By: Illiana Lievanos 

We’ve all seen the viral videos of parents standing up to school administrators for the sake of their child’s education—or lack thereof. Ditching the traditional classroom setup with blackboards, ABCs, and arithmetic, educators have taken it upon themselves to furnish the classroom with Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ propaganda, yet parents are labeled as “terrorists” for showing concern. 

In conjunction with the Marxist-style education system, the COVID-19 lockdowns hurt the public school system as much as it consequently hurt the students. I vividly remember how, in my home state of California, students were barred from in-person classes while Hollywood hosted the Oscars and Governor Newsom attended a lavish party in wine country north of San Francisco. 

Between the woke curricula and the lackluster quality of distance learning, it is no surprise that school districts in left-leaning major cities are experiencing the lowest enrollment numbers they’ve seen in decades–public schools have lost more than 1.2 million students, according to a recent national survey.

Schools that continue to require masking and remote learning have lost more than four percent of their students, while those that have returned to normal have only lost around one percent of their pre-COVID enrollment numbers.

Why the drop in enrollment? Because teachers’ wants have been successfully put before the needs of students. As a college student at the University of California-Santa Barbara, I’ve had countless moments where professors decided not to host in-person classes due to one student testing positive for COVID. 

When UCSB was experiencing a significant COVID outbreak back in late May, many of my professors abruptly moved finals online while others offered no alternative if students became sick before exams. It is convenient for teachers and professors to choose whether to work remotely or in person. And they mask behind the COVID hysteria while doing it. 

Like the CDC, UCSB COVID guidelines continue to fluctuate. During the fall 2021 quarter, we were required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Certain professors and even the school library threatened to cancel class or kick students out if they refused to go along with their nonsensical rules. Come spring, those guidelines were quickly put aside but have now started back up again. 

The lack of consistency and transparency is what’s most infuriating of all, which can drive any student away. As a transfer student, I lost a significant amount of time in my own education. Getting acclimated to a university was a challenge in itself, let alone being forced to endure my first year online. It should have been obvious that increased rates of depression and suicide would come as a result of socially isolating children and forcing them to stare at a screen all day–yet, public health officials didn’t care.

Not only has COVID influenced my negative view of public education, but as a conservative student on a leftist campus I have no voice. I am forced to sit and listen to professors bash on conservative media or lament about how America is racist. Universities are no longer a place where dialogue and ideas flow. 

Students like myself are fed up with public education. The phrase “go woke, go broke” rings true as Americans are waking up to the insanity of the Left. Parents must continue pulling their kids from these institutions and infiltrating school board meetings. Conservative students must continue to march in this fight, which is why organizations like Young America’s Foundation and its Young Americans for Freedom chapters on campuses across the country are now more important than ever. 

Illiana Lievanos serves on the board of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter.