At this time many school districts across the country are in the throes of whether to mandate masks or vaccinations for grammar-school children, frequently amid great controversy and heated debate. Even in school districts where the majority political ideology overrides biology, gatherings may be less contentious and fiery, yet the mama and papa bears will be heard.

Mama and Papa Bears vs. COVID Restrictions

By Renee Parsons

At this time many school districts across the country are in the throes of whether to mandate masks or vaccinations for grammar-school children, frequently amid great controversy and heated debate. Even in school districts where the majority political ideology overrides biology, gatherings may be less contentious and fiery, yet the mama and papa bears will be heard.

The issue is whether school districts, which are entrusted to educate children about the real world, have any legitimacy to override parental responsibility in mandating the CDC’s onerous COVID restrictions. Given the latest resurgence of COVID, school districts are being allowed to challenge sacrosanct parental rights as the state (i.e. school boards acting as CDC reps) claim undisputed authority to dictate public behavior. Barring a suspension of the Constitution, the question is, under what circumstance, and during what national emergency has the state any legitimate role to dictate the lives of American children. As in the case of mandating COVID restrictions, once the state asserts that authority, where does the CDC’s legally valid approbation of that child end.

The current mask/no mask debate opens the door to the contention that the state’s concept of ‘greater good’ allows its institutional authority into every nook and corner of American life; that every action of the state is justified to benefit the common good of the collective and, in this case, depends on the capitulation of parental instinct. That ‘greater good’ which takes precedence over every individual child’s distinct and separate right to American liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution, is nothing less than pure fascism.

In New Mexico, Democratic governor Michele Grisham, who has foisted some of the most contentious lockdown requirements on her citizens, has threatened one school board with removal. The Floyd, New Mexico board voted unanimously to allow each family to decide on the use of face masks, to allow each teacher to implement social distancing as necessary, and to end temperature tests for students and teachers. The board’s decision immediately incurred the governor’s wrath as a violation of New Mexico’s health guidelines with the State Public Education Department demanding that the board rescind its actions.

Meanwhile, just across the state line in Colorado, parents have been showing up in force across the state at school board hearings. In La Plata County, the 9R School District recently held a public ‘feedback’ session to address its COVID Mitigation Strategies including whether to accept the proposed 9R COVID Guidelines for 2021-22 school years as well as a survey to gauge parental support. Those guidelines, as identified by the CDC, contain the most egregious options for children including masking for unvaccinated students and staff, a ridiculously unenforceable physical distancing of three feet as well as isolation, contact tracing, and a targeted quarantine. While not yet requiring vaccinations for students 12 years and up, the possibility remains depending on whether a community 70% vaccination rate is achieved.

While over one hundred residents signed up to speak, almost half that number failed to appear. There is no way of knowing whether they were frightened or did not want to be identified as supporters of the COVID Guidelines. Of the number that did appear, seven medical personnel (including two pediatricians) spoke in favor of mandatory masks in what appeared to be a prearranged effort as they cheered and sat together in the auditorium. As true believers of the medical establishment, it was not startling to hear them assure the audience, without offering any forensic evidence, that masks were effective and safe. As providers of children’s health, they seemed oblivious to the fact that no peer-reviewed science supports the masking of children (or adults), along with an alarming lack of awareness of the physical and psychological effects on grammar school-age children. Without acknowledging that children are considerably less vulnerable to COVID than their parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently urged the FDA to ‘work aggressively’ to adopt a vaccine for the under 12 years of age crowd.

Given the ‘uber progressive’ politics of the 9R community, it was surprising that more proponents of the guidelines and teacher’s unions failed to turn out. There were a handful of teachers who spoke in support of the COVID Guidelines, some of whom assured the audience that masking has had no detrimental effect on children. Where other communities may have a more aggressive confluence of parents, opponents of the guidelines were more noticeable in numbers and more vocal than the proponents, yet a civil atmosphere was maintained.

Immediately after the hearing, the Durango Herald suggested that the community was split on mandatory masks when, in reality, without the handful of “special interest’ attendees, the majority were in opposition to mandating childhood face masks. In addition, a DH op-ed “Yes, Masks” asserted its usual pablum with no real science stating that “Data show that wearing masks reduces the incidence of COVID 19 by 20%.” It continued to opine in favor of masking school children as well as favorably pointing out that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC support the masking of two-year-olds.

Meanwhile, as a backdrop to the guidelines hearing, in January, the 9R School Board quietly adopted a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resolution that promised to “engage third-party subject matter experts specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion for the purpose of identifying systemic racism and injustices throughout the district and providing unbiased recommendations and actions to ensure we are equitably serving all our stakeholders.” The resolution affirmed that CRT (Critical Racial Theory) was also on the table but had been deferred until the COVID Guidelines issue had been resolved and a new school board was elected in early November.

As four of five members of the 9R School Board are eligible for re-election, Britny Hanson, a 9R mama bear with two children, promised to have newly appointed District Superintendent Karen Cheser removed if unvaccinated students were forced to be masked. In a curious administrative twist, Cheser will be making the final decision on implementing the guidelines as current board members declined the opportunity. Hanson also urged community members to become school board candidates in the upcoming election as the current board had “taken too much control of children away from their parents. We need to take back our schools and give power back to the parents.”

The cruelest part of the Biden/Fauci fiction in their assault on America’s schoolchildren is that the medical establishment acknowledges that school-age children are not vulnerable to COVID, but that the COVID restrictions are now a necessary element to pacify and monitor the next generation of American citizens.

We now know that the Dem reality is sufficiently skewed as to represent a startlingly different truth of how the world operates and that today’s Dems are no longer the same party many of us signed up for years ago. Since the 2016 election, they have revealed themselves to be more akin to liberal fascists, offering a kind of benign tyranny with rough edges as they espouse a view that all areas of life must be subject to the State’s dictates, with its purpose to assure a uniformity of national intent to align with their version of a perfect world order.

I can attest to the fact that many Dems do not follow politics closely enough to grasp what has happened to the anti–Vietnam War party or the party that once cherished civil liberties. They are the Facebook wing of the Democrat party who are addicted to social media on a daily basis. By rote, without any intellectualizing, they remain devoted to what was once a proud Democrat party tradition. Those days are over as the party has succumbed to its darker impulses of totalitarian control over every aspect of social and political order.

Many moons ago, as I joined the legislative staff at Friends of the Earth in Washington, D.C., its founder, David Brower, took me aside for a teaching moment about what to expect in Congress. Brower, who was an internationally respected environmental leader, was the subject of John McPhee’s Encounters with the Arch Druid and had been executive director at the Sierra Club before founding FOE. In a nutshell, Brower suggested that I would always know where the Republicans stood on any issue. They would let me know upfront where their line was, and when and where they might consider crossing it, and I would never be in doubt about what the Republican position was — and I could take that to the bank.

On the other hand, Brower asserted that the Democrats would tell me what I wanted to hear. They would proceed to do exactly as they wanted, whether or not it fit with our environmental agenda, with no apology or forewarning, with no opportunity to influence the outcome. No, I thought — that can’t be right. The Dems were the white hats; it was the Rs who could not be trusted. But Brower, who was then regarded as a Democrat icon, was firm and certain. He was speaking from sometimes bitter experience in dealing with partisan politics. The full truth of Brower’s warning stayed with me over the years and, more recently, has been borne out in spades.

During my years in D.C., my issue was nuclear energy, which was then a hot-button issue with an active anti-nuke presence throughout the country. In those days, there were still enough Dems who could be counted on to be critical of the then-powerful commercial nuclear industry and to oppose the experimental Clinch River Breeder Reactor (CRBR). The CRBR, which would be fueled by and create its own weapons-grade plutonium, was proposed to be the next generation of electricity after the current light water reactors.

It was a time when we could still count on a Democrat governor — in this case, Gov. Scott Matheson of Utah — to resist the Department of Energy’s misguided plan to build a high-level nuclear waste repository on the border of Canyonlands National Park. In a dramatic scenario that rivaled a Hollywood-inspired script, the morning that a temporary restraining order was placed on DOE preventing its contractors from setting up to conduct an “experimental” drilling program, Matheson immediately sent out the State Police to pull the trucks over and send them home, thus removing the Canyonlands location at Six Shooter Peaks from further DOE consideration.

By the time of the 2000 election, I had left D.C. and had seen enough to question the Democrats’ choice of Al Gore as its candidate against G.W. Bush. I knew Gore from his days in the House, but not well, as I found him aloof and not friendly, although, allegedly, we were on the same side. I soon discovered that that was not true. As fate would have it, the CRBR was to be located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which was in Gore’s House district. So Mr. Environment proved to be no hardcore environmentalist at all; he supported CRBR every step along the way until it was defunded by a bipartisan coalition with the National Taxpayers Union in 1985.

I was living in Colorado by then, which was still a red-purple state with an easy decision to vote for neither Bush nor Gore. Ralph Nader was on the ballot as a Green Party candidate, and I had known Ralph in D.C. to be a credible man of integrity. I still believe he would have been an excellent non-partisan president. So what difference did the outcome of that election really make as the Dems supported Bush’s attack on Iraq and its alleged weapons of mass destruction, his attack on Afghanistan, the alleged War on Terror, and the PATRIOT Act?

In 2008, there was an opportunity to support Obama’s “change you can believe in,” which never convinced me and proved to be another empty promise. Obama dropped more bombs, invaded more countries, began wars in four countries living in peace in 2008, appointed HRC as secretary of state, and prosecuted more Americans under the Espionage Act than any other president.

By the time 2016 rolled around, it was a foregone conclusion that I would not be voting for Hillary, and, to my amazement, I almost immediately lost every Democrat friend I had. There was no discussion or communication allowed; they are unable to critically or analytically think for themselves, preferring to echo meaningless headlines — I was either in or out.

When HRC crossed the line declaring a “basket of deplorables” who held “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” views, which she determined to be “irredeemable,” Trump’s promise of no new foreign wars won me over. By the time of Russiagate, I was lost to the Dems forever.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today, as our country experiences the disintegration of one emergency into a full-fledged crisis of epic proportions, the Democrats, as partners in running the government, have no policy ideas to contribute or sense of doing what is right for the country. The Dems have abandoned America in favor of an illusory doomed fantasy of a socialist/communist world with no understanding of its true future implications of less freedom, less happiness, more censorship, increased inflation with a lower standard of living, and more State control with a “free” economy where nothing is “free.”

It frightens the hell out of me to acknowledge that the Democrats, like any good fascists, love their political party more than they love the country of their birth.

Renee Parsons served on the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and as president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, staff in the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth, and a staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives in D.C.