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Shortly after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent an infamous letter to the White House comparing affected parents to national terrorists and inspiring a Justice Department note, the National Education Association (NEA) sent a similar letter to social media companies, urging them to quell “propaganda” on critical race theory that allegedly fueled “a small but violent group of radicalized parents.”
Following recent revelations that the White House indeed helped draft the letter from the NSBA and claims Education Secretary Miguel Cardona requested the letter (an assertion that a spokesperson for the Department of Education Education denied), critics suggested that the NEA letter represents even more coordination between government and interests. groups to silence parents.
“It sounds like a concerted effort between the federal government and outside groups like the NEA and the NSBA to interfere with parental rights under the First Amendment,” Ian Prior, father and executive director of the First Amendment, told Fox News Digital Wednesday. Fight for Schools. Noting the claims about the White House and Cardona, he said that “it does not spark the imagination to believe that the federal government was also involved in the NEA letter”.
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“Republicans in the Senate and House should do everything in their power to get to the bottom of this,” Prior suggested.
The NSBA sent its letter on September 29, warning that school boards face “physical threats” due to opposition to COVID-19 policies and critical race theory. After the Justice Department issued an October 4 memorandum echoing the letter, the NSBA issued an apology on October 22. The NEA sent its letter on October 8.
In the letter, NEA President Becky Pringle urged executives at Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to tackle online “trends” that “have helped create a culture of fear and violence with educators as targets. “.
After mentioning a TikTok trend encouraging property damage in schools, Pringle noted “the alarming growth of a small but violent group of radicalized adults who mistakenly believe that graduate classes on racism are taught in schools. Kindergarten to Grade 12 due to misinformation on social media. media. ”Pringle here made an oblique reference to Critical Race Theory (CRT) – a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to uncover the systemic racism beneath the surface – which many parents claim to have infiltrated school curricula.
She also mentioned a “vocal group of extremists who endanger the safety of our children, educators and families because of the idea that wearing a mask is an attack on personal freedom.” She referred to a few examples of parents physically attacking educators over COVID-19 protocols, although she did not refer to any of those attacks involving CRT.
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Pringle praised the DOJ rating, saying “we applaud this effort” and accusing social media platforms of turning schools “into centers of a cultural war.” She urged social media companies to “help end the flow of propaganda fueling violence against our educators in our communities.” She asked for a pledge to “regulate the lies and fix your algorithms.”
The NEA did not respond to Fox News Digital’s multiple requests for comment on the letter. Facebook, Twitter and TikTok also did not respond to a request for comment.
Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, told Fox News Digital that she found the letter “not surprising”.
“It’s no surprise that the NEA leadership is demonizing concerned parents and citizens who have expressed concerns about the state of American schools. power – to hell with the success and well-being of the students, ”she said. “The loss of learning has had a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged students, and the mental health of students and parents has suffered. Yet when individuals attempt to raise these points, they are branded as ‘radicals’ and ‘extremists’ in an attempt to shame, silence and marginalize families. “
She also countered Pringle’s claims about the CRT.
“It’s a straw man for the NEA to wrongly claim that ‘higher level courses on racism’ are not taught in K-12 schools; after all, the most important part of education A child’s Montessori is not about making a four-year-old read the collected works of Maria Montessori, but rather implementing those ideas in the classroom, ”said Neily. She noted that in 2021 the NEA voted for research groups that criticize CRT and to increase the “implementation of culturally appropriate education, critical race theory and ethnic studies curriculum in education pre-K-12 and above “.
Prior called the NEA letter “ironic”.
It’s ironic that the NEA is referring to ‘radicalized parents’ who mistakenly believe critical race theory is anything but a graduate course. It was the NEA that introduced measures this summer to support the ‘implantation of critical breed theory into K-12,’ he noted.
Laura Zorc, executive director of Building Education for Students Together (BEST), has asked the NEA for an apology.
“The NEA owes the concerned parents an apology for accusing them of being violent, ‘radicalized’ and controlled by ‘conspiracy theories’,” Zorc told Fox News Digital. “Thanks to BEST, I have helped train over 1,000 parent activists in 2021, and I can tell you that is not what I saw.” BEST trains people to report to school board and focuses on issues like COVID-19 school closings and CRT.
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“Creating a creepy Strawman while failing to address the real concerns of parents is a typical tactic for these special interest groups,” Zorc added. “Social media platforms are essential for parents trying to organize resistance to the NEA agenda – the NEA’s call to suppress so-called misinformation rings like another name for censorship.”
Zorc insisted that the parents “are not leaving. This year we pledge to challenge these radical special interest groups and denounce each and every one of them for secretly trying to silence us and misuse our parental rights “.