The news locally and across the country can be overwhelming. I hear from people who are frustrated and concerned about the division and direction in our society. I also hear “but what can I do, I am just one person.”

One person can speak up, one person can ask questions, one person can demand answers, one person can run for school board, one person can show the way, others will follow. This is how movements start.

This is what is happening at school board meetings and city councils across the country and here at home. And it is working. I know it’s working because of the name-calling, smearing and questioning of motives from those who want us divided is getting louder.

A recent headline from the National Education Association screamed "Is QAnon Radicalizing Your School Board?“ and this tactic was then picked by NBC News with a “news” report this week "QAnon's new 'plan'? Run for school board." The viral videos of parents challenging school boards on COVID policies and critical race theory have energized a movement and radical progressives know they cannot let the movement gain traction. So, they marginalize and smear. It can’t just be concerned parents, they must be conspiracy nuts, or worse, Trump supporters.

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We are told that CRT isn’t an issue and that it is not being pushed in our schools, but recently the nation’s largest teachers union passed a resolution to promote CRT in all 50 states. If CRT is really nothing why did the NEA scrub any reference to that resolution from their website just days after it passed?

Not to be left behind, the nation’s second largest teacher’s union has a leading CRT advocate headlining a conference on educating children. Seems like CRT is an issue for someone.

Parents and everyone concerned about the future of this country have every right to ask questions and demand answers. One person can ignore the smears and name-calling and stand up.

And it is not just curriculum that needs to be challenged. At the recent NEA meeting a proposal to require mandatory vaccinations for all students and staff before returning to face-to-face instruction was presented. The proposal was rejected, for now, but school boards and administrators should be asked about their plans for this fall. Where does North Dakota United stand on the NEA’s positions?

It is a challenge to write about COVID these days. When the week started the Delta variant was all over the news. Then came reports of the Lambda variant and then the Epsilon. Fear. They are going to run out of Greek alphabet letters, but I am guessing they will skip “Iota” because that is the amount of credibility experts have left.

It may seem like curriculum issues like CRT and COVID responses are unrelated, but they are not. They are just two fronts in the battle before us. The future for our children and grandchildren is up to us. It is up to one person.

Grande represented the 41st District in the N.D. Legislature from 1996 to 2014. She is CEO of the Roughrider Policy Center, an "innovation over regulation" think tank. She is a wife, mom, grandma, lover of life and Jesus. Opinions are solely her own.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.