Moms for Liberty

When I read a parent’s proposal for rating books in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District, I wanted to know more and read about the organization she represents in Charlotte, Moms for Liberty. Here is the pledge for Moms for Liberty: “I pledge to honor the fundamental rights of parents including, but not limited to the right to direct the education, medical care, and moral upbringing of their children. I pledge to advance policies that strengthen parental involvement and decision-making, increase transparency, defend against government overreach, and secure parental rights at all levels of government.”

Now, I take seriously any pledge, but not all pledges are equal in their believer’s advancement of the common good. For instance, in the above pledge, what is stated in it that is not already readily available to any parent who has the desire and love needed to  “direct” the upbringing of his or her child? If a parent objects to an assigned book, all school systems have a procedure for a parent to opt out a child for that assignment. If a parent objects to a book in a school library that he or she has read, school districts have elected school boards, administrators, and librarians to whom a parent can voice his or her objection. What parent, who is doing the tough work of parenting, needs a pledge or group in order to parent his or her child? The pledge asks a signer “to advance policies that strengthen parental involvement[in the life of a child]” What policy or policies can do that? A parent parents whether a policy to such an end exists or not. This part of the pledge gives the impression that by signing it, one becomes an involved parent. Finally the pledge gets to “government overreach,” and the signer’s need to defend against that in order to “secure parental rights at all levels of government.” Yet I must ask what government at any level in America is taking away any parental right? In all jurisdictions any parent can exert his or her parental rights. The presence of a particular book in a school system does not prevent a parent from exercising his or her “moral upbringing of their children.”

This pledge and its group is redundant. Everything stated in the pledge already exists in our Republic on every level of government. As a college professor suggests in the above-mentioned article, the best way for a parent to be involved is to read and discuss books with his or her child. Even the high schoolers, as difficult as that may be. Talk about the good and the not-so-good of all assigned books. Explain any objections and compliments to a book. As the professor says, this is the best way to influence a child.

The group’s name is troubling—Moms for Liberty. The Charlotte mom wants to rank every book by what she says is an objective calculus. But that cannot be because we all have our own measurements and when one group begins to decide about books for us all that leads to overreach. Moms for Liberty! Whose Liberty, I ask.

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