The Time for Fathers to Get Involved in Education is Now | Opinion

Just a couple of years ago, no one would have predicted that education would be a top issue galvanizing voters. But thanks to the grassroots movement of parent activists that began to surge around this time last year, education is on the ballot this November.

The payoff of these brave parents' efforts has been huge. From Governor Glenn Youngkin's victory in Virginia last November to the recall of three woke school board members in deep blue San Francisco earlier this year, the parental choice movement has taken root from coast to coast and shows no signs of abating any time soon.

In fact, the movement is only getting stronger. Unlike the common core years, when parent activists tended to be single-issue focused, this new coalition is adaptable and ready to tackle numerous issues head on, including critical race theory, social-emotional learning, and curriculum transparency. This movement has what it takes to stick around not just for the 2022 election, but far beyond.

Key to its longevity, however, is the vigorous and unapologetic participation of fathers.

Unfortunately, it has become popular in recent decades to diminish and even vilify the critical role of fathers in raising, protecting, and advocating for their children. This narrative has been bolstered by the feminist movement and propagated by various bad actors in the media, politics, and popular culture. Questions that were once unthinkable ("are fathers necessary?" and "are fathers dispensable?") began to crop up in recent years. There's no telling how many fathers have grown despondent or how many young men have been turned off from fatherhood in a culture that tells them dads are unimportant and expendable.

Los Angeles public school
Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles, California, September 10, 2021. - Children aged 12 or over who attend public schools in Los Angeles will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the start of next year, city education chiefs said September 9, 2021, the first such requirement by a major education board in the United States. Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images

Weirdly enough, at the same time that fatherhood is being belittled, our society has become all too willing to turn a blind eye to absentee fathers. Many argue that a mother is better off raising her child alone than with a man who cannot be bothered and never wanted kids in the first place. Absentee fatherhood is a real crisis in our country, but we cannot risk perpetuating it by denigrating fatherhood and the essential role fathers play in their children's lives.

Instead of wrongly maligning good dads and being lenient with those who fail to live up to their fatherly duties, we should be empowering dads across the nation to take charge and be guides for their children. We should be reminding them of, and encouraging them in, their traditional role of providing for, protecting, and guiding their children.

When it comes to the parental choice movement in education, this call to action could not be more urgent. Teachers' unions, special interest groups, and corrupt politicians are content for kids to learn as early as Kindergarten that they differ from their classmates based on the color of their skin. This trio doesn't mind if harmful, unscientific gender ideology creeps into classroom lessons, either. As fathers, we should not stand for anyone other than us, the parents, raising our kids.

To my fellow fathers, the time to take back the narrative and get involved in our children's education is now. As a father of one amazing little boy and another on the way, I am eager to help wrest education from the grasp of bureaucrats and power-hungry politicians who could care less about what happens to our kids. If fathers don't take full control of raising our children, teachers' unions, politicians, and special interest groups will happily do it for us.

What the parental choice movement has been able to accomplish over the span of a year is remarkable, but there is still much work to be done. Parents, especially dads, cannot let the momentum fizzle out now. Just imagine how much more we could accomplish if we fully embrace our fatherly duty of being our kids' biggest advocates.

Adam Brandon is the president of FreedomWorks.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.