As the race for Virginia’s governor came to an end, people are started to realize how free speech is affecting the votes. The clash in Loudoun County between parents and the school board reached the national stage. Parents are being called ‘Domestic Terrorists’ for going to board meetings to discuss critical race theory. Parents are being threatened for speaking about their children’s education.
The situation in Loudoun County is a perfect example of suppression of free speech. In addition to showing the suppression of free speech will always be a problem and why we need to be active in protecting our First Amendment rights.
History of Speech Suppression
Since the founding of the United States, our country has fought against the suppression of free speech. After all, the Revolutionary War was the result of the voices of the American Colonists not being heard. As a result, the concept of free speech is ingrained in our culture and is protected by law. However, it does not mean that free speech was not suppressed. In fact, the history of American politics is full of eras that tried to suppress people’s right to speak their minds.
Freedom of speech is defined by the ability of an individual or community to share their opinions without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. This definition of freedom of speech was adopted into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, people like to gloss over these rights when they can. Sadly, the United States has a history of doing this as well.
Although the First Amendment states everyone has the freedom to speak their mind, our country has a history of trying to mitigate these rights. The tactics to suppress speech have always changed depending on the era. During wars, such as the Civil War and the World Wars, dissidence was censored. In wartime, repression of speech is considered necessary for “security.” For the Woman’s Suffrage and Civil Rights era, the legal status of women and minorities was used to silence them.
As you can see, the suppression of free speech is not new to America. However, it is important to know that people are using the same excuses to restrict free speech right now.
Loudoun County: National Stage for Parent Rights and Free Speech
People have always tried to suppress freedom of speech. Although the United States has the First Amendment, political parties and the establishment are always finding a way to silent descent. That is why Virginia’s Loudoun County is a prime example of these suppression tactics.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused a lot of unattended consequences. One of these was parents listening into students’ classrooms. Like other school districts, Loudoun County has students attend school from home. Parents were already becoming frustrated because of schools being closed. After all, there is overwhelming evidence about how isolation affects students.. However, parents start to realize what their children are learning. And they were not happy.
For many parents, they were able to see an unfiltered view of the classroom. When people realized that students were being taught Critical Race Theory, it caused national protests. In addition to teaching Critical Race Theory, parents learned that high schoolers were reading books with pornography in it. Parents went to condemn the school board at their meeting on May 11th, reading explicit lines from the books their children were reading. During that meeting, Scott Smith was arrested. Although he was condemned for disorderly conduct, months later it was revealed that his daughter was raped in the girl’s bathroom with the perpetrator being transferred to another school, where he raped again.
Parents Are Not Villains
Despite the obvious issues with Loudoun’s public school system, parents were treated like villains of this story. As their efforts to speak about the clear issues at the school lead to one of the clearest examples of suppression. We are fortunate that in our society (like most) the protection of your children is paramount. In America, we still believe that parents have the right to raise and protect their children, not the government and bureaucrats.