Concerned Parents Should be Heard, not Silenced

Democrat appeals for the resignation of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut would be laughable if not for the fact that they so perfectly typify the corrosive political climate that currently exists in our nation. In today’s America, parents’ legitimate concern for their children’s education constitutes a terrorist threat, freedom of choice is anathema, and conformity to the approved narrative is increasingly being enforced through big tech censorship, character assassination, and even police action.

Last Sunday, Commissioner Edelblut spoke to a group of concerned parents and grandparents at an informational event hosted by the Government Integrity Project (GIP).  Organizers described the event as “Empowering Parents & Taxpayers.” In addition to Commissioner Edelblut, the roster of speakers included a State Senator and at least three State Representatives, including the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Education Committee.

Democrats have responded with a flurry of attacks against Commissioner Edelblut, and are now demanding access to any documents that pertain to his presentation. Ostensibly, Democrats are taking issue with the GIP’s opposition to mask mandates in public schools, and their opposition to vaccine mandates, – positions that have led Democrats to characterize GIP as “a fringe group” that allegedly supports “anti-government actions”.

Interestingly, no one has elaborated on exactly which “anti-government actions” GIP has engaged in. News coverage cites GIP’s stated opposition to the $27 million federal grant, which would have compelled the State of New Hampshire to “comply with existing and/or future directives and guidance from the Secretary [of HHS] regarding control of the spread of COVID-19”. Given the Biden administration’s recent heavy-handed pronouncements with respect to vaccine mandates, it’s no surprise that opposition to the grant (with yet-to-be-determined strings attached) has been vigorous and widespread.

GIP holds that masks should be optional in schools, and that parents should decide what’s best for their own children. This isn’t a fringe position at all; in fact, it seems to be the majority opinion these days. Governor Sununu agrees; in August, he said “Listen to the individuals. This can’t be a top-down, government, one-size-fits-all. Washington tries that. They stink at it.” Does that make Chris Sununu a fringe anti-government extremist? Hardly.

Nor is GIP a “fringe group”; but unfortunately this is the world we live in today.  Citizen involvement seems to only be welcome when it doesn’t challenge the agenda promoted by big labor, big business and big government special interests.  The Democrats’ response?  Issue a statement of condemnation, call for the Commissioner’s resignation, and sprinkle in words like “fringe” and “extremist” for good measure.

Democrats and their union sponsors in big labor are working hard to limit citizens’ participation in public education. As parents’ and grandparents’ voices are being silenced, Commissioner Edelblut is championing open, constructive participation in the civic arena.  New Hampshire should be careful not to follow the same path that Merrick Garland’s DOJ, Loudon County Virginia, and others around the country have taken; nor should we bow to the Democrats’ demands to silence open dialogue.