John Merrow warns us that the extremists are upping the pressure to undermine public schools and their teachers. Attend local school board meetings. Run for the local school board. Stand up and be counted.

Perhaps you have been giving thanks that the predicted ‘Red Wave’ did not materialize in November’s midterm elections, but the danger isn’t over. Former President Trump has called for suspending the US Constitution, and most Republicans have refused to condemn his outrageous statement. White nationalists, racists, anti-semites, LGBTQ-haters, and the political opportunists and media whores who enable them are still out in force, working as hard as ever to destabilize our nation.

Because of my belief in the importance of public schools, I’m calling out the right-wing political activists who are working to destroy public education– and keep children from reading, thinking, and questioning. More people need to step up and defend public schools, because classrooms are becoming ‘unsafe spaces’ for exploration of anything that’s remotely controversial. That’s the polar opposite of education….and a genuine threat to our democracy.

At the top of my list is “Moms for Liberty” and its co-founder Tiffany Justice. This group is leading an effort to take over school boards in order to restrict the curriculum and fire supposedly ‘woke’ administrators. She told former Trump consigliere Steve Bannon, “We’re going to take over the school boards, but that’s not enough. Once we replace the school boards, what we need to do is we need to have search firms, that are conservative search firms, that help us to find new educational leaders, because parents are going to get in there and they’re going to want to fire everyone.”

In October The New Yorker profiled the organization, a piece well worth your attention.

Blogger Peter Greene, a former high school teacher, cataloged the right-wing campaigns of Moms for Liberty, the 1776 Project, and Patriot Mobile recently in Forbes Magazine. Below is Greene’s description of some of their victories, and the consequences.

Right-wingers took over the “Miami-Dade School Board, where a resolution to recognize LGBTQ History Month (which the district had done just last year) drew a crowd of opponents, including Moms for Liberty, the Christian Family Coalition, and the Proud Boys. The new majority on the board squashed the motion……In Colorado, a superintendent resigned after board members campaigned against his policy priorities. In Florida’s beleaguered Broward County district, a new majority appointed by Governor DeSantis passed a surprise motion to fire the current superintendent…..and in Berkeley County (SC), the new majority, on the same night they were sworn in, fired the superintendent, fired the district legal counsel, cut property taxes, banned “critical race theory,” and set up a committee to begin reviewing and removing books deemed inappropriate. Deon Jackson had served as Berkeley County’s first Black superintendent for just over a year, after long-time employment in the district in other capacities. The board offered no explanation for their action, telling the press only, ‘We expect to be able to share our rationale in the future.’”

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