Parents’ rights group fights critical race theory with anti-union campaign
To allow schools to be Critical Race Theory (CRT) free, parents must break unions, say parental rights activists.
This school year, Moms for Liberty leaders Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich launched a national campaign to end union control of schools.
“Let’s start the new school year on the right foot – by ending the reign of powerful teachers’ unions who care more about pushing woke ideology and rewriting forms to say ‘birth parent’ instead of ‘mum’ or ‘ dad, “rather than improving reading sheet music or addressing the growing learning gaps in our country,” reads the band’s press release.
Teachers pushed the CRT into the classroom at a time when many students aren’t learning to read, Justice said.
According to national surveys, only about a third of 4th graders are reading proficiently at a 4th grade reading level in 2019.
At the same time, reports of teachers giving children political instruction on the CRT, transgender, and other leftist ideologies have increased dramatically.
That push is coming from teachers’ unions, Descovich said.
Teachers’ unions like the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have long been bastions of Democratic political power, she said.
Rather than making sure teachers get a good salary while giving kids a good education, they focused on making education ideological, Justice said.
“What we’ve seen over the past 40 years in education in America is a real shift away from giving children practical skills and making them warriors for social justice,” said she declared.
Moms for Liberty encourages teachers to leave these unions to stop their promotion of left-wing education, Descovich said.
“It is essential that teachers understand [are] options there, they don’t have to be union members,” she said.
For many parents, COVID-19 has led to new findings about schools, Descovich said. During the pandemic, parents have been able to see the lessons their children have received. Often they didn’t like what they saw.
“I think they were shocked to see the gender ideology being pushed into the classrooms, the divide between races, critical race theory,” she said.
While the pandemic was a time for parents to learn, now is the time for them to act, Moms for Liberty leaders said.
“The start of the 2022-2023 school year is the perfect time to end the deadly grip of woke union bosses on innovation, excellence and freedom in public education,” reads the report. Moms for Liberty press release.
Moms for Liberty has a two-part strategy to break union power, according to its press release.
It will encourage teachers to leave unions in states where they can and inform parents about school performance.
As unions like the NEA spread across America, they allied with school system administrators to protect a bloated bureaucracy, Justice said.
“We are seeing more and more money being spent on public schools,” she said. “And yet, teachers are not paid better.
Although the Supreme Court has ruled that it is illegal to force teachers to pay union dues if they do not want to, sometimes unions do it anyway.
In many states, even nonunion members must pay unions for their role in collective bargaining. In other states, social pressure to stay in a union plays a major role, Descovich said.
“The unions will say, ‘If you get in trouble, if someone accuses you of something, the only person who will be there for you with us,'” she said.
Union dues money gives unions immense political power. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers gave a combined $29 million to Democrats and other liberal groups.
Unions also play a major role in promoting a leftist agenda, Justice said.
“The unions have become the foot soldiers of the left in America, the most progressive fringe of the left,” she said.
Justice said she strongly believes American teachers are already breaking with unions.
“I think the curtain on education has been drawn, and all of America now recognizes that the union is bargaining for the people at the table, not the teachers on the ground,” she said.
Parents can also pressure schools to change their curriculum, Descovich said. But often schools pushed parents away.
In union strongholds, some Moms for Liberty supporters have lost their jobs due to harassment of their employers by union members, she said.
A mother was called by the FBI. It has been difficult to get school boards to listen to parents.
“It’s about as unpleasant as you can imagine where there are union strongholds,” Descovich said.
Moms for Liberty has more than 200 national chapters, Descovich said. Despite these setbacks, many chapters have succeeded in placing parent advocates on school boards.
“Unions must understand that teachers in schools, their first duty is to educate children,” Justice said.