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McConnell: Masks, Radical Nonsense, and No Transparency / Far Left's Vision for K-12 Schools

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Wednesday, February 16, 2022 on the Senate floor regarding K-12 schools:

"Parents and kids need a swift end to pandemic disruptions that ignore the incredibly low risk to children.

"I am proudly joining Senator Thune and many of our Republican colleagues on a resolution that would overturn the absurd preschool mask mandates which the Biden Administration has tied to Head Start funding.

"More than 1,200 doctors and health professionals have signed a public statement about 'the Urgency of Normal' — the medical and moral urgency of returning normalcy to children as fast as possible.

"Republicans at the local, state, and federal level are standing with parents. We are going to keep fighting against the disruptions to family life caused by rules and mandates that are not based in science.

"Two years of needless school closures and unscientific forced child masking are two years too many.

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"But unfortunately, pandemic policies are not the only reason that recent years have been one giant advertisement for school choice and parents' rights.

"We have also seen far-left bureaucrats trying desperately to inject radical theories and fringe ideas into teacher trainings and K-12 classrooms.

"Everybody's heard jaw-dropping anecdotes from school districts across the country.

"And last year, the Biden Administration tried to divert money for mainstream civics education into woke propaganda like the debunked '1619 Project.' They only backed down when Senate Republicans called out Secretary Cardona directly.

"Meanwhile, the far-left national teacher's union adopted an official resolution and approved extra money for their fight to make 'structural racism' and 'critical race theory' into central tenets in kids' schooling.

"This nonsense is absolutely pervasive.

"Just a few weeks ago, North Carolina parents had to call out their statewide Office of Early Learning for funding training materials that talked about 'deconstruct[ing] whiteness.' These materials were for preschool teachers!

"In San Francisco, the school board spent 2021 focused on renaming schools instead of reopening schools. They decided George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were insufficiently woke namesakes. And they tried to change a prestigious high school's merit-based standards into a non-merit-based lottery in the name of equity.

"Not surprisingly, parents are watching this nonsense and demanding change. For example, just yesterday, a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual recall campaign to unseat three of those San Francisco school board members won an overwhelming victory with the voters.

"American parents are speaking out. But instead of listening to them, the political left is lashing out.

"President Biden's Education Secretary solicited an outside group to send a letter to President Biden's Attorney General that referred to concerned parents as potential domestic terrorists. One part of the Biden Administration set up another part of the Biden Administration with a pretext to investigate and harass concerned parents.

"One far-left advocate recently complained to NPR, 'school transparency is essentially this big brother type regime.' What a joke.

"The nationwide teacher's union boss Randi Weingarten personally tweeted out a claim that, 'racists...are showing up in droves to school board meetings.'

"Even the liberal ACLU, which used to care about individual rights and transparency, is prioritizing woke bureaucrats ahead of middle-class parents. Here was the ACLU's statement: 'Curriculum transparency bills are just thinly veiled attempts at chilling teachers and students from learning and talking about race and gender in schools.'

"Think about that for a minute. The far left is admitting, in public, that if the public gets to look at the racial and gender theories that they want to teach little kids... then those lesson plans will become untenable!

"That's what they are saying! If parents gain transparency into the crazy stuff we're teaching, we might have to stop teaching it!

"In other words, their reaction proves the point. The fact that woke bureaucrats are this terrified by transparency proves exactly why parents deserve it.

"Bear in mind — these same people are passionate supporters of a sweeping Toddler Takeover that would give federal bureaucrats huge new powers to shape early childhood across America and discriminate against religious daycares.

"This choice before American families is pretty stark.

"On one hand, an alliance between Big Labor, woke bureaucrats, and many elected Democrats apparently want indefinitely-masked children being taught radical nonsense while parents are pushed to the sidelines.

"But Republicans at the local, state, and national levels are standing up for science, for common sense, and for kids' best interests. The Party of Parents has your back."

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