Education advocates respond to the media's 'insulting' lecturing of parents

Media top headlines November 10

‘The View’ guest clashes with Adam Schiff over the Steele dossier, Brian Williams announces plans to depart MSNBC, NBC News after 28 years, and a New York Times media columnist says journalist shouldn’t be ‘cheerleading’ the FBI raid on James O’Keefe

Liberal media have spent days lecturing parents to stay out of their children’s education since the Democrats’ losses in Virginia last Tuesday, and education groups are now speaking out.

In a network-wide meltdown following Republican Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial win last Tuesday, MSNBC pundits claimed that his supporters had misled voters on both the specifics of critical race theory and whether the controversial curriculum had been used in Virginia schools. Host Nicolle Wallace alleged the theory “isn’t real” at all. The theory, which teaches that U.S. institutions are inherently racist, has driven concerned parents to local school board meetings to express their concerns that the teachings are divisive.

More recently, CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter also claimed that “parents’ rights” was no more than a “cheap slogan” or a “catchall term” for those who were just trying to win elections. 

“Which parents?” Stelter asked. “Whose rights are we talking about?”

People gather to protest different issues including the board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in May, vaccine mandates and critical race theory during a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021.
(REUTERS/Leah Millis)

The Free to Learn Coalition are among the groups now answering Stelter’s pointed questions and responding to the media narrative at large on schools. The group is described as a non-partisan organization “established to support parents, caregivers, and community organizations in their advocacy for quality K-12 education.” 

“We’re talking about all parents, @BrianStelter,” the group tweeted. “Parents’ rights extend to all parents – it’s nonpartisan and deeply important to the success of our schools,” The Free to Learn Coalition, a group which claims to “advocate for classrooms independent of political influence.”

Parents Defending Education president and founder Nicole Neily argued that while the names of the biggest influencers of CRT may not appear in schools, their ideas have appeared in the classrooms in more subtle ways. 

“Our organization has fielded countless emails from parents desperate to show the media what is happening on the ground,” Neily told Fox News Digital. “You might not find books by Derrick Bell or Richard Delgado in elementary schools, but their theories influence school curriculums across the country. When the media plays word games to obscure this fact, they do a disservice to their audience and insult parents’ intelligence.”

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin gestures during a (Loudoun Parents Matter Rally) campaign event in Leesburg, Virginia, U.S., November 1, 2021.
(REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)

A new study has revealed several other instances in which CRT circumvented its way into classrooms., founded by Cornell University law professor William Jacobson, found that 21 of the country’s most elitist K-12 private schools had some form of mandatory anti-racism training for students, while 40 schools had some sort of curricular requirement change based off of anti-racism, DEI, or critical race theory. 

Still, Ian Prior, executive director of Loudoun County’s Fight for Schools, said the media must have gotten the memo to “insult” millions of parents on the subject and suggest they don’t know what they’re talking about.

“Clearly some in the media got a memo on what to say from unions and the rest of the education industrial complex,” Prior told Fox News Digital. “It’s insulting to millions of parents out there that many in the media would falsely claim to know more about what is going on in schools than the parents who actually are doing the investigative work to figure it out for themselves.”

“It is time to get political activism out of schools and to focus instead on giving every child the equal opportunity to maximize their own individual potential without the toxicity of philosophies and theories holding them back,” he added.

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin speaks during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2021.
(REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst)

Many parents similarly felt insulted when the Department of Justice launched an investigation into parents for potential acts of violence against school administrators last month. In a contentious Senate hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., confronted attorney general Merrick Garland about the investigation, calling it “shameful” and saying Garland should “resign in disgrace.”

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