A Polite Reminder That Rightwing Fanatics Are Coming For Your School Boards
Once again, a warning — rightwing extremists are planning on taking over school boards. QAnon people, anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, homophobes, people who are weirdly obsessed with critical race theory, etc. And it's not just individuals doing this on their own, there are organizations out there supporting them and teaching them how to run and take over school boards. This is bad. It was bad when the religious Right did it, it was bad when the Tea Partiers did it, and it's going to be even worse now because these motherfuckers are crazier than all of them.
Right Wing Watch reported yesterday that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is sending out emails to raise money to fund these campaigns and to teach people how to run for those positions.
Perkins began his email by suggesting that the pandemic had led to parents taking more of an interest in what their kids were learning in schools, being "horrified" by all of the communism and critical race theory therein and realizing that "their local public schools were filling their children's minds with lies, hatred, and division."
"FRC Action is offering urgently needed expertise, training materials, guidance, and personal connections to help conservatives win local political campaigns," Perkins wrote in his recent fundraising letter. He claimed that more than 1,200 "parents and concerned citizens" took part in the group's virtual "School Board Boot Camp."
Naturally, he framed this as a "grassroots effort," despite the fact that it is largely being funded and encouraged by large groups like his own.
In many of America's 13,800 school districts, grassroots efforts are beginning to nominate conservative, pro-family, pro-American candidates to run against left-wing incumbents. Some have launched recall campaigns to unseat school board members before the next election—before they can do any more to influence our impressionable children.
We need to grow these small and sometimes disorganized efforts into an army of activists ready to do battle on behalf of the family and America.
They're not the only ones doing it either. Right Wing Watch also reported yesterday that Charlie Kirk's Turning Point USA recently launched a "School Board Watchlist," wherein concerned Republicans can send in tips about their local school board being too liberal and tolerant or encouraging of children learning about history, which as we all know is against the law.
The School Board Watchlist (SBWL) is America's only national grassroots initiative dedicated to protecting our children by exposing radical and false ideologies endorsed by school boards and pushed in the classroom. SBWL finds and exposes school board leadership that supports anti-American, radical, hateful, immoral, and racist teachings in their districts, such as Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, sexual/gender ideology, and more. SBWL also provides information on how parents and students can get involved in their local school board and put an end to the racialization of the classroom.
It's time for millions of Americans to stand up and take back our schools, demanding an end to the radical indoctrination of our children in the classroom
As ridiculous as Charlie Kirk and his tiny face may be, this is a real, actual threat. There are real consequences to school boards being taken over by these people, and while it is possible to overthrow them, it's generally best to not let them happen in the first place. And in order to do that, Democrats need to be sure to both vote and run in school board elections, along with other minor local offices.
Being competitive in small local elections solves a lot of problems at once. The first, most obvious one is that it keeps the fanatics from taking over these spots and exerting influence locally. The other is less obvious, but equally important — Democrats need a deeper back bench. Because the fact is, all your faves are going to retire someday, some sooner than others, and they are going to need to be replaced. Many Democrats, I have noticed, tend to get upset when people they feel have "come out of nowhere and haven't paid their dues yet" run for office, and this would be a really good way to produce candidates that they feel comfortable with. Additionally, doing good stuff locally is a great way to garner support and enthusiasm for the larger elections.
For anyone looking into running for school board as a Democrat, or any other local office or position, the National Democratic Training Committee offers a variety of online courses and the occasional boot camp to help you figure out how to go about that.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse