Parent Pushback in Swing States and the Coming Showdown With Woke Government Schools

by | Jul 10, 2023 | Fixing Education

As liberal megadonors focus on seizing district attorney seats, conservatives have turned their attention to winning back school boards and returning control to parents

American classrooms have been the breeding ground for leftist indoctrination for decades. Yet recent pushback in battleground states signals that the pendulum is swinging back in parents’ favor.

Parent unions have formed, conservative candidates are standing for local office promising to combat critical race theory, and school board elections have become a national concern.

In states such as Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, and Wisconsin there is a movement to restore parental rights, teach a pro-America curriculum, award merit-based achievement, and avoid the sexualization of young students.

Here are some of the more recent success stories and setbacks in the battle for truth inside U.S. schools.

Georgia’s Epic Struggle Against CRT

The pushback in Georgia began back in 2021, as the merits of critical race theory were being debated. CRT teaches that racial inequality and historical oppression should be central to classroom curriculum and is often taught in a divisive way.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp wrote a letter to the state board of education—whose membership he appointed—asking them to “take immediate steps to ensure that critical race theory and its dangerous ideology do not take root in our state standards or curriculum.”

He also spoke about those who shared their concerns with him, adding:

Like me, they are alarmed this divisive and anti-American curriculum is gaining favor in Washington, D.C. and in some states around the country.

Kemp blamed the Biden administration in part for “considering using taxpayer funds to push a blatantly partisan agenda in Georgia classrooms.”

One parent from Muscogee County sent a Republican state senator a video used in the classroom, to teach about Columbus Day. It included Native Americans raising a middle finger and uttering obscenities directed at the explorer.

Only weeks later, the Georgia Board of Education passed a resolution limiting the teaching of CRT.

The resolution states, “no state education agency, school district, or school shall teach, or instruct” concepts regarding race in the classroom that make “an individual feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.”

In 2022, Kemp signed legislation banning Georgia schools from teaching “divisive” curriculum regarding race. During the bill signing Kemp said:

Here in Georgia, our classrooms will not be pawns to those who indoctrinate our kids with their partisan political agendas. [The package of bills] protects the fundamental right of moms and dads across this state to direct the education of their child.

Just before the November 2022 school board elections, more pushback came in the form of local leaders from the national No Left Turn in Education organization, such as Beth Majeroni.

Majeroni is co-leader of the group’s plan to monitor the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s implementation and enforcement of the Parents Bill of Rights (HB 1178) and Protect the Students First Act (HB 1084), as well as SB 226, “which calls for the removal from libraries any materials deemed obscene.”

Majeroni said success has been found in “the mobilization of parents all over the country, in every school and locality to organize and become actively involved in overseeing the education of their children.”

The Republican incumbent for the Georgia Superintendent of Schools, Richard Woods, won reelection by a landslide in November 2022 on an anti-CRT platform, despite his challenger’s fundraising lead heading into the last month of campaigning.

Parents not only let their voices be heard at the ballot box but continued publicly raising complaints and awareness.

In 2023, teaching activist Dr. Quintin Bostic attempted to smuggle CRT materials into state schools with the goal of selling them to students, including kindergarten classrooms. He was caught bragging about it during a Project Veritas sting, adding that he is an “evil salesman” taking advantage of the system.

Bostic’s employer, Teaching Lab, initially defended their content manager but parent outcry sent the company scurrying, and he was quickly placed on administrative leave.

Virginia’s Battle Against Indoctrination Shows Results

Virginia saw its battle over indoctrination come to a head with the election of Republican Gov. Glenn Younkin in 2021, who won the state only a year after Joe Biden carried it by 10 points.

The first official action Youngkin took was signing an executive order aimed at purging CRT from the state’s education system. He ordered the state Department of Education to conduct a review and started a hotline for parents to provide tips and complaints. This was only after the Democrat-controlled state senate killed any chances of legislation banning CRT.

Youngkin also appointed five new members to the Board of Education, creating a conservative-leaning body that shares his agenda.

Back in March of this year, Virginia’s Spotsylvania County Public Schools made news, when Superintendent MarkTaylorsent a memo instructing the county’s director—and assistant director of teaching and learning—to remove 14 titles from school libraries, due to their violation of Youngkin’s order. Specifically, the aspect that establishes parental notification policies for materials that may have sexually explicit themes. Youngkin’s plan is being reevaluated and changed though with a new version set to come out in August of this year.

In July of 2022, public backlash led to the cancellation of a drag show that was to be held in a public school auditorium. In February 2023, parents in Isle of Wight County helped push the local school board to vote 3-2 to enact two major policies: Banning sexually explicit materials in K-8 education and giving parents of high school students the chance to inspect—and opt their children out of—certain curriculum.

Come November, parents statewide will go to the polls to determine control of their local school boards.

Wisconsin Still Has a Long Way to Go in Classroom Struggle

Wisconsin has seen mixed results when it comes to the clash over classroom curriculum. Before the CRT battle erupted, two sets of parents sued two school districts in 2021, after they attempted to allow students to change their names and pronouns without parental consent.

A hearing was held in April 2023 and a final decision is expected later this summer.

Another group of Wisconsin parents filed an appeal with the Superior School District, after District Administrator Amy Starzecki rejected their complaint regarding gender identity being taught to fifth graders. These parents argued the lesson plan didn’t meet district standards. Unfortunately, in August 2022 the school board upheld the original decision in defiance of parental wishes.

On the CRT front, the state legislature voted to ban it in Wisconsin public schools last year, before far-left Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the bill.

It was instances like this that led TV host Tucker Carlson to highlight the issue back in 2022, to explain why children are being sexualized and defined by gender:

What you’re seeing is a society that hates children . . . You would have to hate children in order to sexualize them. Because sexualizing children screws them up for life. Ask anyone to whom it has happened, period . . . No one should put up with this. No parent should put up with this for one second, no matter what the law says. Your duty, your moral duty, is to defend your children. This is an attack on your children and you should fight back.

Arizona Sees Parent Pushback in “Progressive” Classroom Culture

Residents in Arizona also began speaking out about CRT around 2021. One parent was so outraged that she appeared before the school board association to highlight a plan paid for by the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, which asked probing questions about students’ personal home lives—with the title of the survey being: “Recognizing privilege.”

“Why is this being paid for by the NFL and the Arizona Cardinals?” the mother asked the school board. She then explained the survey was “involuntary” and part of a “Diversity Foundations” lesson for 9th through 12th graders.

Another parent at the same meeting said this has nothing to do with equality and is centered on “payback.” Something that has ultimately “turned our schools into warzones.”

Following similar backlash from parents across the state, some publicly condemned President Biden’s Department of Justice investigation focused on vocal parents who stood up against federal interference and mandates.

In the Fall of 2021, Arizona police were forced to launch an investigation into claims that a school board in Scottsdale was keeping a personal dossier on certain outspoken parents, who opposed mask mandates and CRT. The dossier included information about divorces, Social Security numbers, and other personal facts, according to the New York Post.

The board’s president, Jann-Michael Greenburg, was removed after a public outcry and the conclusion a special investigation.

In May 2022, a group of parents sued the Scottsdale school district board for targeting parents; they were later joined by state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who brought a lawsuit over the board restricting public comment.

Another group of Arizona parents from the Chandler Unified School District presented the board with a “list of expectations” after their children were given “expectation sheets of their own.” The parents claimed the board broke their trust when it secretly funded CRT training for teachers.

The upheaval led to a parental rights bill that was signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in April 2022, followed by the election of Tom Horne, a Republican, as superintendent of public instruction that November. Horne setup a hotline similar to Youngkin’s in Virginia for credible tips about CRT being taught in state classrooms.

Further pushback came this past December when “Purple for People,” a conservative parental-rights group, endorsed 38 candidates in November’s school board races across Arizona and unofficial results showed that 20 of them won seats.

An effort to ban CRT in March of this year was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who has ties to “progressive” megadonor George Soros. The governor added: “We don’t teach CRT in Arizona.”

What Can Be Done?

With such divisiveness, intimidation, and disagreement—there must be more than one solution to solve this crisis.

First, we must admit together as a nation that many public school teachers are presenting personal opinions and subjective theories as fact to impressionable young minds. They are stirring up racial tensions, exposing children to sexually explicit and politicized materials, and teaming up with far-left politicians to normalize their behavior.

Conservatives must not only focus on funding and winning local school board races, but they must propose cutting off all taxpayer funding for any institution teaching CRT, racial divisiveness, anti-American sentiments, and those which would cut parents out of the loop.

Students and parents must also take the “hidden camera approach” and film these instances where it is legal to do so. Let the public hear the quiet part out loud. Technology today makes this rather simple for a student or parent to accomplish.  

There is rot deep within America’s education system. Some educators groom their students to inculcate their political beliefs, even if it clashes with everything their parents taught them to hold dear—God and faith included.

The Arizona mother at the board meeting was right. Our classrooms have become warzones where revenge is disguised as “equity” and “inclusion.”

But this war is not a conventional one. It is a spiritual and mental struggle. One that must be overcome by those willing to restore sanity, reward merit, scale back the celebration of victimhood and restore the public trust. The other solution is to continue supporting movements that make charter schools and home schooling possible and available to those seeking alternatives.

If parents cannot trust teachers to be around their children, then perhaps it’s time to pull them out of the system entirely and let it financially collapse from lack of funding.

Come what may, this battle is sure to rage on long into the next generation and will determine the health of our nation for decades to come.