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Don’t Tread On Your Own Children

backpack with 'Don't Tread on Me' flag and other patches on it
Image CreditNew York Post/YouTube

Jaiden’s mom has exposed one reality of raising based children: It involves our own form of political indoctrination.


This week, a Colorado Springs elementary school teacher was filmed explaining to a woman named Eden Rodriguez that the Gadsden flag patch on her son’s backpack is banned from school because of its “origins with slavery,” and that’s why Jaiden keeps getting kicked out of class.

The Vanguard School is a tuition-free K-12 charter that looks pretty amazing — the type of place I’d want to send my kids! 

In the video, Ms. Rodriguez explains to the teacher that the flag, with its iconic drawing of the snake rearing up and the words “don’t tread on me,” is from the Revolutionary War and therefore symbolizes America’s refusal to capitulate to a tyrant — wink, wink!

We can see in the video that her son, 12-year-old memelord Jaiden, has some other interesting patches on his backpack, including one with the Doge meme, one with St. Michael the Archangel, and one that simply says “BASED.” 

Bit on the nose, that last one.

Yes, you are indeed hella based, Jaiden — and extremely online for a 12-year-old! Of course, even my 7-year-old knows who Doge is, but there’s no way my own 12-year-old son knows the arcane lore of Revolutionary War symbols. And if he did, I doubt he’d want it on his backpack. 

I remember stories from the early Trump days where some brave kids got in trouble for wearing Trump hats and T-shirts to school. I’ve also seen dozens of videos of the Tolerant Left smashing Trump signs on people’s homes, punching people in the face for wearing MAGA hats, and burning American flags. 

So why shouldn’t Jaiden, the dissident sh-tposter, stick whatever memes he wants on his backpack? Why not add a few rare Pepes, an “All Lives Matter” pin, the Trump mugshot, and the Betsy Ross flag? Why stop with the snake?

After all, it can be alarming to look around in your K-12 government indoctrination center and notice that half the kids put little rainbow pins and various “pride” flair on their backpacks — and all the teachers do. Classrooms themselves are transformed into year-round Trans Safe Spaces by their genderless furry teachers. It is a small but mighty act of rebellion, therefore, to teach your children to value the symbols and flags that represent our side. You know, the side that doesn’t want their 12-year-olds doing butt stuff to each other. The side that likes weird things like “free speech” and “representative government” and “freedom over tyranny.” 

Not that long ago expressing such beliefs would have made little Jaiden a good kid, not the based, alt-right sh-tlord of the Colorado Springs charter school system.

After the video came out, the school decreed that actually Jaiden was right, the teacher was wrong, and he was permitted to return to class. 

But a friend of the family posted this tweet in the aftermath: “Jaiden ate lunch alone today. Played chess by himself. But I told his mom that he’s got millions of friends across the country now who are inspired by him. Leave a comment to Jaiden below and I’ll share it with him!”

Is this good for him? Does Jaiden’s mom want her son to get DMs from millions of adult Twitter randos? 

Or does she want him to be a kid?

I don’t know if his mother is doing this for the clout, as the rainbow moms do. I don’t know her motives, and I have no reason to doubt that she is simply standing up for her son and defending his right to free expression. This kind of exposure on social media might feel like the only way she has to fight back against a system that would clearly crush her son’s spirit if it could. As often as not, it’s the teachers who are bringing their crazy politics into the classroom, not the kids. 

So nobody wants to teach her kids not to stand up for the values they learned at home. However, in a world where small snippets of video quickly become national news stories, do we really want to put our kids out there as based, right-wing activists when they may not really understand that this will stay with them for the rest of their lives? 

We all agree that 12-year-olds cannot possibly consent to transgender medical interventions. But isn’t 12 also too young to commit to a lifetime as a doxxed, right-wing activist? I don’t want my little kids talking about politics at school any more than they absolutely have to. At home is fine, but I don’t want my 12-year-old forced to defend a position he may not understand that well. 

Literally the last thing I would want is for one of my minor children to expose himself publicly as “based and red-pilled.” Ask me how I, a Twitter anon who lived in terror of being doxxed for years, knows this. In this hyper-politicized country, I still want my kids to have normal childhoods — the apolitical kind. Of course, these days only a hardcore domestic extremist would want to give a kid a normal childhood.

Ms. Rodriguez has exposed one reality of raising based children: It involves our own form of political indoctrination. Our indoctrination is good and wholesome — crucial in fact. But because we believe experiencing freedom means creating and protecting spaces that are largely free from politics, there are limits. There is a fine line between teaching your kid to stand up for the values he learned at home and his social studies teacher reading his essay on how Peter Strzok railroaded Mike Flynn.

If you live behind enemy lines, even in purple Colorado, and you send your kid to a government school, even a charter school staffed with open and unashamed far-left lunatics, you should probably not put your kid out there on the front lines as the sole right-winger in the middle school.

I confess that I, too, want to indoctrinate my offspring! I desperately want them to willingly adopt our beliefs, our religious faith, our values, and, yes, when they are old enough, our politics. I want my kids to be based, OK? To reject hideous progressive ideologies and all their works and deeds. Yes.

But at 12 years old, I’m not sure it’s appropriate to encourage your child’s activism when he has no allies yet. And post it all on Twitter!

There is no safe space for Jaiden in his world. The school year has just begun, and his mother is busy booking him on TV shows and podcasts, handling requests from the media. Will Jaiden appear at the next GOP State of the Union address, or maybe even be interviewed by Tucker Carlson himself?

Yet the whole saga and incessant posting of the newest Jaiden reaction videos on Twitter makes me uneasy. It’s the left that has decided to use children as pawns to advance their causes, up to and including surgically mutilating their bodies. California is now willing to tear apart families that don’t support this.

Ms. Rodriguez, on the other hand, is probably just a patriot raising her child to be like her and is just trying to be a good mom. 

Same, girl. And any good mom should be defending his right to let his freak Gadsden flag fly. 

But maybe we can do that without turning our 12-year-olds into social media stars?

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