CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Former Vice President Mike Pence has spoken about the importance of an active conservative movement in America’s education systems, telling Breitbart News, “One of the most important battlegrounds for the future is on the campuses of our colleges and universities”.
Breitbart News sat down with Pence in Pavilion IV on the lawn of the University of Virginia, part of Thomas Jefferson’s historic Academic Village, which he designed to be the physical representation of “intellectual frontiers open to discovery” – an appropriate location given the topics he was to cover later that evening in front of an auditorium full of students.
Pence was optimistic about the future of education in America as more conservatives get involved and change institutions to be more freedom-centered after decades of leftist control.
“The antidote to undo culture is freedom. The antidote to waking up America is freedom,” he said. across the country, going to campuses, bringing our message and our freedom agenda Freedom is beginning to regain momentum on college and university campuses across the country.
Leftists tried to force the school administration to ban Pence from speaking, but some university administrators and professors defended the First Amendment.
“I wasn’t surprised by the initial opposition to my coming here,” Pence told Breitbart News. “But I was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of the administration and prominent faculty members to defend free speech.”
When asked what he thought the left was afraid of hearing his point of view, he said that college campuses had been largely ideologically monolithic for decades and that intellectual confrontation – once the cornerstone of the university education – was an affront to the status quo.
“Anyone who has turned to higher education over the past 40 years has seen the growing dominance of left-wing politics, whether Marxist economics or socialist politics,” he said. declared. “They really dominated on college campuses and really became the central guiding philosophy on many campuses.”
“I think conservatives who are willing to take our case to campuses and challenge liberal orthodoxy are very threatening to some who aren’t used to being challenged, because the truth is they don’t. aren’t used to defending their agenda,” he said. continued.
Prior to speaking with Pence, Breitbart News received an email from a Virginia father whose daughter is a high school student who wants to attend UVA.
The father was concerned about the controversy surrounding Pence’s visit and said freedom of speech is “something very meaningful to me and my family”.
“Our family is potentially considering a significant financial investment, where we will have to make sacrifices, to send her to a place where she will feel stifled and prevented from expressing her views,” he continued.
When asked how he would react to the father, Pence said, “I would tell this father that I think freedom is winning on campuses across America.”
Pence said the fact that he speaks at UVA is positive proof of this and referred to another recent controversy regarding his ability to speak at Stanford University.
“I recently spoke at Stanford, and the Young America’s Foundation group at Stanford had to appeal three or four times to get the student senate to approve my ability to speak on campus, and we had protesters at the inside and out,” he explained. saying there might as well be protesters during his speech at UVA which was only hours away.
For Pence, however, “this is what freedom looks like.”
“The deafening silence of liberal orthodoxy on campus has stifled open debate for decades, but it is now opening up,” he concluded. “I think the more conservative students we can have on campus, the more conservative lecturers we can have on campus, and frankly, the more we can see people pursuing careers in academia and coming to campus bringing a conservative worldview, it will be better for America and better for the future.
Active and engaged curators are not only needed for the future of colleges and universities, Pence said, but also for K-12 schools.
School choice is paramount to fixing America’s education system, he explained, pointing to the nationwide movement of grassroots parents to reform school boards, remove their members and elect new ones in response to indoctrination. that takes place in their children’s schools.
“But I think there’s always been – and let me say this as a teacher’s husband, Karen has spent 35 years in public and private classrooms – I think there’s always been had among the American public a certain deference to teachers, a certain respect for teachers and support for public education reflects that,” he said, referring to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R ), which led the education issue to victory last November.
“But I think what you saw in the election of Glenn Youngkin here in Virginia – that you saw in school board elections across the country last year and I think you will continue to see – c is for parents to adopt an educational freedom agenda and, in a very real sense, to take back our schools and take back our schools,” Pence added.
Pence said the stage was set for significant changes in education, which is largely an unintended result of the coronavirus pandemic and its heavy restrictions on children.
Parents started noticing what their kids were really learning in school because a lot of them had to take lessons on a computer, Pence said, “and they weren’t happy about it.”
The issues that made headlines in Loudoun County, Va., were the issues that defined this new national movement for conservatives, which “formed a Democratic administration and elected Governor Glenn Youngkin.”
But the question does not stop at the borders of the Old Dominion.
Parents across the country witnessed ‘strong pressure from teachers’ unions’ to force schools to close ‘as many private schools across America opened and so many parents wondered why they could not choose to send their children to private Christian schools, a parochial school down the street that was open instead of homeschooling them at the kitchen table.
That’s why it’s important the Conservatives empower ‘parents to take back our schools and choose where their children go to school, and recognize the importance of parental rights’.
Pence said he believes right now is a “historic moment for educational freedom and school choice like never before.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.