By now, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing about school children in blue enclaves like New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles being force-fed woke classroom instruction. But teachers’ unions are doing their best to ensure the leftist indoctrination leaks out to flyover country, as well.
This past week, in fact, an assistant superintendent for Mentor (Ohio) Public Schools informed teachers from grades 6-12 they needn’t bother to notify parents of a name or pronoun change if the student makes an informal request for the action.
By “informal,” the district means changes that don’t show up in Google or the Infinite Campus parent portal.
A section of the email read, “(T)hat teacher can just use those preferred pronouns/name with the student, and there is no need to share the info with any other staff member or family member unless the student would like additional support with this throughout the year.”
This is hardly the first time Mentor Schools and its divisive policies have made national headlines. On July 9, 2020, the district superintendent shared a message at its Board of Education meeting that read, “George Floyd’s avoidable and tragic death underscores a problem of systemic racism, which still permeates our society.”
In response, Mentor officials launched a program called “Cardinals Circles,” which appear to be nothing more than what other school districts call “affinity groups.” The term refers to groups of staff, parents or students segregated by identity attributes such as race and sexual orientation.
These lesson plans were created by the company BetterLesson, which has worked with the National Education Association more than once on curricula of dubious value.
Given that teachers have repeatedly expressed their desire to drop the politics and go back to educating students about the Three Rs, one would expect the union being supported by their dues to be pushing back against the school district.
Sadly, the nation’s teachers’ unions long ago subordinated the legitimate workplace concerns of their members to the more important goal of advancing a radically liberal political agenda.
Not surprisingly, huge numbers of teachers have begun dropping their union affiliation. In the Buckeye State, for example, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) lost 1,619 members, and the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) lost 1,141 during the 2020-2021 school year.
That’s 3,033 Ohio teachers now funding themselves instead of their union’s political agenda, in large measure because they’re sick and tired of seeing students used as pawns in a destructive game of political chess.
Politics long ago became the raison d’etre for teachers’ unions like the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT). As a consequence, more than 80,000 teachers across the country have dropped their affiliation with the organizations in just the past two years.
Union leaders like hyper-partisan AFT President Randi Weingarten are fully aware of the teachers’ frustration, but they characterize it as a reaction to parents fighting back.
Unfortunately for her, the truth is out there. When millions of students were needlessly kept out of class and forced to learn from home because of COVID, parents got a chance to see with their own eyes the socialist dogma unions have been passing off as education for years.
Mentor, Ohio, may have one of the nation’s most brazen school districts, but the phenomenon is in no way isolated to this one midwestern community.
The liberal disease has infected far too many of the country’s institutions, and the cure is to expose the lies being spread by union leaders like Randi Weingarten and start holding them accountable.
As the Freedom Foundation does every day of the week.