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October 5, 2021

Don’t remain in the dark about public education

By Jay Pinsky

I want to thank Michael Hammond for achieving what the late great scientist Albert Einstein proved was, so far, only theoretically possible: Time travel.

On Oct. 1, Mr. Hammond, a local voice for the Fauquier County Democratic Committee, wrote a letter entitled “Prevent extremists’ control of public education,” which quite effectively and vividly sent me back to 1981 when I was 8 years old.

Why 8 years old? Well, that would have been the latest time of my life that I would have been gullible enough to believe the following nonsense Mr. Hammond wrote: “It may surprise you to learn that the party planning to impose its will universally on the teachers of Virginia, the party that wants to monitor everything teachers say and do, the party that wants teachers and administrators to “narc” on each other, and to cancel teachers who veer off-script and teach unpopular but patriotic subjects such as history and free inquiry is the party of Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia GOP.”

Let me rewrite Mr. Hammond’s words through the filter of an adult instead of an unsuspecting child without the spin, fear-mongering and divisive rhetoric intended to incite you to rally against Glenn Youngkin.

Here is what Mr. Hammond wrote as interpreted by a reasonable adult: “Undecided voters and subordinate followers of the Democratic Party, please allow me to warn you about the movement by Republicans. They want to facilitate the transparency of publicly-funded education to enable parents of publicly funded children to review curricula and be partners in the process of determining what publicly-funded employees teach their children. Furthermore, Republicans expect and want to verify through a chain of command accountability that publicly funded employees don’t veer off from the transparently reviewable curriculum to indoctrination in other agendas. Any employees who deviate from the curriculum have the opportunity to continue their teachings privately without the aid of publicly-funded resources.”

Note: The egregious use of the terms “patriotic subjects such as history and free inquiry” are nothing more than sensationalized rhetoric and thus omitted from any adult rewrite.

Later in his letter, I agree with Mr. Hammond when he wrote, “The ability to examine the evidence and think for oneself – that is surely one of the essentials of being American.” In that bipartisan spirit and based on this adult version of part of Mr. Hammond’s editorial, please, decide for yourself if you want transparency and accountability of public education or if you’d prefer to remain in the dark and be told by the likes of Terry McAuliffe that parents have no role in determining what is taught to their children.
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