Mark Pulliam Talks About His Latest Piece at American Greatness Regarding Parental Rights


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed retired attorney and blog creator of Misrule of Law, Mark Pulliam, to the newsmaker line to discuss his recent article citing parental rights, school board authoritarianism, and the indoctrination by higher education.

Leahy: We are joined now by Mark Pulliam, a refugee from California who’s landed in East Tennessee and has some warning signals for us. Good morning, Mark.

Pulliam: Good morning, Michael. How are you doing?

Leahy: I’m delighted to have you on. You have been very busy. You have a terrific piece at American Greatness that was published a couple of days ago. Do Parents Have Rights? School boards are now in the culture war, while progressive advocates falsely cry wolf to thwart reform. Tell us about your point in that article.

Pulliam: Well, going into the governor’s race in Virginia, there had been a build-up for about a year with controversies between various school boards in Virginia. Particularly the Loudon County School Board and concerned parents over what was being taught in the schools.

And this consisted of Critical Race Theory and related themes.  And also it kind of overflowed into COVID restrictions and whatnot. And the arrogance of these school boards was colossal.

They basically took the position. We don’t have to listen to you. Your views are unimportant. Your kids, in effect, belong to us. They don’t belong to you. Shut up and do as you’re told. And we had parents getting arrested when they went to school board meetings trying to express their concerns.

A father of a daughter who had been raped in a school got arrested when he went to the school board meeting to complain about the fact that nothing was done to the offender. In fact, they denied that the crime occurred and sent the offender to another school and he raped another child.

So there was colossal hubris on the part of the school boards. This became an issue in the race between Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin. Terry McAuliffe was considered the overwhelming favorite to win.

He had previously been governor. He had a lavishly funded campaign running against a novice candidate. And things changed at a candidate debate when McAuliffe made the statement in the debate that parents should not be allowed to dictate what happens in the schools.

And that sort of crystallized this theme in the race. Youngkin exploited it during the duration of the campaign, and The Washington Post came to McAuliffe’s defense. Ran a really terrible lopsided op-ed, taking McAuliffe’s side, saying, parents don’t have rights. Which is a lie.

Parents have complete rights over their kids. It’s a well established legal principle. There are Supreme Court cases going back 100 years on this. And that’s what prompted me to write this essay. But the voters in Virginia knew that they were being lied to.

They resented it and they came out and in a huge upset, Youngkin won the race by two points in a state that Biden had carried by 10. That’s a 12 point reversal.

What this shows is that Republicans and conservatives have a path to victory in 2022 without the polarizing influence of President Trump, on the issues the voters agree with Republican candidates. And I think this bodes very well for Republicans to regain control of Congress in the midterms.

Leahy: Mark, I know you’re an attorney and not a psychiatrist, but play for a moment a psychiatrist on the air with me. And I’m going to ask you this question. Why is it that supposedly normal local people, when elected to school boards instantly become authoritarians? What is that phenomenon?

Pulliam: That would be an interesting psychiatric question if we were talking about normal civilians. But the people who get elected to school boards these days, particularly in large areas, are not normal civilians. They are the handpicked, radical advocates for the teachers’ unions.

And the dirty secret in American politics is that the most leftist, the most aggressively anti-parent, anti-American group of people organizations in America are the teachers’ unions, the NEA, and AFT. They are the worst unions that exist.

And they have a very aggressive, specific agenda. And they push that agenda very aggressively. And so they run their candidates for the school board and get them elected. And then that becomes the curriculum.

And all it takes, though, is that a candidate like Glenn Youngkin who has the courage to stand up and say, I call BS because parents do not go along with this.

In fact, even in liberal counties, Loudon County is a liberal county, parents spontaneously rose up and said, what is this garbage that you’re teaching our kids? It wasn’t just overhearing lesson plans on virtual instruction during the COVID shutdown.

It was in the books that they were being assigned, the statements that were being made in the classroom, and it offended even the soccer moms in liberal suburbia. And then they really resented it.

When these teacher union advocates took the position, we don’t care what you think. Your kids belong to us. That really wrinkled the voters and led to this blowout in Virginia.

Leahy: You said something very important here. And I think it’s interesting that we highlight this, Mark. It’s not the case in your view that normal local people run for the school board and suddenly transform into authoritarians.

They are authoritarian wolves in sheep’s clothing who run as nonpartisans but are really hiding their true identity as they run. Is that basically your point?

Pulliam: That’s my point. And it begins in the college and university education schools, where many teachers get their credentials. Where lots of administrators get their credentials. And of all of the divisions of higher education.

The ones that are the most woke are the colleges of education. So they indoctrinate these teachers. And then you have this messaging coming down from these national teachers’ unions. And it’s up to parents, the normal civilian parents to stand up to this in their communities.

And public education is largely governed by 10,000 or more separate school districts run by locally elected school boards. To head this off and show up at your school board meetings, if necessary, find candidates to run in the next local election and take over control of your school board.

Leahy: Mark Pulliam, a great American with a great piece at American Greatness. Thanks so much for joining us. Come back again if you will, please.

Pulliam: Thank you.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.





















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  1. […] This essay originally appeared in American Greatness on October 31, 2021 (here). Thanks to Instapundit (here), Tennessee Conservative News (here), the SE Texas Record (here), Legal Insurrection (here), and the Tennessee Star Report (here)! […]