The Kitchen Militia – The New Line of Defense

The alarm sounds throughout the countryside. As the alert is heard, one by one, two by two, the patriots respond. They are a loosely-organized, ragtag band, without official leaders, without uniforms, 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 use any means necessary to expose and drive back their foe.

They are not the Minute Men of 1775, turning out to keep the King’s men from ransacking their supplies. These are mothers of 1996 answering the call against the federal assault on their children’s local school-houses. They call themselves the “Kitchen Militia” and Outcome-based Education (OBE), Goals 2000 and any other federal education program that threatens to dumb down their children or subject them to behavior modification is their target.

For several years individual mothers have been fighting alone to get to the bottom of an education crisis that seems to grow unabated. It continues to worsen, even as the education establishment and politicians talk of education “reform” and pour money into a system that continues to turn out children who can’t read or perform simple math.

These are the children they nurtured for the first five years of their lives. Yet, once those children are released into the public education system, something begins to happen. Some become rebellious and angry. Some of those once-happy children become quiet and withdrawn. Where once they showed quick ability to learn, now they seemed unable to grasp the basics. When the moms try to help with home work assignments, they’re told by the children that moms aren’t allowed to help.

When the moms go to the school to get to the bottom of the problem, they are turned away or casually disregarded. But the crisis continues to grow.

This scenario is classic throughout the nation. It’s gone on for years and new generations of moms continue to ask the same questions. In each case a mom, somewhere, begins to get angry and starts researching this new education system called Outcome-based Education. At the beginning they are just concerned, they just want to understand. In each case as they uncover more material they are not only horrified by what they find, but, one by one, they discover each other – more moms in the same crusade, nationwide.

With the help of the home computer, once reserved for the kids and the family budget, they begin sharing information and research. Fax machines begin to hum, local libraries become regular gathering places. School board meetings become the battle ground.

But the politicians, while giving them a hearty pat on the back and a warm smile, haven’t seemed to take them seriously. Federal intrusion grows with more programs that don’t seem to make sense. The children are spending less and less time learning basic skills and more time with the school psychologist or in group sessions openly discussing personal family business. SAT test have been dumbed down to make it appear the education “reform” programs are working. But basic skills continue to diminish as kids can’t read beyond a fourth-grade level or figure out what 9 percent of 100 might be. The situation has continued to grow worse.

Meanwhile the moms who used to keep the household running and keep the kids in crisply ironed clean clothes, now sit in front of their terminals or on the phone diving ever deeper into the underbelly of an education system gone mad.

The moms have begun to use a new language of terms like “higher order thinking skills”, “gender norming,” “classroom facilitator”, “site-based management”, “career education” and “life role competencies”. This is the language of Outcome-based Education. What does all of this mean? The moms are finding out fast.

They’ve learned that their kids are no longer considered to be children or students but “human resources.” Schools are no longer places of education but are becoming “one stop social centers.” Self-esteem has become more important than math. Above all, they’ve learned that the world of “education reform” is a dark and smelly place. One thing is clear, it is no place for their children.

A lesson that the education establishment is about to learn is that they should never ignore or anger a concerned mom. Tired of being ignored, tired of doing the politician’s job, tired of fearing for their children’s futures, the moms have begun to strike back with all the force they can muster – and their punch may be strong.

In February, 1996, a whole group of moms who had been fighting in small, local organizations – or even alone – announced the existence of the “Kitchen Militia” and openly declared war. It was a message faxed to the news media and to politicians across the nation, written by Chey Simonton of the National Citizens Alliance, located in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. She made up the term “Kitchen Militia” and it’s catching on like wildfire.

Simonton’s declaration stated simply: 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 (past and present), philosophy, sociology, psychology and pedagogy. 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’re not armed with guns! Guns are so messy…we’ve got Congressional records, legislation and official documents. 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. The fastest growing militia group in this country is the Kitchen Militia. Our numbers swell every day, every time some new piece of socialist garbage is introduced that threatens our families.

For over twenty years the educrats have controlled the field of battle as children suffered and mothers tried to make sense of it all. Now they understand and are beginning to organize for the final battle. As one mother said after the declaration of war was issued. “we’ll get something done now that the gals are taking over.” Let that be fair warning to any politician who thinks “business as usual” will continue.

The Kitchen Militia is not an organized group, but a true grassroots movement of angry moms. There are thousands of them – too many to name. But every time another mom finds her child to be a victim of education “reform”, every time she takes those few minutes to just “check into the situation”, that mom finds herself unknowingly heading down a road of no return – down the road that leads straight to the camp of the Kitchen Militia.

Now, as they wage their valiant fight, those moms are all headed down another road as well – the one that leads straight to the Heroes of Freedom.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.