“I’m the rubber and, You’re the glue; Your words bounce off me, And stick back on you”. Probably the most annoying verse known to brother or sister, the taunt is not supposed to last beyond childhood.

Yet as an LAUSD (adult!) parent, hearing the mercenary and/or disingenuous mantel of parent claimed by Parent Revolution operatives, leaves me feeling one-step outpaced, with absolutely no purchase – just like that five year-old being teased by her sibling. Because when Steve Austin whelped Parent Revolution from up in Benedict Canyon as an esoteric exercise in ideology, and then claims LAUSD parent status through attendance at an LAUSD facility (Westwood Charter) of such extreme outlier status in terms of demographics, outcome and every other conceivable social or academic metric, it begs the excruciating question: ‘how-can-you-be-a-parent-when-you-are-nothing-like-any-parent-I-know-or-even-know-of”?

The shenanigans and excesses of Parent Revolution (listen to the entire parent testimony starting at 07:14:45 on the meeting of 6/18/13 — and yes that would be after 7pm that parent testimony started; the meeting did not end until after 9pm) and its violent contrivance the parent “trigger” have been so outrageous, and claims so incredibly shameless, the very foundation of the group’s makeup is hard to credit. This organization is composed of parents in the mold of Solomon’s ‘false mother’, willing to split the baby in two in pursuit of justice.

Without making any excuses for the problems riddled throughout LAUSD, I will say that personally, I have yet to meet the parent who would throw the baby out with the bathwater. The parents I meet want to work within the system and fix it, not upend democracy and revolutionize our public educational system. When experiencing problems with a public school system, inviting in a charter company is like opening the door to the little pig’s house just because the huffing of the wolf was threatening to cave in its walls. Actively choosing the greater of two evils, particularly among a community just two years from indicted charter school scandal themselves, is hard to credit as an authentic, rational response.

There are a lot of parents in LAUSD; on the order of (2*650,000), and while I have met a lot of them, it is a small number in absolute terms. But of these, by and large they are immensely respectful and grateful for their children’s teachers, recognizing a collection of unbelievably dedicated professionals devoted to educating … my own kid?! Sometimes one’s good fortune at encountering such altruism is hard to credit.

In my experience most acknowledge there are difficulties with the system and also problems with individuals therein. But as for the specifics of the community that surrounds my child’s daily coming and going – I don’t know anyone who does not want to protect this. Schools are a social grounding-tether, community members identify with the institution, which remains a point of pride and self-conscious self-identification. It is the very quintessential heart of politics, the metaphoric village that raises our child. Destroying one’s own anchor would be masochistic and few authentic individuals from a community’s grassroots would undertake such a project without external inducement.

And outside influence is very much the name of the game with all things Parent Revolutionesque. From ALEC-influenced laws funding a covert industrialist agenda usurping our public institutions, to professionally organized stealth-campaigns staffed with endogenous and exogenous carpetbaggers, unrelentingly trained on vulnerable institutions, and who are ready to lie and dissemble in service of cashing in and selling out. When claims are made that these groups are composed of an authentically grassroots membership, some wags have corrected the icon as more accurately represented by “astroturf” instead.

What I see accomplished by Parent Revolution and the parent “trigger” they invoke is violent in the extreme, just like the nominal action they reference. Revolution and its weaponry is a bloody, anti-social and in this case anti-intellectual undertaking; it is not to be lauded. We who bring innocent children into this world or work with them, try our very best to shield them from destructive forces. That is our job, our raison d’etre. It makes absolutely no authentic, “grassroots” sense to jettison the wisdom and experience and shelter of our long-standing communities, or the teachers, and elders and experience therein. Lots of badly implemented policy needs correcting, and scoundrels among the administration especially need turning out. But this can and should be done peacefully through parent education and raised expectations. Not mutiny.

There is a true cross-schools grassroots organization forming across LAUSD: SPARCS. Coming soon to this website near you will be tales of (parent)revolution-terrorizing, and musical program undermining and libraries undercutting and community disinformation campaigns. It is a true grassroots effort without corporate funding and therefore slow in its growing, but if you build it they will come. Please join with us in growing an authentic place to learn about and support fellow communities besieged by similar bellicose bullies. Parents otherwise engaged in their job of rearing and protecting and educating their young, have of late been unprepared for these assaults. But there is protection in numbers and it is time to band together and ward off triggering-fire-power with SPARCS!