What about Parents’ ‘Lived Experience’ with Their Child?

Among the left’s multi-pronged war on Western civilization, one of the most prominent is its assault on parental rights. Recall how when parents learned of and opposed radical public-school systems’ aims to diminish and, in some instances, terminate parental rights regarding their own child’s education, moral instruction, and physical well-being, these leftist indoctrinators colluded with the Biden Department of Justice and far-left mercenary smear merchants to harass and brand these dissenting parents as potential domestic terrorists.

Around that time, I warily broached the subject of DIE (“diversity, inclusivity, and equity”) with a long-serving public-school teacher, who is decidedly not a conservative. The teacher explained how most teachers endured their mandatory DIE “training” session by doing other class work or reading. Even the administrators knew this was an exercise in bureaucratic box-checking to appease local school board and state authorities. But, the teacher added, some of the younger teachers were stone cold ideologues who drew their sense of purpose not in educating students but in proselytizing and indoctrinating kids in the woke ideology.

The teacher added that these woke “teachers” are increasing within the public schools every year, as is their power and influence within the public schools, teachers’ unions, school boards, and state organizations and legislatures. This was regrettable, the teacher added, because earlier generations of teachers respected the primacy of parents in their child’s life and sought to engage parents in the student’s learning process. Now, these woke teachers consider parents obstacles to the indoctrination of their children—an obstacle to be evaded and overcome by any means possible.

Resigned to the continuation of this inversion of the parent-student-teacher relationship over the ensuing years, the teacher added how they were planning on retiring sooner rather than later from a vocation they still loved. Succinctly, they considered staying and fighting the battle to improve education, but their “lived experience” and hard-earned lesson in educating students was not only disregarded by the new woke vanguard of teachers, it was disdained. This is truly regrettable, as the woke teachers’ hubris and cultish devotion to their abhorrent ideology bode ill for reversing the precipitate decline in students’ learning. Just consider the woke’s patronizingly racist attempts to backslide to the days of segregating students and lowering all academic standards to engender their “equity” of ignorance rather than of earned achievement.

Recalling this conversation, in my mind’s eye, one of the many woke hypocrisies crystallized.

Per Cambridge Dictionary, “lived experience” is defined as “the things that someone has experienced themselves, especially when these give the person a knowledge or understanding that people who have only heard about such experiences do not have.” (For purposes of this discussion, let us set aside how one’s “knowledge” and/or “understanding” can be based upon drawing the wrong conclusions from their “lived experience.”)

Thus, like the older teacher’s lifetime in education, the woke left capriciously dismisses parents’ “lived experience” with and “their truths” about their child.

The woke have no choice but to do so, for to do otherwise would be to give away their insidiously subversive designs. The woke indoctrinator’s ideology comes in whole or in part from their own prior indoctrination—i.e., non-lived “book learning, etc.; and, further, they have far less, if any, “lived experience” with a student compared to the child’s parents. Consequently, what claim, however erroneous, can they make to curb and curtail parental rights? Moreover, does not the parents’ “truths” gained by their “lived experience” with their child constitute an insurmountable barrier to the woke indoctrinators’ far less salient and subjective “my truths,” whatever their ideological and experiential basis?

Of course, they do.

So, too, what of the child’s “lived experience?” The younger the student, the fewer life lessons they will possess to resist the woke indoctrinators, who are determined to impart their own “non-lived experience” and their own “truth” to said student. This then forms an almost impregnable barrier to the child’s properly processing their own later experiences and life lessons gleaned from them, which may well disagree with the woke ideology.

In consequence, we find a perverse situation: the student’s “lived experience” and their parents are the problem, because the woke left’s aim is not education but indoctrination, and the thing they most fear is a student capable of critically thinking for themselves.

Little wonder, then, that the left treats adults like children and children like adults. Doing so makes both children and adults more manipulable by these disordered ideologues. It is also determinative proof why the left’s usage of “lived experience” and “my truth” are merely rhetorical devices to silence dissent and advance their radical, extreme, and dangerous agenda. Given the left’s fundamental loathing of our republic, these woke indoctrinators are blind to their hypocrisy and wholly focused on their zealous subversion of public education into another institutional weapon they can wield to fundamentally transmogrify American life.

If these woke indoctrinators actually believed in “lived experience” and the truths produced by it, they would embrace parental rights and work with parents to nurture students’ capacity for critical thinking and a lifetime of learning. That is “my truth” gained during my “lived experience” as a parent and as a child of educators.

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.

Get the news corporate media won't tell you.

Get caught up on today's must read stores!

By submitting your information, you agree to receive exclusive AG+ content, including special promotions, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms. By providing your phone number and checking the box to opt in, you are consenting to receive recurring SMS/MMS messages, including automated texts, to that number from my short code. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to end. SMS opt-in will not be sold, rented, or shared.

About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: Full length rear view of two generation family walking on path in park