Sens. Tommy Tuberville and Katie Britt of Alabama joined Sens. Ted Budd of North Carolina, Eric Schmitt of Missouri, and Roger Marshall of Kansas at the listening session, led by Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.
Eighteen parents from a number of states around the country sat around the table on Capitol Hill, and several of them spoke up to thank the senators for their efforts to fight back against woke education. They voiced concerns about the effects of not just gender ideology, but also leftist ethnic studies programs, the influence of the Chinese Communist Party, and new burdens placed on school districts by the immigration crisis the U.S. faces.
“One major issue is that parents want to know what is being taught. They want to be involved in this,” Neily said. “Districts now maintain what we call parental exclusion policies. As of this week, we’ve identified almost 1,100 school districts across the country … infecting almost 11 million children and saying parents do not have a right to know their child’s gender at school.”
She subsequently added: “We’re also concerned about immigration. This is placing new burdens on districts as migrants pour across the southern border. Recently in New York, the James Madison High School was forced to go remote while migrants were moved into the school, while in Chicago, families are angry that residents are required to provide vaccination records to enroll their child in public schools, yet migrants are allowed to enroll without such documents.”
One mother from California, Sonja Shaw, warned that ethnic studies is the next frontier for leftist activists, noting that in her state, ethnic studies are a requirement for graduating: “It’s a gateway for hatred. It’s a gateway to brainwash our children.”
Another mother, Wai Wah Chin from New York, addressed concerns from parents about the immigration crisis and how it is affecting both children and education. She said that she herself is an immigrant, adding, “A lot of the residents in New York happen to be immigrants, and we think that New York is a special place that can provide good education.”
She expressed fears about the way that migrants are being allowed into the country, warning: “This is impacting New York, but not just New York. In New York, we know that it is going to cost another $13 billion or so to take care of what has become like a small city of illegal migrants.”
“In this room right here, we’ll get away from having union meetings and have more about the real thing called education, and people like you brought here as witnesses,” Tuberville told the parents.
“It doesn’t happen up here, folks,” he added. “This is the facade. This is the icing on the cake. The cake is made in your neighborhoods. You control your neighborhoods; we don’t. Unfortunately, we hurt your neighborhoods, what goes on here.”
Tuberville urged the parents to continue to let lawmakers know what is going on, predicting that the country is at a breaking point when it comes to education, as well as with regard to other issues.
“They are the future,” he said of the children in American education systems. “They are the No. 1 commodity that we have. It’s our kids. It’s our kids. We gotta remember that. Some reason, a lot of people up here don’t understand that. So, thank you.”