Winsome Sears warns of 'dystopian society' if public schools are not reformed

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears participates in a panel discussion at The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland, March 2, 2023.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears participates in a panel discussion at The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland, March 2, 2023. | The Christian Post/ Nicole Alcindor

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A prominent politician is warning of a “dystopian society” if the public education system is not reformed, insisting that she would rather lose her seat than abandon her goal of improving American education by embracing school choice.

The Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative activists and politicians, is being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center this week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

One panel at the event, titled “Parents with Pitchforks,” addressed concerns about the state of public education in the United States.

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“We’ve got to protect our children, we’ve got to defend our parents and not allow the leftist radical agenda to take over our school system,” declared Mercedes Schlapp, co-host of CPAC Now, who moderated the panel. 

One of the panelists, Virginia's Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, has seen the issue of education play a prominent role in her November 2021 election as well as her tenure as lieutenant governor.

Sears used her platform on the panel to advocate for school choice programs, which enable parents to send their children to the school of their choice regardless of where they live and, in some cases, parents receive vouchers so they can send their children to private schools. She responded to concerns of some politicians that supporting school choice, an idea not supported by the politically influential teachers’ unions, would come with an electoral backlash.

“If I have to lose the next election so that the children can get an opportunity for a good education, I’ll do it,” she proclaimed. “It’s not about maintaining a seat. It’s about our children and their future.”

Sears characterized the issue of school choice as “the new Brown v. Board of Education fight,” referring to the U.S. Supreme Court decision determining that segregated schools were unconstitutional. She had previously noted that “the rich people have already made a decision on school choice” by sending their children to private school.

“You sent your children to private school, so why can’t everybody have that same option?” Sears asked. Characterizing opponents of school choice who send their children to private school as “hypocritical,” Sears added: “We’ve got to make a change.”

Sears was elected lieutenant governor in November 2021, three weeks after news broke that a sexual assault of a teenage girl had occurred in a bathroom in Loudoun County, Virginia, high school at the end of the previous school year. The assault, perpetrated by a boy wearing a skirt, took place as the school district was considering implementing a policy allowing trans-identified students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity instead of their biological sex.

The school district faced allegations of orchestrating a cover-up based on the fear that public knowledge of the sexual assault would derail efforts to implement its transgender bathroom policy to allow boys to enter girls' restrooms if they identify as female. The perpetrator of the assault was transferred to another school where he committed another sexual assault at the beginning of the following school year.

Responding to the efforts to advance LGBT ideology and expose children to other concerning content, Sears remarked that “it’s 1984” in American society, referring to the dystopian novel forecasting a tyrannical government that declares war on reality. “If we don’t get a grip, we’re going to be living in some kind of dystopian society,” she warned.

Schlapp asked Sears to react to the fact that several public schools in northern Virginia “held merit awards from students” out of a desire for “equity.” She described the situation as part of an effort to “dumb down” education where “instead of trying to bring everybody up, we’re just going to bring everybody down.”

Sears lamented the state of American education, asserting that “by the time a child even goes to college now, 65% of them need remedial education. We’re paying for it twice. We’re paying for it in the public schools [where] they’re not getting [an education] and we’re paying for it when they do go to college or other post-high school ed.”

“America is a superpower, and the only way to maintain that superpower status is to ensure that everybody has a quality education because China is right behind,” she added. “And guess what? They don’t care about that.”

Ian Prior, senior advisor at America First Legal and executive director of the advocacy group Fight for Schools and Families, contrasted the rigor of education in China with American education and its embrace of LGBT ideology: “In this country, unlike in China, where Chinese children are learning calculus and complicated numbers and complex numbers, in our country, they learn 72 genders.”

“They’re laughing at us right now. And because of that, we have these bathroom policies all over the country where you can use a bathroom that does not correspond to your biological sex based on, I guess, how you feel that day.”

“It’s taken the Left decades to really take control of the education system.” Prior said, maintaining that “we cannot expect that one election or two elections are going to allow us to fix this.”

“It’s going to take decades to repair,” he stressed. “And you can sit on the sidelines and say, ‘well, it’s not going to affect my kid’ or ‘I’m just going to mind my own business’ and you can watch all this happen or you can get in the fight, so get in the fight.”

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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