Reagan Reese, DCNF
The New Jersey chapter of the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), published an ad labeling parents who speak out at school board meetings against Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender identity lessons as “extremists.”
The New Jersey National Education Association (NJEA) published a 15 second commercial discussing how New Jersey citizens should agree that students deserve “a world class education” that should be separate from politics, according to an Aug. 15 video. However, the video cuts to black and white photos of people yelling in crowded meetings with headlines of articles describing parent protests at school board meetings over CRT and gender ideology, with a narrator calling the parents “extremist.”
“When extremists start attacking our schools, that’s not who we are,” the video said. “People who only want to fight to score political points should take that somewhere else.”
The ad features articles such as “Some NJ Schools Under Siege” by NJ.com, which is about groups that are working to remove LGBTQ and Critical Race Theory books from New Jersey libraries. “Don’t Say Gay Bill Introduced By NJ State Senator” by Patch.com is also cited and reports the introduction of a bill that would prohibit lessons on gender identity until seventh grade and give parents the ability to sue if the law is broken.
“Defaming parents as ‘extremists’ for standing up for their children is right out of Merrick Garland and Randi Weingarten’s playbook,” Laura Zorc, executive director of Building Education for Students Together, a group focused involving parents in their child’s education, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “New Jersey’s parents deserve better than this NJEA slander – standing up for your children is NOT a political point, it is a parent’s responsibility. The NJEA should be ashamed for pretending they care more about children than their parents.”
The video posted to the NJEA YouTube page has more than 25,000 views. The NEA has affiliates in every state and NJEA has membership options for aspiring, current and retired teachers, the group’s website stated.
“This ad reveals the true mission of the NEA, which is serving political bureaucrats,” Elisabeth Messenger, national executive director of Americans for Fair Treatment, which focuses “constitutional rights around union membership,” told the DCNF. “Let’s not forget the NEA spends $2 on politics for every $1 it spends on representing its members. The union should focus on providing excellent service to their members – not targeting parents.”
The NJEA has a “Center For Honesty In Education” that works to “combat disinformation, regressive policies, and dangerous rhetoric in local school districts,” according to the website. The branch partners with members of the community to “discredit bad actors who seek to politicize our public schools.”
The NJEA and the NEA did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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