Don’t Mess With The Moms!

Below is the text of an address I gave to the national conference of the Separation of School and State Alliance, held in Washington, D.C. November 21 and 22, 1997.

The topic was “Why Victory Is Possible, Even Probable,” in the fight to end government control over our nation’s schools. Though, in my comments I expressed my belief that we have begun to turn the tide, I also believe that we are far from victory as the federal programs like School-to-Work and Goals 2000 continue to dominate school curriculums at an increasing rate across the nation. However, what has changed is that parents have begun to see that there is a problem, discuss it, spread the word and fight back. And those are the first steps to victory.

The question before us tonight asks “Is victory possible?” Can we separate America’s schools from the State?

Can we end government rules, regulations, restrictions, licenses, inspections, authorizations, indoctrinations, assessments, extortions and taxes over our schools?

You bet we can.

Because the social planners left out one factor in their equation – they forgot about the moms.

You see, something incredible has been happening over the past five years.

Alarms have sounded throughout the countryside. And as the alert is heard – patriots are responding – one by one – two by two.

They are a loosly-organized, rag tag band, without official leaders, without uniforms and without official orders.

Some gather together in small groups – others work alone. But armed with an overpowering idea of truth and an urgency to protect their children, they are succeeding in driving back their foe.

These are not the Minute Men of 1775, turning out to keep the King’s men from ransacking their supplies.

They are the mothers of today – answering the call against the federal assault on their children’s local schoolhouses.

For more than 20 years a silent, almost unnoticed federal invasion of the classroom replaced basic academics with a psycology-driven, behavior-modification assault on the attitudes, values and beliefs of the children.

Mental rape is a hard thing to see with the naked eye. It really wasn’t until the passage of Goals 2000 and School-to-Work that the true agenda was fully visible.

It took time for the programs to grow. And it was hard for Americans, who had been taught that public school was a good, safe place, to begin to question what was wrong.

But as the federal restructuring programs began to take over the curriculum the moms knew something was different about their children.

These were the children they had nurtured for the first five years of their lives. But now, after entering school, their children seemed to change. Some became rebellious and angry. Some of these once happy children became quiet and withdrawn. Where once they showed quick ability to learn, now they seemed unable to grasp the basics.

When the moms went to the school to get to the bottom of the problem, they were turned away or casually dismissed.

More moms began asking the same questions and they began to get angry. And they started to research this new education system called Outcome-based Education. In the beginning they just wanted to understand.

But the further they went the more they uncovered – and the more horrified they became.

With the help of the home computer, once reserved for the kids and the family budget, the moms began sharing information. Fax machines began to hum. Libraries became the local gathering place. School Board meetings became the battle ground.

The moms began to discover a new language of terms like, “higher order thinking skills,” “gender norming,” “classroom facilitator,” “site-based management,” and “life-role competencies.” This is the language of Outcome-based Education. And the moms quickly learned the meaning of these new words.

They learned that their kids were no longer considered to be children or students – but were now “human resources.” Schools were no longer places of education, but “one-stop social centers.” Self-esteem had become more important than math.

Above all, they learned that the world of “education reform” was a dark and smelly place. One thing was for sure, it was no place for their children.

And so the war was on.

One parent, Chey Simonton, put it best when she issued a declaration of war to the news media and to politicians across the nation.

She said: “We are thousands of mothers and grandmothers – cum researchers, located in every state of this country. We have micro-researched every facet of the so-called “restructuring” and, in the process, have become experts on the United Nations, the US/Soviet Education Technology and Cultural Exchange Agreements, federal and state legislation, philosophy, sociology and psychology.

In short, if there is any program or agenda we perceive as a threat to our families, somewhere there is a Kitchen Militia mother who tracks it down and gets the word out on the grapevine: radio call-in shows, fax networks, audio cassette, video tape or any other jungle drum available.

We document whatever we say and hoard quotes from air head politicians like a miser hoards his gold.

We are the most dangerous threat to the “restructuring” of this nation. Remember the old slogan, “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” This is fair warning. Our numbers swell every day, every time some new piece of socialist garbage is introduced that threatens our families.”

These are not the moms of the 1970’s or 1980’s who trusted the schools and allowed a silent revolution to steal the children.

And things are changing.

Since the passage of Goals 2000 and School-To-Work, not a single major education program has made it through the Congress – though they’ve tried.

We stopped the CAREERS Act – no matter how the Republicans tried to pretend Ted Kennedy didn’t write it.

And we’ll stop it again in this Congress.

And we’ve stopped national testing.

Meanwhile, private schools and home schooling are growing at an astounding rate.

Americans are learning the truth because we are now aware and organized. And we’re turning the tide.

You see, everytime a mom finds her child to be a victim of education “reform,” everytime she takes those few minutes to just check on the situation – that mom finds herself unknowingly headed down a road of no return – right to our camp of freedom fighters.

The more programs the social planners throw at us – the stronger we grow.

Can we win? You bet we can. We’ve got the moms.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods ( He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.