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Swalwell Says Parent Oversight of Education Like ‘Putting Patients in Charge of Their Own Surgeries’

Classrooms have become focal point of culture wars in recent years.
Eric Swalwell (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Eric Swalwell (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

California Rep. Eric Swalwell says parental involvement in education is the equivalent of allowing medical patients to dictate their own surgeries, a biting remark in an ongoing political fight over what children learn in the classroom.

Swalwell made the remarks on his Twitter feed Wednesday night, responding to a remark from South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott that Republicans were planning to put "parents back in charge of their kids' education."

Swalwell wrote: "Please tell me what I’m missing here. What are we doing next? Putting patients in charge of their own surgeries? Clients in charge of their own trials? When did we stop trusting experts. … This is so stupid."

The lawmakers' argument is part of a larger socio-political battle between advocates for strong parental control over school curriculums and those who insist schools should be free from any parental interference in that regard.

The argument for parents have more input into their children's curriculum – and more transparency from school officials – was central to now-Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin's winning 2021 gubernatorial campaign. 

Swalwell's remarks, meanwhile, were met with backlash from some commentators on Twitter.

"They think they own your kids," school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis wrote.

"Excellent messaging," author Chad Felix Greene said sarcastically. "Run with this."

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