GOP’s Parental Rights Campaign Hides Behind Extremism

The Gold Dome.

This year Republicans and their allies are running for school boards on the platform of “Parental Rights.”  It sounds like a well-intentioned slogan but only because it hasn’t been clearly defined for voters.

These far-right groups have been running coordinated campaigns to overtake our local school boards for three years. Under the guise of “parental rights”, these groups purposely disrupt meetings, and they intentionally intimidate and harass teachers, librarians, school officials, and other parents.

Their “Parent’s Rights” campaign reminds me of the historical State’s rights doctrine. It’s a convenient and catchy slogan to cover for their extreme policies. I believe strongly in parental rights and so do the candidates we support. I am a parent of two boys and when a small minority want to remove books from the library that I want my boys to have access to, I keep asking, “Where are my parental rights?”

I want to hear more about our parental freedom!

Freedom to send our kids to school in an America that doesn’t ban books.  Eleven people were responsible for 60% of all book challenges in 2021 and 2022. Should a very small minority of people be able to affect our freedom to parent?

Let’s discuss Parental Freedom; freedom to send our children to schools staffed with highly qualified teachers. Since the inception of the “parental rights” campaign, we are seeing extreme teacher shortages across the nation.  States like Florida have been forced to lower credential standards and qualifications just to staff their public schools.

Where is the Parental Freedom to know our children are taught real, accurate history? The freedom to know our kids are learning about the Trail of Tears, slavery, and important figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Anne Frank. They want to whitewash our history because their children may feel uncomfortable?  I want the freedom as a parent to allow my children to feel the discomfort that comes with learning true American history, even when it is difficult. I want the freedom to allow my children to feel uncomfortable when they learn that some of our greatest human atrocities have occurred in recent history.  Facing these difficult truths allows for us to feel empathy, compassion, and yes, even guilt. It allows us to feel collectively responsible so we don’t allow these things to happen again.  This is not about blaming or shaming our children.  This is about my parental freedom to allow my children to know that discomfort, and teach them how to use it to ensure a better future.

Parental Freedom to not be harassed and called names like groomer for supporting the first amendment and oppose book banning. And we want parental freedom for our teachers and librarians not to be called groomers. Not only is it dangerous and abhorrent but it also relates directly to our parental freedoms to have qualified teachers by not scaring our best and brightest away from teaching or being a librarian in public schools.

Parental freedom to know my children are safe at school but also that they feel safe at school. I want to know that my Parental Freedoms include a school that takes bullying seriously. I want to know that when bullying does happen, the school will provide the appropriate space for resolution, as well as mental health services if it is deemed necessary.  How many of these new “Parental Rights” school board majorities have declined to enforce the disciplinary actions recommended by their own school Administrators?  What is this bizarre ideological policy they have been taught by moms for liberty?

We recently moved back to my home town of Oakland, NJ where I previously served as a republican on the council. The town we moved back to is very different from the town we left in 2006. The same is true for the school district.  Oakland is part of the Ramapo Indian Hills School district known as the FLOW towns (Franklin Lakes, Oakland, Wyckoff). Recently the Board voted to discontinue mental health services for students. This was the work of the new Majority elected on the “Parent’s rights” platform.

Demonstrating the power of the public and their support of mental health services this action was soon reversed but their true colors were revealed. They did not come up with this idea themselves, they got the idea from the groups that helped them get elected. This was taken directly from Mom’s for Liberty playbook..

Recent Moms for Liberty Twitter (or now X)  account

“Mental health care is health care Mr. President

That’s why it has NO place in public schools.” #ParentalRights

Notice the hashtag #ParentalRights: Somehow policies to deprive our students that are struggling mentally they consider “Parental Rights”.  Ask the many NJ parents that are grieving from the loss of their child to suicide if they believe in this version of “Parental Rights”. Or would they have preferred parental freedom to send their child to a school that supports all the students when they have mental challenges.

Every year approximately 7,126  young people age 10-24 die by suicide annually. To offer some perspective, according to Forbes, the average US high school has 850 students. This means that our nation is losing over 8 entire high schools of children to suicide annually.

This is the same district that lost their superintendent and business administrator in the same year since the new “Parental Rights” majority has taken over. Like many other districts that have new “Parental Rights” majorities, disciplinary actions requested by the professional principal’s and superintendents were not enforced by the board. Why? Was it an ideological belief that our schools were better when bullying ran rampant with no consequences?

So far in NJ Parental Rights campaign’s have been organized and funded by groups like Moms for Liberty (Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group). NJ Republicans don’t even hide their coordination with this hate group. On Thursday August 17th The Bergen County Republican hosted a Mom’s for Liberty Chapter meeting. Kind of reminds me of the states rights groups in the south in the 60’s hosting chapter meetings with (I’ll let you fill in the blank with what you are thinking).

Bottom line is our state is being inundated with groups like Moms for Liberty from Florida creating a circus environment on our school boards. They share ideology with NJ groups like NJ rise, Jersey fresh and other names that keep popping up. But their values are the same and they make no secret about preferring policies similar to Florida public Schools to those here in NJ. Which model would you prefer? Take a look at national state rankings.

Education Truth Project was created to protect our public schools from extremists that seek to destroy it. And here is NJ, a coalition of outsiders working with NJ groups are working to destroy our valued public schools with the goal to privatize them or make them more like Florida Schools.

These groups have created a circus atmosphere on school board’s across our state pinning neighbor against neighbor. Residents screaming and harassing teachers and board members is now the norm. Education Truth Project wants to help elect board members that are there for our students and not to carry out a social agenda. Our School board meetings should be boring again and focusing on our students progress and not debating national social issues.

We implore our allies running for State Legislature and School Board to not avoid the issue of Parental Rights but expose their interpretation and Champion a true Parental Freedom movement that is not hateful, divisive, and most importantly protects our excellent school districts and its students.

Matthew Kazmierczak

Founder/Executive Director

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18 responses to “GOP’s Parental Rights Campaign Hides Behind Extremism”

  1. ZNet
    20h ·
    #KenBank delves into the current struggle in US schools over LGBTQ-inclusive curriculums, rooted in decades-old battles of cultural acceptance. From the reactionary “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida to the divisive climate in New Jersey’s local politics, the narrative showcases the dangerous weaponization of democracy and citizen participation. It’s not just about education—it’s about the soul of our society. Dive into this essential read:

  2. I stopped taking you seriously when you disingenuously called the removal of age inappropriate material from schools a “book ban.” If you want your kids to read graphic sexual material you can give that to them at home.

    I’d love someone to come out and argue this subject genuinely.

  3. Hey, Matthew Kazmierczak! Your article stinks of the same ignorant, fact anemic, pedophilia peddling, communist subterfuge that is right along the standard line your dishonest and subjective political views usually hold. The fact of the matter is that even many schools are now fighting back against permanently damaging, sexual, and LGBTQ indoctrination that is being forced upon young minds. You’re a sick, leftist, democrat shill who is not interested in honest reporting, but simply pushing your own agenda…what a surprise.

  4. This article exposes what the radical left
    In this nation wants to accomplish by
    controlling education from kindergarten
    To college. If they are able to shut the door
    on parents ability to know what their kids
    are learning it is a slippery slope where they
    are told to shut up and pay your taxes to
    support the teachers unions and we will decide
    what your kids will be taught.
    It’s the start of the march to the eventual end
    to liberals nirvana…….Marxism.

  5. The 800 lb. gorilla in the room:

    The frontal lobe of the human brain, the reasoning and decision-making part, is not fully developed until 25 years of age. Pushing a sexualized agenda, the LGBTQ+ homosexual agenda, and pushing the transgender agenda on school age children from 1-17 years of age, and on college students from 18-23, constitutes child sexual abuse, child abuse, pedophilia, pornography, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and terrorism.

    Criminal law says that children are to not be exposed to sexual abuse, pedophilia, pornography, or any other perversion by adults or through the school system by adults. The NJ Constitution says taxpayers are entitled to a thorough and efficient education for their children, which means the best possible curriculum in reading, writing, math, US History, World History, English, the Arts, and the sciences. Pushing sexually perverted propaganda such as the LGBTQ+ and transgender curricula is not only educational malpractice, tax fraud, and child abuse, it is criminal theft by deception & fraud, theft of honest services by public officials (including those teachers in the NJEA), etc.

    Anyone forcing this perverted child sexual abuse and pornography on our children through the use of the schools should be removed immediately, fired, charged with child abuse and child sexual abuse, jailed for long periods and put on a Child Sex Abuse Registry.

  6. I’ve never heard so much liberal drivel in my life. Book banning? Really. No one said books should be banned, but there are books inappropriate for children that should not be in school libraries. Parents have a right to shield their children from inappropriate, perverse material. The school districts and the NJEA don’t get to decide, parents do. The bottom line which Mr.Kazmierczak avoids is that public schools are failing in their mission to teach our children the skills they need to make good decisions, hold a job and compete in the global marketplace. Matt, just look at American test scores!

  7. As a member of one of these extreme groups of mothers, I just want to say you sound like a fool. We do not need or want the approval of the state in teaching our children ideology, sexuality, or morals. The government that extorts money from its people under the guise of property tax. The government that forced people to take an unvetted vaccine to keep their jobs. The government does not care about our children the way we do. Leave our kids alone.

  8. The nasty comments here say it all – no one is pushing pornography on your children . Nj has one of the best educational programs in the country . I trust educators to do their jobs and do not want my children to be subjected to the ideas or values of another parent who clearly but the comments here do not support the morals and values I am teaching my children . Thanks Matthew for summing up this movement so perfectly

  9. New Jersey does not have one of the best educational programs in the country. Many New Jerseyans polled say that our state’s educational system has been faltering and going on the downturn for the past 10 years. Heck, we can’t even graduate inner city high school seniors with an 8th grade education in reading and math. Many students being pushed through the “edumacation” system aren’t qualified for work in the real world, let alone getting into college or vocational schools.

    Now the NJ Dept. of Ed and the NJEA are pushing Marxist propaganda in the form of CRT race-baiting propaganda curriculum and child sexually abusive perverted LBGTQ+ and Transgender Agenda. This is all anathema to parental rights, and violates biology and mental health protocols. Study after study, all peer reviewed, show that the human brain frontal lobe, the decision-making and reasoning part of the brain, isn’t fully developed until 25 years of age. Pushing sexually perverted propaganda and race-baiting agendas on school children is child sexual abuse, and child abuse, respectively. Every educator and education administrator that proposes/pushes these malicious propaganda programs needs to be fired, criminally charged and convicted of child abuse and child sexual abuse, serve long jail terms and be put on a Child Sexual Abuse Registry for life, never to be able to be around children in any setting.

  10. Most of the Democrat-Socialist writers that opine and comment in support of LGBTQ+ and Transgender Agenda, along with CRT< are pedophiles and child sex abusers. They need to be put on a Child Sex Abuse Registry ASAP!

  11. Thank you Matthew for speaking out and educating those who may not be following this issue closely. There is a nationwide teacher shortage and NJ is impacted as well. Classroom teachers and librarians are doing their best each day to prepare our future citizens. Many of the comments here reflect the pressure that educators are under. Notably in Florida when the governor put through extreme restrictions on what can and cannot be taught, stripping classrooms and libraries of books that don’t meet his narrow view of our society and accurate history Black churches are now teaching a curriculum to expose their young people to accurate American history. Synagogues and other churches are actively looking to adopt this curriculum as well. Let’s not go the way of Florida. and BTW parents have always had rights that do not stop at the classroom door.

  12. I find it interesting that one writer here says that Black Churches are now teaching a curriculum to expose their young people to “accurate American history”. Please identify what that “accurate” American History is. I do not see a curriculum that teaches “accurate” American History other than a program to brainwash children with racism, race-baiting and racial hatred towards the whites.

    Many Americans are taught about how blacks have contributed to American History. There were blacks in the Revolutionary War that fought against the British. There were black high-level officers that fought for the Union under General U.S. Grant during the Civil War. There were the black Buffalo Soldiers that fought the Indians, then in the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, etc. There were the Tuskegee Airmen who flew fighter escorts for giant bomber formations over Germany in the super fast P-51 Mustangs during WWII. They even shot down German jet fighters which were 100 mph faster. Blacks contributed to commerce and blacks as well. Yes, there were a lot of accomplishments by Blacks, which we all learned in school as well. So, you can’t tell me that there’s an “accurate” assessment of U.S. History being taught if it is racist in nature against whites. Let’s remember, it was white Europeans that founded this country, fought for it as Americans, and built up the greatest industrial power and most advanced nation on Earth.

    We are not here to tear that down and advance a politically-correct narrative bent on racism and racist policies against whites. We see enough of this garbage by the current U.S. President calling over 100 MILLION Americans MAGA Extremists that are a danger to our nation. That’s over 60% of the voting population–and it includes Blacks!!!!!

  13. Over the past couple of years, so-called Parents’ Right advocates have attacked NJ’s Sex Ed curriculum. Hoping to pick up seats in Trenton, NJ Republicans have jumped on this band wagon.
    However, while Republicans are talking up Parents’ Rights, they ‘re more likely to change the subject when it comes to discussing a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. Not one statehouse Republican voted for the 2022 Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, which Statehouse Dems passed and Governor Murphy signed to codify these rights in the Garden State the same year that SCOTUS struck down Roe.
    Many Republicans also don’t want to talk about gun safety. Maybe that’s because, while NJ Democrats have been passing gun safety legislation, Republicans have instead been offering bills that would increase the number of bullets in gun magazines and trying to repeal a law that prevents domestic abusers and those deemed mentally unstable from possessing firearms.
    Despite all the Parents’ Rights hype, state records show only 3% of NJ public school parents chose to opt their children out of Sex Ed in 2023. Recent polls also show most NJ residents support abortion rights and stronger gun safety laws.
    Facts matter: This Nov. 7, ignore the hype and focus on the facts when you vote.

  14. In response to Amy’s post, New Jersey would
    be blessed by God to have Ron DeSantis instead
    of Marxist Murphy..

  15. Nomoremarxists, name one high ranking black officer that served under Grant? How about teaching what happened to black veterans when they returned from the war? How they were denied basic benefits at best, in many cases heroes were massacred for being “upity” when they returned from serving in segregated units. Read up on the Elaine massacre.

  16. Whoever thinks that NJ schools have been doing well has no idea and has zero statistics to back up that comment.

    We are declining rapidly. We are also struggling to keep our children in school and away from drugs. If you want to talk about protecting children, look at the amount of drug addiction that has been happening in all of NJ schools. Children are overdosing and overwhelmingly exposed to drugs even in their own schools.

    Who has time for anything else but to protect the kids from these drugs that are in our towns and school buildings. That’s what you need to be worried about. You can blame that on mental health if you want or you can actually use your “knowledge” and figure out why and how these drugs are getting into our schools. No one needs to read books about giving blow jobs and hand jobs. That’s a book that was banned last year. It was in NJ schools for 1 year. It’s still in some school libraries. Banned books back in the day were political books banned by the gov, to try and hide the truth… but now the SAME government is allowing all these books to come to light and only removing them IF a parent speaks up. The lower socioeconomic districts who have parents that aren’t proficient in English and probably have no idea what their kids are learning in school, have been fooled for years now with the ‘pornographic material ‘ that you till this day don’t want to admit is in schools. You can turn a blind eye all you want but you won’t have our kids. Worry about yours and homeschool them if you have an issue with public/private education.

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