What is compelling hundreds of parents across the country to suddenly stand up and confront their local school boards?
You’ve likely seen the videos—in numerous school board meetings, we are witnessing hundreds of ordinary moms and dads fight back against the indoctrination of leftist ideology that has been influencing our children for far too long. Engagement is far greater than just two years ago and has been called “an educational tea party.”
A principle trigger of this sudden backlash is the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
The riots and civil unrest of last year were largely led by young people who have rejected America’s founding principles. They replaced equality with equity, Biblical justice with ‘social justice,’ and individual responsibility with group identity. The resulting bitter division left many ordinary Americans wondering what happened.
These ideas did not spring up overnight; they are the result of a particular framework for viewing our society that is being taught in universities, high schools, middle schools, and now, even elementary schools.
During remote learning last year, many parents got an insider’s look at this worldview being promoted in their children’s K-12 classes.
Now, they are speaking up in massive numbers.
One mother who addressed her school board in Loudon County, Virginia, compared the teaching of CRT to her experience growing up in China during Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution:
“Their Communist Regime used the same Critical Theory to divide people; the only difference is they used class instead of race.”
Dr. Ty Smith, a black father in Illinois, told his school board how he worked his way through college and earned two medical degrees. Realizing how CRT can discourage kids from doing just what he did, he vowed,
“[I]f you want to implement this into the school system, I guarantee until the day that I die, I’m going to be the very person right there debunking stuff, tearing stuff down, letting [children] know they can do exactly what I did to get exactly where I am by putting themselves to work and getting there.”
And Quisha King, a mom in Duval County, Florida, warned her school board,
“If this continues, we will look back and be responsible for the dismantling of the greatest country in the world by reverting to teaching hate and that race is a determining factor on where your destiny lies.”
Despite claims by many school board members and the mainstream media that CRT is not being taught in K-12 schools, parents know the truth. And they fear the effects on their children’s mindsets, and their relationships with students of other ethnicities—or even their own family members.
As one North Carolina mom eloquently stated,
“We are not opposed to teaching truthful history. We ARE opposed to labelling people as oppressors and victims solely based on the color of their skin.”
They know CRT is not simply a philosophy taught in higher academics; it is a framework for evaluating all of society which can be applied to virtually every academic subject. In many schools, not only are history and civics being taught through the lens of CRT, but math and science as well, according to research by the Heritage Foundation.
It is a battle.
While Critical Race Theorists believe in a power struggle between races, a very real struggle is occurring right now between the powerful institutions of public education and many parents of schoolchildren. These include providers of academic resources and training for teachers, as well as teachers’ unions. Some examples are:
The National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), National Science Teaching Association, and the American Library Association (ALA).
You may be familiar with these names. They have all embraced the notions of Critical Theory and CRT.
Who do the parents have on their side?
Sometimes, parents find allies within the school system:
· School board members—who agree with parents that CRT should not be taught to their children.
· Teachers—who are fed up with having to teach their subjects through this distorted framework.
In addition, every parent has two powerful assets: their voice, and their vote. Derrick Wilburn, a Colorado Springs father whose ancestors were slaves, eloquently made his case and convinced the school board to reject CRT by a 3-2 vote:
“Racism in America would, by and large, be dead today if it were not for certain people and institutions keeping it on life support…sadly, one of those institutions is the American education system…Putting Critical Race Theory into our classrooms is not combatting racism; it’s fanning the flames of what little embers are left…let racism die the death it deserves.”
Now, this parental backlash needs to translate to engaged, informed voters.
Finding information on local candidates can be difficult, and our goal is to help voters discover what those running for their school board really believe about CRT and other important issues. This November, we will be producing informative voter guides for key school board races in several high-profile districts so that parents can determine which candidates have their children’s best interests in mind. We would like to cover even more school districts in the 2022 spring elections.*
We have also created an eBook, Whose Side Are They On? for voters to evaluate school board candidates in districts where we haven’t produced a voter guide. You can download it here.
We are honored to stand with these brave parents who are taking up the fight to protect their children’s minds and hearts. Their courage is contagious. Please stand with us—and them—by making like-minded parents in your community aware of iVoterGuide and sharing our eBook with them.
*Contact iVoterGuide if you would like to explore options for having iVoterGuide evaluate school board candidates in your district.
You can now see this information -- and more -- on our new School Board Initiative page.