A Revolution In The Education World With Meg Kilgannon – We are seeing a revolution in the education world. Parents are waking up and getting involved in their local schools and fighting against the system. Tune in for an important update with Meg Kilgannon from Family Research Counsel.
Air Date: 10/10/2022
Guest: Meg Kilgannon
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to intersection of face and the culture. It is WallBuilders Live, and you have found the place where you will be able to hear a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective on all the hot topics of the day. We’re taking on all the hot topics, whatever the issue is, we’re going to say what does the Bible say about it, what can we learn from history, and of course, what does our Constitution here in the United States say about it so that we as citizens of the United States can operate effectively, constitutionally, legally, peacefully, but also with a biblical worldview for how to do this for God’s kingdom. So we’re thrilled that you are here with us.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with David Barton, he is America’s premier historian, our founder here at WallBuilders, and Tim Barton is with us, he’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. All three of us you can learn more about at wallbuilderslive.com. And that’s also the place where you can make your one-time or monthly contribution. Thank you to everybody out there that comes alongside us.
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Alright, guys, Meg Kilgannon is going to be with us from Family Research Council in just a few minutes and we’re going to be talking about how parents have gotten involved all over the country. We’re starting to move the education needle and it’s good to see; and frankly, it needed to happen a long time ago, but there is an education revolution happening right now, we’re going to get a little bit of a report on that.
It’ll be an interesting report because we’re really looking at things that we took for granted. For generations, literally for decades, we’ve just kind of taken for granted the schools that have been doing the right thing, we can trust our teachers. And we’re finding out now that some of the teachers we trusted, even that we went to church with and civic groups with they’re neighbors, we thought they were really nice people and they may be, but man, they’re teaching really wacky stuff.
And so that’s now kind of coming to light. We’re seeing a lot of parents react to that. We’re seeing a lot of changes in education. And so this is really a good update on what’s going on with schools, school boards and kind of the counter movement to this wacky education stuff.
Yeah, what’s been revealed is that the philosophy and the pedagogy of the education system is so different than the values of most Americans. And dad, to your point, most Americans assume that their values is what their kids were getting. They didn’t realize that they were getting things that were so hostile to their values or this hyper-sexualization of young children or changing the idea of basic anatomy and biology, and you can just be whatever you want and just feel the way you want to feel.
And still there’s a lot of parents out there that have no idea. When we talk about the transgenderism movement, they think, well, that just means if, you know, maybe there’s a guy that feels like a girl, no, no, we’re now into this medical intervention situation scenario where there’s injections and there’s medical castrations and then there’s physical alterations and surgeries to remove and change anatomy. It’s much more beyond just feeling. And this is the kind of stuff that’s even encouraged right now.
So it’s certainly not the same traditional values that represent and reflect most Americans anymore. And dad, to your point, there’s some probably very good hearted teachers who have just bought into this very bad, evil, and destructive philosophy. And unfortunately, now it’s been very prevalent in our schools. Fortunately, there are a lot of good individuals, parents, moms and dads, grandparents that are finding out about this, and they’re pushing back. But certainly it’s something that we want to get an update and see where things stand.
Alright, we’ll jump over to Meg Kilgannon, she’s from Family Research Council. State with us, folks, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American History. Too often today history education excludes great black heroes from the American founding, such as Lemuel Haynes. Haynes, abandoned as a baby, pioneered churches across upper New England. He became the first black American to pastor a white congregation, to receive an honorary master’s degree, and to be ordained by a mainstream Christian denomination, the Congregationalists. He was a soldier during the American Revolution.
And in his churches on George Washington’s Birthday, he regularly preached sermons honoring George Washington. Even late in his life, he expressed his willingness to go back to battle if necessary to protect America, which he called a Sacred Ark. American history is filled with numerous examples of black heroes who are largely ignored by mainstream education today.
For more information about Pastor Lemuel Haynes and other colonial patriots, go to wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Meg Kilgannon is with us from Family Research Council. She’s senior fellow for Education Studies over there. Meg, thanks for coming back on. Good to have you back.
Hey, thanks for having me, Rick. It’s great to be here.
Well, a lot happening in education across the country, it’s been a complete shake up and wake up over the last couple of years. We’re so thankful for Terry McAuliffe telling parents that they have no right to be involved. It’s awakened the entire nation. So thank you, McAuliffe. But I’m thrilled with what’s happening in across the country, but it continues to be sort of an unveiling or. It’s like everybody’s suddenly seeing the corruption that’s been underneath. I was wondering what you were thinking both just generally since that time and the movement that continues, but also specifically with this principle that’s admitting to discriminating against religious teachers and just kind of find out what’s FRC seeing out there and are you encouraged by not just parental involvement? Is there actually results from that parental involvement?
There are results from that parental involvement. I think the same thing that happened to me in 2015 when our county here, where I live, decided to let boys in the girl’s bathroom. I realized then that I had to take a very serious look at the people making the decisions, because if you can make a decision like that about something that’s so obviously not the right thing to do, then it begs the question that I think a lot of parents are asking is, what else are you getting wrong?
You know, if you think it’s okay to separate children based on their race or to tell people that they’re oppressed or that they’re oppressors, if you think it’s okay to have boys competing in girls’ sports because they believe they are girls, then clearly, the decision makers perhaps need some more parental supervision. And we’re so happy to see that that is exactly what’s happening.
I love the way you said that these decision makers need parental superficial. I mean, that’s really what we’re talking about, is parents providing that supervision not just over their own kids, but over the system itself that they’re choosing to let educate their kids.
No, I think that’s really true and I always try to be self-reflective. As a conservative, as a Christian, I trusted the wrong people to make decisions about kids. And now it’s up to us with a biblical worldview, with our framework for seeing the world, to reenter that space that so many of us abandoned when we decided to home school our kids or put our kids in private school, which are perfectly legitimate and necessary measures, right. I’m not questioning anybody’s decision to do that, but it’s not an either or it must be a both.
And because children cannot defend themselves against these ideologies that seek to separate them from their parents, from loving their country, from loving any God and even themselves, separate themselves from their body, it’s just a really dire situation. And we need more parents with the biblical worldview to engage in the space because they’ve tried to run us out of public schools, and we see what happens when they accomplish that goal, right? Our worldview is desperately needed in that space.
It’s so true. That is quite literally the effect of salt and light, right? If it’s not there, the meat is not preserved and it spoils. And that’s essentially what we’ve seen happen in the education system with the leadership being the Christians were pushed out and run off and anybody with a biblical worldview run off. It has literally spoiled the meat and the darkness has taken over. So what do we do? Salt and light: we go back in, we bring the light in, we dispel the darkness, we infuse the salt so that it preserves and brings out the best flavor, and then we can get good results again.
And you said it right, I mean, we homeschooled our four kids. We encourage people to homeschool in private school. But at the same time, I’m there at the state Board of Education meeting a couple of weeks ago testifying where I was at my local school board three or four weeks ago. I mean, you have to stay involved in what’s happening locally because so many of these kids don’t have an advocate. And certainly, the value system that needs to influence these school districts comes from us. And so if we’re not there, then there is no salt and light.
And I think you’re right. It’s both. And we have to do both. We have to focus on our own kids and make the best choices for them. But at the same time, it’s mission work. I mean, is that fair to say? You served in the Department of Education, I bet you felt like you were in a mission field when you went to do that.
I was a stranger in a strange land. That is absolutely true. No, it is. It’s just so important for us for us to not allow ourselves to be excluded. Parents always hear when they’re testifying at the school board meetings about a matter. Let’s say you’re trying to get a book out of the school system that just has no business being there and they’ll tell you things like, well, you need to just put your kids in to a religious school because you can’t bring your religious views and put them on the kids.
And what we need to understand is while that is technically true, it’s a case of projection because they have an ideology, they have a belief system and they are putting that on the children by having this material in schools. Right? So we are under no obligation to prop up a failing publishing industry that is trying to subsidize themselves on the backs of taxpayers in the form of selling books to schools. We are under no obligation to buy those materials. We’re under no obligation to have those books in our schools. So it’s a common sense that parents have that these experts seem to lack. And so we really do need to engage the system.
Two important things I want to drill down on that you just said there. The second one on the publishing thing, help me remember to come back to that, but the first one just this whole idea that they don’t call it religion, but their ideology is a religion. And even if we use their terminology and just say, okay, it shouldn’t be that you can force your ideology on anyone. But that’s exactly what they’re doing when they remove us from the square. And it’s this leftist Marxist ideology that, as you described, is causing these kids to hate each other, be separated from each other based on race or all kinds of other divisive ways of dividing them. And then it’s also causing them to hate themselves and hate their own country. I mean, all of these things that they’re teaching is a horrible ideology. And we have every right as taxpayers, as fellow citizens to stand up against that, even if our kids are not in that school.
So don’t let those school boards or our staffers or whoever else intimidate you out there, folks, and say, well, you send your kids to home school or private school, so you don’t have a right to have a voice here. Absolutely, you have a right to have a voice here as a taxpayer and as a citizen and we should be fighting their ideology with the same tools that they have used against us to remove religion from the schools.
Absolutely. I mean, we live in the greatest country in the world, we should have the best school system on the planet and our children should be safe there, right? They should be completely safe there. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, they should be safe in schools. And the discussions around safety in schools are not focused in the ineffective ways.
But let me ask you about the publishing thing because we’ve seen this at the university level for a long time. You know, the prof writes the book, you’ve got to buy the book in order to pass their class because you needed to study. And pretty much they have no success outside of that, it’s only when you’re essentially forced to do it. But it sounds like we’re seeing this at the elementary education level as well; publishers, they can get thousands of school districts to buy these books, whereas no one else would, but still it bails them out.
Well, I mean, any parent walking through the Barnes and Novel today can see what’s on offer there in the young adult literature using their quotes. In the young adult literature section, and it is hyper-sexualized. There’s a lot of dark spiritual content there. It’s not generally things that people with our values would want our children to read and certainly we don’t purchase it, right.
So when you consider the pressure that’s on the publishing industry in terms of the changes in the way written material is delivered now, so often it’s on a device and not in the form of a book. One of the last markets they have that’s easy money and good money is school libraries, right? So they’re pushing this content into the schools and they use things like the American Library Association and other institutions that share this worldview to give awards to books, to declare books have literary value or are important for reasons of diversity, equity and inclusion. And then those books are put into the libraries and even directly into school classrooms.
So this is a huge problem and it’s one of the biggest areas that we see grassroots activism around from our national purge here in DC. What we’re seeing now is parents who are simply just not going to tolerate this kind of content on offer to their children in the library or in the classroom. And so this is something that’s just one of the biggest issues out there at the moment. And parents need to remember that they are not obligated to have pornography available to their children anywhere and that free speech does not cover pornography or obscenity.
And you’re not under any obligation to spend public tax dollars on this material just because some expert somewhere tells you it’s necessary. You can find another expert that will tell you that it’s not, right. And so then it becomes a war of experts. And unfortunately, we don’t have as many folks on our side who are ready to serve as those experts, but that team is building. So I would just say to people, keep up the monitoring of this stuff, keep identifying it. When you find the content, call it out. Keep this issue in front of your school board members because this is going to break our way eventually.
Yeah, and don’t let them intimidate you from bringing it forward at the school board meetings. And if it’s so bad it cannot be read in public, at a school board meetings, certainly shouldn’t be at the school district in the first place. And there’s been a lot of this brought to light in school districts across the country.
Meg, before I let you go, this principal that was caught by Project Veritas and congrats to those guys for continuing to do a fantastic job, but was caught admitting that he discriminates against in his hiring of teachers. If they’re people of faith, he doesn’t want them because they’re “brainwashed”, in his opinion. Has anything happened to him? Are you seeing and hearing more of this out there? And if we find it, what do we do about it?
Well, to the best of my knowledge, he’s still on administrative leave. But you can imagine that if he had said that he would not hire someone who was LGBTQ or had a different skin color, he would already be fired and unhireable, right. But the fact that he discriminates against people with religious faith, somehow that’s okay. And that just gets you a temporary speed bump in your career.
And I hope that he doesn’t go on to something else. But it’s important for parents to be aware of these situations because this is the worldview that controls the educational system, right, and it doesn’t value our world view. But we are desperately needed in that space. And the reason they can be so blatant in the case of this fellow is because we haven’t been there. Right? So we need to reenter the space and bring our common sense, our worldview, our values into that space because it will improve things. It’ll take a while, but things will get better.
Well, there’s just a massive national movement right now, and more and more people are paying attention to this, and we have a real chance to have a revolution in education, not only in terms of the options out there in school choice and all of those things, but also forcing these school districts to remove this leftist ideology and get back to teaching the basics. So Meg, thank you for everything you all are doing at Family Research Council. I appreciate you coming on our program today. And you all keep up the great work. Look forward to having you back again soon.
Thanks. I really appreciate being here. Pray for us, and we will pray for you.
Amen. Amen. Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
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We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Meg for joining us, and thanks to Family Research Council for all the good work that they’re doing. David and Tim, this is not going to be an overnight victory, right? We’ve got to stay in this fight and we’ve got to encourage people to be smart about this. I mean, in every state we need to be watching what’s going into those textbooks, watch these social studies standards, encourage more and more people to start private schools at their churches. There’s a lot of work to be done.
Yes, Rick, you’re exactly right. And there is a lot of work going into this. And one of the things that Meg said even early on really triggered my thinking, it says, listen to her, and she said she joked about it and you picked it up. And I thought, yeah, that’s humorous. But she said, we trusted the wrong people when we trusted them with our kids. And they’re like schools. We trusted them, we gave them our kids and they were the wrong people to trust. And what that phrase said to me was, that’s not the teachers at fault, that’s the parents at fault. We trusted them and we didn’t check them out.
And then I got to thinking about that and I thought, well, that’s a really significant point. I wonder how many hours parents have put into investigating what their kids are being taught even right now. We hear all the stuff in the libraries and the curriculum, I wonder how many parents have gone up and said, I want to go to the library and see, I want to see what’s in the curriculum. I want to see what you’re doing.
And this is certainly not to say that parents should be at blame for anything that teachers have been doing to hypersexualize these students or promote critical race theory or whatever the case is: the train changes notion of basic gender identity of male and female, boy and girl. But dad, to your point, parents have been negligent and their responsibility and duty for so long. It’s allowed this to fester and grow and it’s allowed this ideology to sink in and take deep root that now it’s a much bigger problem than if we would have gotten involved much earlier.
I remember a verse that you have quoted many, many times in the Song of Solomon when Solomon writing this, he said, let’s take care of these little foxes that come in, these little foxes that would come and spoil the vine. And it gives this idea that there were these young small baby foxes that would come in and they just want to come eat the grapes off the vine. Well, if you deal with them when they’re small and they’re young, it’s easier to resolve the problem with these little young baby foxes. Whereas if you wait till they get big and grown and you’ve let them come and continue to eat these fruits off the vine, so to speak, eventually it’s going to destroy the vine. And now you’ve allowed a problem to fester and grow that is now much more difficult to resolve.
So again, not to say that we’re blaming parents for all that has happened in education system. But certainly, the growth of this problem is a reflection of the lack of involvement of parents over the last several decades.
Yeah, the traditional philosophy of education was called in local parenthesis which is Latin for the place of the parents. And what that meant was the teachers are reinforcing what the parents are teaching at home, they’re the parents at school. But now we’re saying, well, they’re new parents, they have a different philosophy, they’ve got a different approach, they have different values and that’s not in local parents.
And now we have so much educational system think they have a right to teach kids what they want to know and they’re forcing parents out or trying to keep them out. And I really encourage parents to put some hours into if your kids are still in any kind of a public school system or even a Christian school system, anywhere else, put hours into investigating. We put hours into going to their football games or baseball or basketball games or going to their band concerts. Take the same hours and put it into investigating the teachers. Look at the teachers, look at their social media posts, see what groups they’re involved with. Maybe they do go to church with you. But now we know that the biblical worldview is so small that doesn’t mean anything. Check this stuff out. Get into seeing the curriculum.
And you have the right to do that. The courts have given what’s called taxpayer standing. As long as you’re paying school taxes, you have a right to see what’s going on in the schools and their curriculum and the testing and whatever else. And so I thought that was a really good challenge in some ways that she put it back on the parents because we’re going to be the ones that make this right. It’s not going to be the school system that self-corrects. It’s going to be parents that put the pressure on that system and say, hey, this is unacceptable, we’re not going to let you do this and you’re sure not doing it as my kid. And I saw this on your social media post and I said whatever it is, we’ve got to be the ones to take the adult leadership in this and say we’re going to change this.
And the good news is too, guys, along these lines is that we are seeing more and more parents get involved, that parents are getting involved and we’re seeing some of these school boards go different directions. When one of the things we’ve talked about for decades is that we’ll get involved on the local level. The local level is the easiest place to get involved and it’s where you can have the biggest impact and make a massive difference.
On some of these school board races, there literally are only dozens of people voting in the election. Dozens? It’s not that hard to get your church or your friends or whoever the case might be, and you can win these local elections. You can win at the school board level. And if you win at the school board level, you can have a say in choosing and determining what curriculum is going to be used, what values are upheld. You can make a difference in the rising generations if we will get involved at the local level first.
We are out of time for today. There is more at our website. If you go to wallbuilderslive.com, we’ve got an archive section so you can actually dial back into interviews from the previous weeks or Good News Fridays, Foundations of Freedom Thursdays, all available for you right there at our website. Again, that’s also the place where you can make your one-time or monthly contribution. Believe me, those dollars make a difference.
The Founding Fathers gave their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. I used to encourage people to set aside 1% to 3% to give to candidates and causes and organizations like WallBuilders or Patriot Academy or some of these nonprofits out there that are doing essentially parachurch ministry, right, they’re doing the things the church is supposed to do in the culture. But now, man, we’re in a situation where we’re watching the American culture die right before our eyes. We have got to revive this thing. And that means we’ve got to shift our focus. It doesn’t mean we have to despair, we don’t have to give up because we know what’s causing the problems. Bad leaders are doing bad policy, right, they’re putting in bad principles, and that’s producing bad results.
Well, how do you change that? You got to get back to truthful principles. You got to get back to the principles of liberty instead of the principles of tyranny. And that’s what we do. And that takes a little fuel to make that happen. And that’s why lives, fortunes, and sacred honor is so important. So at this point in time, when the culture is desperately needing that kind of input, I’m encouraging people, man, you got to start shifting the focus. You got to start spending more of your time, your money, your effort, all of those things to help us save the nation.
So instead of 1% to 3%, I’m telling people hey, man, figuring out a way to start investing 10%, 15%, 20% of your income into all of these different organizations and candidates and all of these causes out there. So I just encourage you in that, start thinking about that, praying about that. Pray for good candidates to give, to pray for discernment and where to donate, but your finances, your time, your effort, all that will make a difference. Work the system, the system still works.
God bless you. And thanks for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.