Thursday, June 30, 2022

Op-Ed: Criminalizing constituents

| October 8, 2021 1:00 AM

I read with alarm Kaye Thornbrugh's article, "COVID chaos linked to widespread school board resignations" in the Tuesday, Oct. 5 Coeur d'Alene Press. Many school board members around our state and nation are calling for the investigation of their public critics.

Terms such as "domestic terrorists" are used by these elected officials to describe their critics. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the highest law enforcement official in the United States, has announced that the FBI will aggressively investigate such critics as if they were members of the KKK.

Yes, as shockingly out of proportion as it seems, federal law enforcement will now investigate parents and citizens who are exercising their Constitutional rights to engage with their most local form of government.

Citizens and parents are trying to reclaim control of our public schools from those who gave us "Critical Race Theory" by any other name and analogues to our local "Social and Emotional Learning" program.

The criminalization of political speech and action proceeds apace! It is not enough that so many board members behave as if their critics are peasants with torches and pitchforks coming to storm their castle. It is not sufficient that public schools have decades of institutional inertia which will resist any public attempt to take schools away from the "experts."

Now, these critics are to be investigated by an FBI that itself has been revealed to be led by highly political agents such as Peter Strzok and Lisa Paige.

I do understand that many good school board members are resigning. I know enough about one local board member who has resigned to say that we've lost a woman of great talent and integrity. I also comprehend that in the heat of debate, invective can become painfully incandescent. Many board members did not sign up to be at the heart of a political firestorm. I sympathize with these good people.

For our part, as citizens there are better ways of expressing our determination than the kinds of sloppy language that can be willfully misinterpreted as a threat. Because our society closed its large-scale mental health facilities more than 30 years ago, there are those among us who are genuinely dangerous.

Given this reality, let us speak clearly and with conviction that we are engaged in a political fight that we intend to win. We have no need for, or intent to, physically or personally intimidate anyone. Our chosen words should be such that they could not be honestly misconstrued by any fair-minded person.

However, our schools are being turned into indoctrination centers where "whiteness" is punished, "colonialism" is purged, "gender" is fluid, and any cultural or religious traditionalism is rejected as nothing less than evil.

Innocent elementary students are being violated by premature sexualization, caused by the increasingly bizarre gender politics of the extreme Left. High school students are being taught that they are guilty of their ancestors' "crimes;" "crimes" such as the establishment of the USA.

Everyone suffers as ideological standards of purity replace meritocratic academics and acceptable speech is narrowed to Stalinist standards of political correctness.

The "experts" have betrayed their public trust by giving our children over to fanatics who are now openly working to demolish a recognizable America and build their Communist utopia in its place. If freedom is to continue, this all must be stopped!

School boards are where parents and citizens can most effectively act to return schools to the job of acculturating coming generations into our shared Western Civilization. I must say to school board members near and far, people like me are in fact coming for your elected office.

This is not a physical threat! This is not terrorism! This is civic engagement. We invite you to join us in removing Marxist Agit-Prop from our schools. Remember, they are in fact our schools. You can expect nothing but our best efforts to unseat you electorally if you insist on defending this indefensible status quo.

• • •

In Maine and then Idaho, Ralph K. Ginorio has taught the history of Western Civilization to high school students for nearly a quarter century. He is an “out-of-the-closet” Conservative educator with experience in special education, public schools and charter schools, grades 6-12. He has lived in Coeur d’Alene since 2014. Email:

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