News and Analysis

Critics Slam NBC News For Suggesting School Curriculum Transparency Would Lead To Censorship
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: A view outside NBC News studios at Rockefeller Plaza on July 15, 2016 in New York City.
Noam Galai/WireImage

NBC News faced backlash over a report that it published this week that sought to paint those who want transparency in what their children are taught as “conservative activists” who pose a threat to free speech.

“Conservative activists want schools to post lesson plans online, but free speech advocates warn such policies could lead to more censorship in K-12 schools,” NBC News said in a tweet that included a link to the article.

“Some conservative activists say the effort — which has come under fire from Democrats, teachers and civil liberties advocates — is a potent strategic move to expose and root out progressive ideas from schools,” NBC News reported. “But teachers, their unions and free speech advocates say the proposals would excessively scrutinize daily classwork and would lead teachers to pre-emptively pull potentially contentious materials to avoid drawing criticism.”

Notable responses to NBC News’ report included:

  • Corey A. DeAngelis, National Director of Research at School Choice Now: “It’s time to free families from the clutches of the teachers unions once and for all.”
  • Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch: “Agenda piece by @NBCNews helpfully reminds parents that leftists illegally abusing kids with racist CRT propaganda fear transparency.”
  • Don Huffines, TX gubernatorial candidate: “It’s not censorship to allow parents to view the materials teachers are using with their children. It’s called accountability. Schools exist to educate, not indoctrinate.”
  • Jim Hanson, Executive Director of America Matters: “If you have to hide the garbage you’re peddling to our kids. You have forfeited any presumption you can be trusted. Show your work.”
  • David French, The Dispatch: “Free speech advocate here: Transparency is good. It’s good for parents to see the curriculum.”
  • Jason Rantz, radio host: “‘More censorship’ is how NBC News defines parents saying you shouldn’t teach *their* kids that gender isn’t real or that all the white students aren’t “oppressors” apparently.”
  • Chris Barron, political strategist: “Its amazing how the ‘free speech advocates’ only show up when its speech that supports their political agenda.”
  • Andrew Sullivan, liberal journalist: “Transparency has no effect on free speech. It can help expose indoctrination.”
  • Jarrett Stepman, Daily Signal: “The attitude here seems to be that progressives have some kind of inherent right to push their ideas on kids whether you like it or not.”
  • Mike Cernovich, political commentator: “They don’t want parents knowing what they talk to your kids about. This is grooming. No other way to describe it.”
  • Harmeet K. Dhillon, attorney: “Do you see what’s happening here? Secret lesson plans, secret sexual and gender preference coaching, grooming, and clubs … parents have a recognized constitutional right to direct their children’s development.”
  • Charles Fain Lehman, Manhattan Institute: “For example, if you teach insane ideas that parents object to, parents will complain about that and it will be harder for you to teach those ideas. That’s the point!”
  • Mary Margaret Olohan, Daily Signal: “Virtual learning forced teachers to put their content online + teach in front of parents. One of many reasons parents have risen up and taken action (hey Glenn Youngkin). Makes sense that teachers would balk at the idea of further accountability.”

Other notable responses included:

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