attitudes and commitment.
The Rockwood is a semi-rural and suburban area and a conservative outpost in the increasingly leftist St. Louis County. How could the district not be conservative?
It was 25 years ago when I moved here after leaving the Navy. For the most part, Rockwood treated my children well.
But what I hear consistently from Rockwood employees and parents today is a far different story. Rockwood is working against them. Not all of Rockwood, but certainly enough teachers and administrators work against the citizens’ values to turn children against their parents. From sexual permissiveness and transgenderism to critical race theory (by whatever name).
Sometime between 2009 and today, top positions of Rockwood School District fell into the hands of people who hope to undermine and banish the community’s values.
Walk Away or Stay and Fight?
You might be thinking this progressive insurgency in Rockwood is unfair to the taxpayers, parents, and students who built the district over the years.
You’d be right. This is unfair. But life is unfair. The question is, do you stay and fight, sacrificing your own goods for a better future for others? Or do you take your kids out of the recognized school district and teach them yourself at home?
If you think there’s a third way—moving to a district that’s in line with your values—I caution you to think careful. Loudon County in Virginia and Rockwood School District in Missouri are not outliers; they’re the norm. If progressives could surreptitiously flip RSD’s curriculum from red (or neutral) to blue in a matter of years, no school district is safe. The teachers’ unions and other progressive groups are well funded and committed to their cause of turning every student against the civilization that produced them. A moving strategy will turn your family into a band of education nomads.
If you choose to stay and fight, know what you’re up against. On their side are the FBI and the Department of Justice, the National Association of School Boards, the teachers’ unions, two of the three branches of the federal government, and numerous astro-turf organizations funded by leftists like George Soros.
And, while you fight to reclaim your schools, your kids are pulled deeper and deeper into the mindset that considers you the enemy. Do you realize how quickly a child is influenced during school years?
If you do stay and fight, here are some of the goals you should pursue.
A parent-taxpayer organization that’s independent from the formal parent-teachers organization.
Access to all materials available to students on 24 hour notice. Meaning, parents and tax payers can inspect textbooks, learning systems, and libraries on 24-hour notice. (It prevents schools from hiding material that cause problems.)
Partisan school board elections. I know that party identification doesn’t necessarily guarantee a candidate’s true beliefs, but the glittering generalities in board candidates’ campaign literature tells you absolutely nothing about the ideology of the candidate. Party labels will, at least, provide a clue. Plus, party labels make it much easier to vet candidates. A candidate who identifies as Republican would likely know area Republicans who could tell you about the candidate.
Run conservative slates of board candidate, not individual campaigns. A few years ago, conservative activist Mike Geller ran for the board. His opponents mounted a campaign of person attacks that he struggled to overcome. They accused Mike of everything you can imagine, and he was left alone to fight against all those entrenched progressives. Running a slate of like-minded candidates gives you strength in numbers, pools money for more effective campaigning, and gives the leftists a more hardened target.
Focus elections on taxpayers without kids currently in school. I know parents will be the most passionate supporters, but fired-up parents will be small in number. When you have kids in school, you really don’t have time for politicking. Instead, focus on the massive number of people like me whose kids are grown. Empty nesters have the time and energy to get involved.
Pay attention to voting patterns in April elections. For some reason, conservatives tend to sit out April elections. It’s frustrating. Candidates for the Rockwood board need to knock on a lot of doors of voters who vote consistently in November elections but skip the Aprils. You can obtain data on voting patterns by talking to your Republican Township committee.
Organize parents and taxpayers to make school board elections their top priority, but treat elections as ideological tests. I learned the hard way during the height of the Tea Party that the enemy uses a divide-and-conquer strategy ruthlessly. The left will flood April ballots with outlandish initiatives to rile up conservatives. Because conservatives have diverse hot-buttons, we tend to split into small groups focused on that single issue. A better strategy is to treat the ballot as a slate, identify the perfect sample ballot, and work together to get out the vote. In other words, make every election an ideological test rather than an issue-by-issue debate. When you knock on doors about your hot-button, end with a reminder that there are other “equally critical” issues and offices at stake, and hand every voter a sample ballot that reflects our community values. show voters how to vote on every item on the ballot. Don’t assume they’re do research on their on.
Get Out the Vote: Again, April is when conservatives stay home. Emphasize voting over how to vote. In the Rockwood area, there’s about 65% chance the person you’re talking to will vote the right way if they bother to vote. A proven formulae to increase voter turnout is a series of three questions:
Do you see yourself fulfilling your civic duty by voting on April X?
What time of day do you plan to vote?
Where will you be coming from when you go to the polls?
Target influencers. The most influential people in your community are those who have a few loose relationship with many diverse clusters of people. People who are in one or two tight clusters actually have less influence than people on the fringes of many clusters. (See chapter 1 of Connected by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler for more.) Think of people who show up occasionally at many group meetings. They’re not the leaders but lightly involved. These people can influence multiple clusters in ways people within the core of the clusters cannot. (This relates to point 7.)
Temper your emotions. An election does not determine your worth. You cannot control what other people do. Control your own actions and treat the outcome as indifferent. Your side wins, so be it. You lose, so be it. Virtue does not depend on outcomes. Focus on virtue and excellence, not results. Results are the measure of virtue and excellence.
Time is Not On Your Side as a Parent
You don’t have much time, so I’ll ask one more question: would you rather raise kids to be rich or virtuous?
I’m not saying the two are mutually exclusively. I’m asking, if you had to choose would you rather die knowing your raised kids who became rich or kids who exuded virtue?
School districts like Rockwood like to talk about “excellence” a lot. It’s in the the pamphlets school board candidates leave on your door. Excellent buildings, excellent teachers, excellent this, excellent that.
But, did you know that excellence is downstream of virtue? Think about it. Would you call Hitler an excellent dictator? Stalin an excellent monster? Darrell Brooks Jr. an excellent parade murderer?
No. We don’t associate excellence with evil. Excellence is a good, and it’s pursuit is a necessary ingredient to virtue.
How often does your kids’ school push virtue on them? How would your children define virtue? Are your high schoolers learning the philosophy that introduced the idea of virtue? It’s not Christian in origin, so it’s legal to talk about in school.
Do your kids know Plato and Aristotle? Do they know Aquinas? Do they know what those geniuses had to say about virtue?
What about the Stoics? Do you high schools get exposed to Epictetus and Seneca? Do they learn about humility?
“But, Hennessy,” you say, “they need to be learning about math and science, not philosophy.” Oh, yeah? Well, they’re not learning math or science when they’re learning that whiteness is root the of all evil, are they? They’re not learning much math or science when they’re reading the filth I blogged about last night, are they?
With half their school days eaten up by “specials,” there’s plenty of time for a little Epictetus. And without philosophy, math and science have no application. We teach our children math and science so they can apply to virtuous pursuits. We teach them well so they can excel in applying skills, but unless they’re pursuing virtue their proficiency as engineers will just make sure the trains get to the concentration camps on time!
Do you want to leave the world rich, proficient, and skilled little commies? What kind of world will your grandchildren inherit if your kids grow up to be the people their schools want them to become?
Pursuit of Virtue Sets You Free
Do you ever feel trapped in your present location? Do you ever feel trapped by the need to make more money every year? To have a perfect lawn? To drive the right car? To get your kids in seventeen different extracurricular activities?
Do you ever wonder it would be like to live more simply? Never to have to compete with the birthday parties the Wilsons throw their kids or the remodeling job the Johnsons did or the car your next-door neighbor just bought?
Do you ever wonder if anyone’s teaching your kids about virtue?
What would happen if you took your kids out of the schools and homeschooled them?
“I can’t afford it. We need two incomes.”
Why do you need two incomes?
“To pay our bills.”
Why are your bills so high?
“We live in one of the best school districts around. It’s expensive.”
Why can’t you move somewhere cheaper?
“We moved here for the schools.”
That’s the typical circular argument I get all the time.
Do you not realize that money has enslaved you?
If you teach your kids at home, you can sell your expensive house in the recognized school district and buy something cheaper with lower taxes. Where you live suddenly becomes a non-issue.
So someone has to stay home to homeschool your kids. So what? You won’t need the second income when you’re living a rural school district that doesn’t attract people who think their primary job as parents is to raise rich kids.
Don’t know how to teach kids? Simple. There are plenty of truly excellent home-schooling curricula available. Buy one. Join a home-schooling co-op and share the expense. Supplement the curriculum you choose with lessons on values like hard work, humility, and, of course, excellence.
Build your children’s lives on a foundation of the pursuit of virtue and the practice of excellence so you know, whatever they do for a living, they will drip with virtue and excellence.
You might have to move. You might have fewer luxuries and conveniences. But the books on virtue remind us that wealth can be hinderance, never a boon, to virtue.
The schools lack virtue. Proficiency without virtue usually leads to efficient evil. That’s not what you want your children to do.
And it’s money that’s holding you back. The love of money. A disordered belief that money is happiness. It’s not.
Happy, like excellence, only comes from virtue.
Maybe It’s Not Too Late
Your kids have already been exposed to a lot of anti-virtuous propaganda. The seeds of hate have already been planted.
Your children could still be turned around and pointed toward the direction of virtue, but time is not on your side. You need to act soon.
You won’t fix the schools before they break your kids. And it’s not your job to fix them. The school system might have been torn down and started over. Maybe schools will be safe for your grandkids, but only if your kids are raised to pursue virtue.
It’s probably too late to save America’s public school system while your kids are still at home, but it’s not too late to rescue your kids from that behemoth. If enough people leave the system, the system will collapse on its own.
If you do decide to stay and fight, may God be with you. If you decide to save your children first, may God be with you.
Whichever your choose, make virtue, not money, the goal.
Excellent piece!! I am a retired school teacher of thirty years. I watched as Outcome Based Education, No Child Left Behind, then Common Core incrementally rotted out our school systems, as everything BUT educating our children became the goal...all tied to $$$$$$$. About 5 years ago, I emailed my new State Rep(who had been in education) about what was going on on our university campuses...the indoctrination of our young people in Leftist ideology. He dismissed my plea for help in balancing liberal/conservative teachers. In a few short years, those indoctrinated students, many of whom are teachers in our public schools are totally on board with the claptrap put forth as curriculum for our children...pornography/the LGBTQ agenda disguised as Comprehensive Sex Ed, SEL, now CRT...on and on. Our culture...many of our young parents who have also been indoctrinated...are "all in" on the "glossy" description of what schools are up to. Too many of them would have no idea what you have so articulately stated about what is happening in education...and would probably take exception to your truths. Thank you for describing things so succinctly.
BTW...I attended that first Tea Party at the Arch...in '09(?) with you and Dana Loesch as coordinators/hosts. A lot of water under the bridge since then. God help us and God Bless America! We have a Republic, "if we can keep it."
I take a little bit of issue about people who “love” money. Yes, I want to have plenty of money, and I want my children to have successful careers where they make a good salary. Because money means security and safety. I don’t want them to have to worry about not making the rent, or not having money for groceries, or choosing not to have a second child because it’s too expensive.
Not all people “love” money for superficial reasons.