Public school parents are now seeing firsthand what so many of us who have been fighting hard to take back our public schools from the radical left have been dealing with for years.

I want to be absolutely clear here, because this moment is critically important to not only the future of Texas public schools but Texas itself politically, as well as our children. Fringe-left Austin lobbyists, bureaucrats, and teacher unions took the Texas public school system hostage years ago and will fight with everything they’ve got to keep control of our schools and kids—even in so-called “conservative” towns like Southlake and Colleyville.

There are many reasons we all allowed it to happen right under our noses. First, many folks who saw what was going on years ago with the outright, unapologetic liberal indoctrination simply said “no thanks” and sent their kids to private school or homeschooled them. They checked out of the system straight away when they saw what was happening. And, really, who could blame them?

The real challenge that has enabled the liberal takeover is that most public-school parents inherently and rightfully want to be proud of their local schools and believe their child is receiving the best education possible. Most large districts, including mine, have professional marketing departments to promote this idea, even if the actual academic performance data tells a different story.

My own district has been declining for years academically, so we no longer “market” in terms of academic success or improvement but rather promote total nonsense like “social/emotional learning” and “personalized education” to move the goal posts on success criteria. It’s absolute garbage to rationalize, outright deflect, or obfuscate the data showing a school district clearly in decline because of poor liberal policy choices.

In the meantime, most of us have personal relationships with teachers and social ties with the Parent Teacher Association (a national liberal lobbying organization) and administrators. And other than sending your money to the liberal national PTA in D.C., there is absolutely nothing wrong with having great relationships with frontline educators and personally supporting them. In fact, we all should.

My own family can say the same. And while we’ve been deeply critical of district policies at times (like now), we have always supported our frontline educators.

Because we come from a family of public educators, we actually believe teachers should be paid more, and our district should compete for the best teachers and emphasize classroom teaching over “ed tech” and “self-learning”—which are brought to our schools by the public education lobbyists who take massive amounts of money from liberal technology giants like Google.

We should also spend far less on public school administration. Only about a third of total budget dollars end up in our classrooms, while Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s superintendent makes over $300,000 a year and Carroll ISD’s north of $500,000. That’s not to mention the intricate layers of other highly compensated administrators who also receive huge salaries and pensions at the expense of frontline educators.

What many parents/taxpayers fail to understand is just how insidious and politicized many of our public school districts have become because of the outsized influence of far-left bureaucrats (see the Texas Education Agency), liberal public education lobbyists, and teacher unions. And now with this school closure issue, you are finally seeing it firsthand and in technicolor.

These school closures have absolutely nothing to do with “science.” The actual science couldn’t be more clear that kids as a demographic class simply aren’t particularly vulnerable to the Chinese coronavirus. By way of blatant example, since the start of the so-called pandemic, there has been only a single reported fatality of any human being under 25 years old in all of Tarrant County—one of the largest urban areas in the country, with over 2 million residents.

As for teachers, certainly we need to protect our senior educators along with anyone (students or teachers) who has legitimate secondary health issues that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. But let’s be intellectually honest—that’s a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of Texas school children that these fringe left-wing lobbyists and unions are holding hostage by not allowing students to come back to school. And if you really believe these school closures are not for political reasons, well, then I have some Russian collusion to sell you.

Again, simply look at and evaluate the alphabet soup of bureaucrats, lobbyists, and unions with a hand in our public schools: TEA, TASB (Texas Association of School Boards), TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators), TSTA (Texas State Teachers Association), and a hundred more. Why? Because public education is a multibillion-dollar business and a war for the hearts and minds of our kids. And right now, the liberals are winning.

Friends, we have fully lost our public schools to the left. And regardless of if you are a public school, private school, or homeschool parent, it’s time to take them back, because as a society, we cannot afford to educate another generation of entitled, angry socialists like we are seeing destroying our cities every day, right now.

Please open your eyes, remove the rose-colored glasses, ignore the professionally marketed district propaganda and nonstop cheerleading, and take a cold, hard look at what is going on in our public schools right in our own front yards. And talk to your kids about what they are seeing and the social pressure they are under to not speak out by the cancel culture fascists.

In my own district, we have Marxist clubs on campus, armed drug dealers brazenly taking selfies in school cafeterias, sexual identity tests being administered to middle schoolers, and district-sponsored Black Lives Matter protests on taxpayer-funded school grounds.

Carroll ISD is currently dealing with BLM “demands,” including removing special resource officers from campuses that are there for no other reason than to protect our kids. Why? Because they want to “defund the police” and stuff. This nonsense is really going on, friends—right now—and we’re paying outrageous school property taxes to support it, including financially supporting the liberal lobbyists that are taxpayer-funded and hired by every one of our districts to lobby on their behalf with our taxes.

When does it become enough for you? At what point do we say we’ve had enough and actually do something about it? Or do we just continue to allow the liberal PTAs, Austin bureaucrats, lobbies, and unions to control our school districts, curriculum, and ultimately our own children?

There is no health threat to children or even most adults. Our kids belong in school, period. Let’s get our kids back in school now. Then let’s take our public school districts back from the radical, unhinged left and restore sanity to our public education system—before it’s too late.

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Chris Putnam

Chris Putnam is a former Colleyville City Councilman and congressional candidate for CD 12.