FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA. — Last Thursday night, October 7, local grandma Orene Blum stood graceful and dignified, draped in red, white and blue here at Luther Jackson Middle School, moments before a meeting of the Fairfax County School Board, holding a hand-painted sign: “FBI vs. Moms??”
Hours later, as the crowd of 100 people spoke their truth to power, the verdict was in: Moms win.
Not far away, Harry Jackson, the first Black student to the U.S. Naval Academy from Lancaster County, Pa., stood tall and strong here at the entrance to the school, not far from Suparna Dutta, an immigrant from India, and Stacy Langton, a mother who exposed porn and pedophilia in the local school libraries.
Harry, an expert in counterterrorism, cybersecurity and intelligence, wore a shirt that said it all: “PARENTS ARE NOT DOMESTIC TERRORISTS.”
Bullhorn in hand, former school board member Elizabeth Schultz walked the phalanx of about 100 parents, grandparents and community members and led them in a chant: “We the parents! We the parents!”
Just three days earlier, on Monday, October 4, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland had just declared a war on not only parents but grandparents who are attending school board meetings across the country to advocate for America’s children, dispatching a letter summoning the FBI against parents. But we are defiant.
The next day, October 5, at Parents Defending Education, we exposed Garland’s conflict of interest with his son-in-law’s company, Panorama Education, profiting off the backs of America’s children, date mining their innocent minds about sexuality, brain health and other invasive areas that invade the privacy of children. A local mother had sent us the tip. The month before, we had disclosed that Fairfax County Public Schools had signed a $1.8 million deal with Panorama Education. The mother also discovered that the contract quietly increased to $2.4 million. One mother.
Another mother learned that Fairfax County Public Schools sent Panorama Education data on children before parents even could opt out of the survey.
It’s now a national issue, with calls for hearings and investigations.
And parents pointed out the conflict of interest in their signs.
One read: “The Constitution Trumps Merrick Garland.”
Another sign detailed the contract Fairfax County Public Schools signed with Panorama Education. “FCPS paid $1.8 million to Panorama for a ‘Social Contract’ US Att. Gen. Garland’s son in law owns.” It added: “Follow the $$.” Also: “Conflict of Interest?”
These are snapshots from the “Parents Pep Rally” held before the school board meeting that should send one clear message to Merrick Garland and the National School Board Association: nobody is going to get in between mama bears, papa bears — and grandparent bears — and the cubs in their care.
Please post your images of your defiance and use the hashtag #WeTheParents or send them to me via direct message or email at email@example.com, and I will post them here and then to our #WeTheParents album.
These are portraits of modern-day courage.
In the meeting, a grandfather sat behind a “CAUTION” tape, his walker propped up in front of him, undeterred.
Dad Harry Jackson didn’t get his turn to speak, as speakers justified or outright denied the porn and pedophilia in books, so he delivered his speech to #WeTheParents. With the evidence. We are mama bears, papa bears and grandparent bears. Hear us roar.
Asra Q. Nomani is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and vice president of strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your tips about the political corruption in school boards to defendinged.org.