By NFRW President Ann Schockett
In the latest round of the cultural wars, schools are being used by woke activists and the far-left ideologues at the National Education Association (NEA) to push Critical Race Theory (CRT). This dangerous pedagogy seeks to divide and weaken America, claiming that only a dismantling of American society and its institutions can reverse our nation’s bigoted underpinnings.
Instead of emphasis on equality of opportunity, CRT proponents demand equity of outcomes, even if it means lowering academic standards. Consider the example of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Northern Virginia. Once considered the gold standard among accelerated STEM schools, TJ recently did away with its competitive entrance exam under pressure from local leaders who felt there was not enough diversity among the school’s population. Enraged parents of TJ students are fighting this lowering of standards in court.
Indeed, the push for a CRT curriculum is driving angry parents to fight back with a fury seldom seen before. When COVID shut down schools, virtual learning at home exposed parents to the sort of woke indoctrination being pushed on their children. The result? School board meetings, once sleepy affairs, are now packed with enraged parents. Recall efforts are underway to remove radical leftists from school boards. Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Iowa have passed legislation banning Critical Race Theory. Best of all, citizens of all backgrounds are stepping forward to run for school boards, demanding a refocusing on academic excellence rather than wokeism.
The radical left has awakened a sleeping giant. The teachers unions’ stubborn insistence on keeping classrooms closed against CDC advice left many parents questioning the union agenda as their children fell behind academically and suffered socially and psychologically. The NEA’s publicly stated intent to promote a CRT curriculum in all K-12 schools is adding fuel to the smoldering fire.
In response to the backlash, the NEA recently scrubbed all mention of CRT from its website and is seeking to marginalize the opposition, attacking those who oppose its agenda as “right-wing extremists” who want to ban the teaching of history.
Not so. Polls show a majority of Americans disagree with teaching students that America is a racist nation. They want American history taught with a balanced perspective – the good, the bad, and the ugly discussed as part of the human story in which America, while founded on the notion of freedom and opportunity, has and will sometimes fail in its aim to live up to its ideals, and should keep aspiring to those principles.
So what can we NFRWarrior sisters do to keep the radical left from succeeding in its attempt to change society by indoctrinating our children that America is racist and evil?
- Engage at the local level. Pay attention to what your local school board and local elected officials are doing. Attend meetings, write letters, meet with local office holders, and make your voices heard. Encourage like-minded citizens to do the same and perhaps run for office yourself.
- Engage at the state level. Urge your legislatures to adopt laws that ban Critical Race Theory. If you live in a state that has already passed such legislation, be sure to thank your elected officials for doing so.
- 2022 is not far away. Work to re-take the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate so we can fight against CRT on the federal level.
- Think long-term and engage in the culture war. Critical Race Theory did not happen overnight; its emergence is the result of the left influencing our cultural institutions for many years. Encourage young people – particularly young Republican women – to consider career paths such as teaching in order to give conservatives a voice in those institutions. If your club or state federation has a scholarship program, please consider awarding one to someone who wants to pursue a career in education. The more conservatives who are involved in our cultural institutions, the better.
“Teach your children well” is the opening line of a famous Vietnam-era song that urged listeners to learn from the past. Your children and grandchildren will thank you for fighting on their behalf to ensure learning is a process focused on opening rather than closing minds.