American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten had harsh words for parental rights in education bills on the Rick Smith Show on April 13.
“We’ve been very lucky in America, and we in some ways live in a bubble for a long time,” Weingarten said about conditions in education. “This is propaganda. This is misinformation. This is the way in which wars start. This is the way in which hatred starts.”
Weingarten contends that legislators like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are overstepping their bounds with the new laws and making things more difficult for teachers with the new restrictions.
Weingarten said her organization–the biggest teacher’s union in the country–values parental involvement but doesn’t want to see a “vocal minority” hijack the system when, according to her, it is working for most parents and kids.
“Educators welcome parent involvement in schools because our kids do best when teachers, parents, and caregivers work together,” Weingarten said in a statement to Fox News earlier this week. “We have a lot to do to help kids recover and thrive this year after two years of an unprecedented pandemic. So rather than help us help our kids socially, academically, and emotionally, these vocal minorities want to marginalize LGBTQ kids, censor teachers and ban books.”
Weingarten seems to be forgetting that parents, not teachers, should be directing their kids’ education and that government entities have been given very little power constitutionally to be in charge of kids’ social and emotional needs.
Parents are only acting so strongly now because teachers and school boards have been the ones who have overstepped their bounds when they unilaterally decided to teach children as young as four about gender identity and to suggest that their biological gender could somehow be a mistake if they aren’t sure about it.
Under Weingarten’s leadership, schools in major cities remained closed far longer than more rural ones, and the AFT has also continued to recommend students wear masks even as most districts decided in March to make them optional.
Masks will continue to be recommended until transmission of COVID-19 in schools reaches zero, according to Fox News.
The pandemic gave many parents a front-row seat to what was happening at their children’s schools as they tried to help them with homework and make sure they understood what was happening in their Zoom sessions.
This knowledge led some to begin speaking out at school board meetings, mostly to protest the teaching of LGBT-friendly curricula to young elementary children who don’t need to hear about sex and sexuality yet, as well as critical race theory, which teaches that white students are “privileged” and inherently racist just because of their race.