The “Government Is Not A Co-Parent” rally At California’s State Capitol Monday was vast. The “Statewide School Walkout” rally was exactly what it professed it would be: moms, dads, children, grandparents, teachers, and concerned citizens, showed up en masse at the Capitol armed with homemade signs to protest public schools and teachers unions, which pushed to keep schools closed, forced kids into distance learning, and wearing masks all day, and now Gov. Newsom’s mandatory vaccine for children.
“Medical freedom” was/is at the root of the rally. The Globe spoke with parents whose children are otherwise fully vaccinated, but say Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID vaccine mandate is unconstitutional and a violation of their medical freedoms.
Speaking at Monday’s rally was Matthew Oliver, owner of House of Oliver wine lounge & restaurant in Roseville, CA. Oliver, a father of five, has protested the business and school lockdowns since the beginning in March 2020. “Welcome to the parent revolution,” Oliver said to loud cheers from the crowd.
“They tried to silence us, and tell us we didn’t matter,” Oliver said. “They tell us our voice doesn’t have power, but it does. Our governor and Legislature need to hear our voice.”
Oliver told the crowd that “now is the time to stand,” otherwise “silence is an endorsement.”
Ponderosa High School teacher Michael Wilkes was put on administrative paid leave after teaching classes while not wearing a mask. Wilkes, a father of three children, has achieved national attention for his stand.
Wilkes said it is important to stand up for individual freedoms and our love of liberty. “They are attempting to divide us over our own children – the tyranny of the powerful over the powerless – bow to the state or they will take everything from you.”
In a recent interview with WCSI, he said he encourages debate in his classes. “He said parents are growing tired of these mandates and pointed to last week’s protest in Sacramento as evidence,” WCSI reported. “The (October 26) protest included parents who lashed out against the Newsom vaccine mandate.”
Wilkes said the district is conducting an investigation and he may lose his job.
At the heart of the protest was Ponderosa high schooler Lexi, who said this all started one day she lowered her mask down below her chin, as many other students had. That went without incident, so she stopped wearing it altogether, and came to school without a mask for one entire week before one of her teachers sent her to the school administrators. Lexi said she walked into the office and none of the administrators were wearing masks. She called them on it, but they told her they only have to wear masks when students are present.
She was given few choices other than to comply with the mask mandate or she could be transferred to online learning. “My education should matter more than a mask,” Lexi said. The administrator told her he agreed, but said he couldn’t do anything without losing his job. Lexi told him to stand up for himself and the students, but fear of losing his job was too great. “It’s okay, I’ll stand up for you too,” Lexi told the administrator at her school. She left Ponderosa High School.
Rebecca Friedrichs of “For Kids and Country” and Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association, spoke at the rally about the dangers children face in public schools. “Even great teachers are vulnerable,” Friedrichs said. She spoke of the radical agenda pushed on the children through the schools. “We have to get the unions out.”
Friedrichs said, “teacher unions are are behind every nightmare in public schools: boys dominating in girls sports, boys in locker rooms, Critical Race Theory, the anti-American ideology, anti-family ideology, the sexualized curriculum grooming children by sexual predators, and the Marxist-Socialist agenda.”
“They hate God, they hate you,” Friedrichs said. “But they are terrified of you!”
Friedrichs said many teachers are not aware of the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME case, ruling that public employees can no longer be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. On her website, Friedrichs has a “Union Opt Out” page of resources for teachers desiring to leave the teachers union.
Boomer and Kima Bennett, parents of three, and Founder and Student Director at JesusFollowr University spoke passionately about faith and family, and the importance of standing up against the government tyranny to protect “our kids, the innocent.”