Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, accused concerned parents of being warmongers during a radio interview with The Rick Smith Show. That’s an odd way of describing parents who object to classroom programs on sexuality and gender fluidity for children as young as five years old.
The show originally aired on April 13 and a video clip was released by the GOP War Room YouTube account Thursday.
“This notion – we’ve been very lucky in America, and we in some ways live in a bubble for a long time,” Weingarten said. “This is propaganda. This is misinformation. This is the way in which wars start. This is the way in which hatred starts.”
The arrogance exhibited by Weingarten is nothing new. Her oversized ego and hyperbolic speech against those she determines to be her enemies are well known. What interviews like this show us is that teacher unions are finally receiving the scrutiny they so richly deserve over their support of politicizing school children. While Weingarten easily tosses out words like ‘war’ and ‘hate’ as she speaks about lawmakers who respond to parental outrage over highly inappropriate lessons in early elementary education – children who are the ages of 5-7 – she sounds desperate and completely clueless. She tries to marginalize parents as “vocal minorities”. She should tell that to all the Democrats who lost elections in Virginia recently.
You’ll notice that Weingarten uses the buzzword “misinformation”. It is the preferred word to use by people who don’t want to deal with those who disagree with them. It’s particularly ironic in this case because the person spouting deliberate lies is Weingarten. This is all about criticizing Governor DeSantis and Republican Florida lawmakers who have decided to stand up to teacher unions. Democrats labeled the Florida Parental Rights in Education Bill the Don’t Say Gay Bill. There is no mention of the word gay in the bill yet Democrats lie that it is an overstep by Republicans, an anti-LGBTQ action that promotes hatred.
Weingarten wants public school teachers to have free reign in classrooms. In the view of the union, teachers are more powerful than parents. She pays lip service to teachers and parents working together.
“Educators welcome parent involvement in schools because our kids do best when teachers, parents and caregivers work together,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten 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.”
The days of partnership between teachers and parents are gone. One silver lining from the pandemic, if it can be described as such, is that children locked down in their homes and forced to learn online for almost two years exposed what exactly was going on in classrooms. Parents were appalled to see lessons and homework assignments that amount to normalizing sexual discussions with children too young to understand the topic. There is no need for such discussions outside of a child’s home. If a very young child asks questions of a sexual nature, the teacher should gently change the subject by suggesting the child talk to his or her parents. Period. Parents are being marginalized, not a minority group of children.
I continue to believe that the pandemic has provided the perfect storm for school choice. Republican lawmakers who do not take advantage of newly awaken parents and an increase in parental participation in schools are missing a golden opportunity. If not now, when? My own state of Texas is guilty of kicking the can down the road. Republican majorities in the Texas legislature have failed to address school choice.
In the absence of school choice options for parents, homeschooling has increased around the country. The Census Bureau found that between 1999 and 2012 homeschooling rates remained steady at 3.3%. New interest in homeschooling has spiked since the pandemic. It isn’t just in red states, either. Interest in homeschooling crosses economic, racial, and political divides.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s experimental Household Pulse Survey, the first data source to offer both a national and state-level look at the impact of COVID-19 on homeschooling rates, shows a substantial increase from last spring — when the pandemic took hold — to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Using a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. households, the survey shows homeschooling is notably higher than the national benchmarks and offers a glimpse of changes in homeschooling patterns during the pandemic.
The pandemic exposed the fact that teacher unions are all about power and not about the protection and education of children. The American school system would be better off with the existence of teacher unions. The existence of newly awakened parents must worry entrenched union bosses like Weingarten and the Democrats they contribute to during election cycles. Weingarten sounds a little desperate these days. The war of which she speaks is that of parents battling corrupt teacher unions and school boards. The hatred she speaks about is seen in the actions of teacher unions (and the DOJ) as when vocal parents at school board meetings were labeled as domestic terrorists.