In a segment on Fox & Friends Friday morning, Julie Gunlock, senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, argued that schools across the country have a liberal bias because they feed children three meals a day and offer them things like after-school care.
“More and more now these schools, elementary schools are taking on and supplanting parents,” Gunlock, a mom of three, told the Fox & Friends hosts. “They get dropped off at 6:30 in the morning, they get three meals a day. There is after-care. There is even health care services at some schools. So, really schools have tried more and more to take on the role of parenting.”
Gunlock added that liberal bias was seeping into the curriculum as well, lamenting the fact that some schools were teaching kids about climate change and transgender issues.
“Now we’re seeing it in political issues,” she said. “They’re telling children, ‘This is how you should think about certain issues,’ ‘This is how you should believe’… this is the ‘correct’ way to think on these issues. It’s very disturbing and parental rights are absolutely left out of the picture.”
To remedy the problem, Gunlock suggested reading The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth also suggested parents run for their local school board, in order to “be a part of changing [curriculum] if you want to.”
The idea that schools have a liberal bias because they offer healthy meals and free care for kids is disconcerting. Unfortunately, it stems from a larger, more troubling tradition among lawmakers, many of whom see free lunch programs as a burden.
In April 2016, House Republicans attempted to cut the number of students receiving free school lunch, with Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) claiming that the move was “hardly unreasonable and it’s hardly unfair,” as it would save money and funnel it to kids who really needed it. The measure was not successful, but did not stop conservative lawmakers from attempting to stymie healthy lunch initiatives earlier this year; in May, the Department of Agriculture under President Trump rolled back nutritional requirements for free lunch programs in schools, which were set in 2012 under President Obama.
“I’ve got 14 grandchildren, and there is no way that I would propose something if I didn’t think it was good, healthful, and the right thing to do,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, in a release that month.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who is in charge of the nation’s free and subsidized school lunch program (which serves some 30 million kids each day), also made a tasteless joke about the idea at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February. “You may have heard some of the wonderful things the mainstream media has called me lately,” she said. “I, however, pride myself on being called a mother, a grandmother, a life partner, and perhaps the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
DeVos was widely criticized for her comments. She did not issue an apology.