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Four parents saw victory in a school board election in a Cincinnati suburb this month after campaigning against critical race theory (CRT) being taught in the classroom and mask mandates, continuing a nationwide trend of parents taking back the power from their local school boards.
The candidates in Forest Hills, Ohio dubbed themselves the “Four for Forest Hills” and secured four of the five school board seats in their district, according to Fox News.
Katie Stewart, Sara Jonas, Bob Bibb, and Linda Marie Hausfeld made up the group, all with no prior political experience. They were backed by the “Ohio Values Voters” group, a political nonprofit that supports candidates who embrace pro-life policies and “family values.”
(Source: Fox 19)
The four parents easily raked in votes against former school board members, including President Forest Heis, after unrest among parents concerned about the material unknowingly being taught to their children, including CRT, boiled over earlier this year after the schools employed a “CARE Team” of teachers and administrators to further professional development and help students who have concerns on race, gender or other issues of non-inclusion.
Stewart, a stay-at-home mother of six, garnered the most votes, beating the former President of the board by nearly 2,000 the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
When the coronavirus pandemic forced education to become virtual, Stewart decided to homeschool her children. She explained an incident where her daughter was left confused by a discussion on race in her first-grade class.
Instead of including topics like CRT in the curriculum, Stewart told Fox News exclusively that schools need to get back to the basics of math and reading.
The mother of six also believes that parents’ involvement in their children’s education is “huge” and creates an environment where kids “are more likely to succeed.”
“I would like to see our elementary schools being more united and focusing in the same direction and getting on the same page that every student in our district, regardless of where they live, is getting the same education,” Stewart told the outlet.
Despite the school district superintendent, Scott Prebles’, continued insistence that CRT was not being taught in schools, something didn’t add up for the four newly elected school board members when they learned what teachers were being subjected to as “professional development” under the CARES program.
“We did public records request on teacher training and teacher professional development because the district kept saying we are not teaching CRT to the kids, which they are not and we found that out. But, they are teaching it to the teachers and you’ll see through spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations that they want to separate teachers by their privilege,” Bibb, a father of two and another newly minted school board member described.
Bibb highlighted the importance of the discovery, calling it a “wake-up call” because it’s only a matter of time before the values being taught to teachers trickle down to students.
“I don’t know why you would ever want to do that, but that was a wake-up call to us right there because if you start separating teachers that is why it is only a matter of time before you start getting to the kids,” Bibb stated.
The father of two also mentioned that the district hired a “diversity consultant” who claimed that there was a lot of racism in the schools. Despite her claims Bibb says, “She couldn’t pinpoint anything specific in our district but she was saying throughout the whole country, the public school system, in particular, is systemically racist.”
The new school board member maintains that “everybody should be equal in public school…We all should have access to the same stuff. Your kid is not better than my kid and vice versa.”
Jonas, a tax auditor and mother of three, got involved and decided to run for the board after finding that she was initially part of a minority of parents concerned about CRT in the classroom.
“There were only a few people sharing my voice and there were four open positions this year,” she told Fox.
The mother of three agreed with Bibb’s theory that the CRT being taught to teachers will eventually reach the ears of the nation’s students.
Hausfeld, a mother of two who works at a global manufacturing company, said the successful campaign was a “grassroots movement going door to door.””In the elementary schools, the kids were still masked here where the other students aren’t. We want to give that decision back to the parents. We don’t think that it’s right that the school has to make the younger kids masked when the parents had indicated that they did not want mandatory masking, Hausfeld told Fox.
Parents across the country have struggled in taking control back from school administrators, teachers, and organizations peddling CRT into the curriculum. Earlier this year, the National School Board Association compared parents who spoke out to domestic terrorists.
However, parents are slowly gaining ground in their efforts to reclaim their children’s education. Earlier this month, Boston.com reported that at least seven January 6 rally-goers won school board seats.
These small victories for parents and for freedom could reinforce the red wave expected in 2022 as Americans become increasingly dissatisfied with Democrats and President Biden.
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