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LETTER: Fauquier County parent warns against ‘thought police’ in local schools

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LETTER: A letterbox with the inscription Letter to the editor

Imagine if all school curriculum was dictated by our Virginia elected officials. Where the Virginia Department of Education, senators, delegates, and school boards controlled exactly what teachers could teach and even what they could say in the classroom. No dissenting views. No minority or unpopular opinions could be expressed. No review process, no arguments, no variance.

Sounds pretty dystopian, doesn’t it? Almost an anathema to the independent character and self-determination that founded our state and our county. Fauquier is a county founded on innovation and individual liberty. Jefferson, who lived just down the road, started the radical idea that our new nation would be made more prosperous and democracy would grow stronger if every child received an education at the public’s expense.

From the brave teachers in one-room schools to education innovators today, Fauquier County has relied on our professional teachers to manage their curriculum and teaching styles and chafed when too many impositions, like SOLs and SQLs, dictate too much of what teachers spend their time on, pulling them away from teaching a broader curriculum.

Unfortunately, there are those trying to impose a standardized curriculum that doesn’t allow our trained educators control over what is taught in schools. They are certain they know what is best for our students and demand school systems do what they say. Then everyone would learn the correct story of our nation, and we would come together and unite without opposition.

It may surprise you to learn that the party planning to impose its will universally on the teachers of Fauquier County, the party that wants to monitor everything teachers say and do, the party that wants teachers and administrators to inform on each other, to cancel teachers who veer off-script and teach uncomfortable subjects like history and free thinking, is the party of Glenn Youngkin, the Republican Party of Virginia.

In its all-out war on the mythical threat of “critical race theory'' or CRT, it has advocated for total control over the classroom. When asked what CRT is, where it is taught, and how learning an accurate and inclusive history of our country and our county can possibly injure students, all the GOP can do is recycle tired talking points from its outrage factories. If the GOP gets to dictate what local teachers and schools can teach, what is its next target? Will all critical reasoning and thinking be outlawed in favor of a unified narrative we have to adhere to?

Why does Glenn Youngkin want to impose his thought police on our school teachers? What type of authoritarian control will he impose next? If you care about an education system free of control by politicians and extremists, vote Democrat in November.

—Mike Hammond

New Baltimore

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