Get Out Now: The Compelling Case Against Public Schools

So many of us have heard indirectly and anecdotally that our public school system is a nationwide wasteland that does harm to children and has wrought havoc upon our culture, values, and sense of history.

But has anyone taken the time and energy to examine this catastrophe at its root? Perhaps not until now. Regnery Publishing has this year provided a definitive, careful, and well-researched exposé of the corruption at the core of the public school system, titled Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Children from Public School Before It’s Too Late.

Co-authors Mary Rice Hasson, J.D., and Theresa Farnan, Ph.D., daughters of the renowned Notre Dame law professor Charles Rice, are far from alarmists in a panic about an overblown issue. Rather, they have combined to present an incredibly rich and detailed overview of a pervasive and devastating problem that has for too long overwhelmed our young people and threatens to undermine both reality and truth, not to mention God’s perfect plan for human flourishing.

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The authors lay out their dramatic case in three parts. Part one comprises three chapters on the corrupting and game-changing “gender crusade” that seeks to brainwash our children into accepting the false ideologies of gender and sexual “orientation.” The second part has six chapters covering multiple other issues at work in public schools: atheism and secular humanism, the loss of our American identity in favor of forming young “activists” rather than patriots, the way in which parents are rendered powerless by the system, the “social-emotional” learning affecting our kids’ psychological makeup, fake and failing education, and the inevitable hard truth that parents can’t “fix” any of this.

Readers should by no means overlook the substantial third part of this work—an appendix of insightful follow-up questions, acknowledgments, and a true treasure of about 100 pages of endnotes that provide thorough and hard documentation supporting the accounts and claims presented in the nine chapters. No one—particularly advocates of this failing educational system—could seriously challenge the well-researched content, typically based upon the sad and often-tragic accounts of real parents with real kids in real schools that have turned authentic education and human formation upside down. In the effort to accommodate an ever-widening liberal cultural agenda that is robbing our kids of the integrity of their intellects and wills, public schools of every kind across our nation are willingly sacrificing our children on the altar of evil agendas that should be denounced rather than protected.

Take for example the headlong rush into madness that is “gender ideology.” The first few chapters take on this diabolical re-imaging of the human person, exposing the “new normal” that John can be “Jane” if he wants to, and teachers, students, and parents ALL must bow to John’s expression of “who SHE really is.” That which would have been roundly rejected as unthinkably foolish only a generation ago is now viewed as a new and unavoidable “LGBT Gospel” that no one in public schools can opt out from accepting as gospel truth.

In fact, public school teachers form the front lines of this twisted “new evanglization” taking place in every nook and cranny of public education. If your kids find their way into a public school classroom, on a daily basis they will be—not may be, but will be—compelled to embrace the “diversity” of the LGBTQIA+ taxonomy that normalizes every imaginable perverse emotion and attraction while relativizing the two truly normal and God-given identities we call “man” and “woman.”

Readers should be prepared for an onslaught of examples of how parents and children find themselves at the mercy of an organized and well-constructed effort to make it impossible for anyone to take a view that does not effectively glorify and endorse the false and distorted views of the ideologies of gender and sexual orientation.

While this one crucial issue forms the massive tip of a still-more-massive iceberg, it is by no means the only red flag in the public school system.

What about the venerable history of public school hostility toward God and Church? This is a continued reality that has lost little momentum in the grand scheme of the system. Examples still abound of cases in which a family’s legitimate rights regarding faith and religion are being trampled upon. The extent to which science is being exalted in practically idolatrous fashion will take your breath away. Faith and Church fall by the wayside in the public school system, while the dubious claims of some corners of the “scientific community” are there to fill the vacuum and must not be questioned, according to those who fanatically uphold these agenda-driven “truths” with the cultish fervor of zealots.

Readers of Crisis will certainly be familiar with the “social justice warrior” agenda that also readily makes its way into the public school system. Examples abound in chapter five of Get Out Now of situations faced by parents in which their children are learning to look down upon their authentic American patrimony and instead adopt the mindset of social justice activism. Unfortunately, we are witnesses to the fruits of this particular form of indoctrination on an almost daily basis, as it shapes the landscape of protest and outrage that infects the very fabric of news, politics, and public discourse, as well as the social-media interaction that shapes our lives.

Another significant issue (in chapter six) deals with how the public school system positions itself to empower children—and the system—to render the rights of parents almost irrelevant. The system creates alliances with the student against the parent—particularly in the realm of issues involving parental knowledge and consent regarding their own child’s choices or thinking. Parents are truly powerless while having their rights and responsibilities toward their children usurped in ways that put the system—not the parent—in control of the values and concepts that will shape the child’s thought and action.

Indeed, chapter seven of Get Out Now gives an in-depth look at just how the public school system quite invasively seeks to shape the very psychological makeup of our children. A case in point is the recent generation of collegiate “snowflakes” which is in great need of safe spaces. They live in fear of being “triggered” by even the most inane opposing viewpoint. Where did this come from? They are being mass-produced via the public school system and psychologically engineered via “social-emotional learning,” which leaves rational discourse, critical thinking, and a true capacity for tolerance all in the intellectual dustbin.

Chapter eight takes on the challenge of documenting some of the more egregious examples of how the public school system props itself up as a successful enterprise, when in fact even its claims of academic excellence are a façade with little basis in fact. Instead, there is substantial evidence of academic weakness at all levels of public education. This, too, jumps out to the reader as ample reason to “get out now.”

If all of these issues seem to lead the reader to a crescendo of discouragement about ever possibly “fixing” this broken system, that is exactly the hard, cold, and practical reality the authors want you to face. It is simply not worth putting your own children at risk, for example, by saying that, as a parent, you’ll be part of the system in hopes of bringing change from within. The problem is that the system does not want you to change it and has decades of safeguards and self-protections built in to keep parents from ever effecting positive change. Some things are too broken to fix. There is no reasonable hope for addressing all of these issues in the face of a juggernaut that keeps the momentum of this downward spiral going.

The real tragedy is that any solution is most likely generations down the road, which means that to begin an overhaul now will only make the learning environment of this generation slightly less terrible than the one before it. And that is only IF such an overhaul could get launched despite the overwhelming opposition in place at all levels of the public school system.

Before closing the cover on your copy of Get Out Now, do yourself the favor of carefully reading through the questions answered in the Appendix. These are the nitty-gritty, practical responses of any parent or concerned citizen who has read the first two parts of the book. The responses provided by the authors are eye-opening and of great practical value.

Regnery Publishing and authors Hasson and Farnan have done a great, and unfortunately necessary, service to parents everywhere, regardless of religious or cultural background. No parent can afford to ignore their documentation and conclusions regarding something so fundamental to a healthy society and nation.

We no longer need merely lament the public education crisis in vague and generic terms. Now, in one book, we have concrete substance upon which to reflect. We truly need to know our ideological enemies in order to confront them in the public square.

But, more urgently, we parents need to keep our kids out of harm’s way. We owe them that, even at great expense to ourselves as moms and dads. Nothing is more crucial than taking seriously the devastating harm present in the public school system. From cover to cover, this work nails it, beginning with its first and most important three words.

Parents of public school kids: get out now.


  • Jim Russell

    Jim Russell lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He writes on a variety of topics related to the Catholic faith, including natural law, liturgy, theology of the body, and sexuality. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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