Log In

Reset Password

Opinion: Loudoun County is ground zero in parental rights movement

Since it became the center of a movement for parents demanding a say in what their children were being taught in public school, Loudoun County, Virginia, has become ground zero for the parental rights effort across the land.

The wave has grown unbelievably fast, with parents raising concerns over issues ranging from controversial curriculum and social issues to COVID mandates. Glenn Youngkin’s stunning victory in the Virginia gubernatorial election last fall showed that parents have also become a political force, striking fear among Democrats heading into the midterm elections.

A number of parents and educators held a rally last week in Loudoun County, mapping out new strategy regarding educational transparency. Darrell Jones, president of the Herzog Foundation, a Christian-based nonprofit that hosted the gathering, told the gathering that their energy in Loudoun County is evident and that if parents can win in a former Democratic stronghold like Loudoun, they can win anywhere.

A new resource being deployed for parents is a podcast called “Making The Leap.” In it, Chris Stigall, a co-host at last week’s rally, joins his wife, Christine, a former teacher, to discuss the many issues facing today’s parents, including the private education option.

Loudoun County’s groundbreaking parents’ movement has spawned numerous others from coast to coast. One of the largest, Moms for Liberty, is a Florida-based group that claims nonpartisanship, but maintains it’s grounded in “conservative values.”

The Washington Post described it as an organization that is “channeling a powerful frustration among conservative mothers.”

Last November, Jennifer Pippin, the chairman for Moms for Liberty in Indian River County, which includes Vero Beach, alerted her school board to several books found in school libraries, suggesting that they may be against the Florida Law to protect children from pornography.

“There’s no educational value to children reading about rape, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, sexually explicit content, or sexual acts,” Pippin said. “The statutes are in place to protect children from the authors, publishers, and the people who want to sexualize children. What adults do behind closed doors is their own business. Parents have the final say in what’s best for their children.”

Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice, founding members of Moms for Liberty, have drawn criticism from the left because of the organization’s opposition to things like mask mandates and the nationwide effort to pull certain books from school libraries.

In a recent interview, Justice said she thinks that the biggest issue plaguing public education right now is a lack of transparency and that parents need to know what children are learning, who is teaching them and what values are being taught at school. She also considers the failure of American schools to address basic failures such as math and literacy to be the biggest national security threat in America.

Justice said the parents also have the right to know about the union interference and government bureaucracy that is keeping innovation from happening in their children’s district. She feels that federal government needs to get out of the way and let their states run education through their elected local representatives and school boards.

Despite a constant barrage of criticism from the left, the ranks of Moms for Liberty are soaring. The group has attracted 70,000 members representing 168 chapters in 35 states.

Descovich and Justice hope to recruit more parents and make education a key issue for voters by the midterm elections in November.

The Loudoun County parents’ movement has impacted education in a way no one expected, and that kind of parental fervor petrifies liberals steered by a leftist social agenda.

By Jim Zbick | tneditor@tnonline.com

The foregoing opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or Times News LLC.