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Two outspoken opponents of critical race theory have kickstarted a membership association designed to empower parents to combat the “woke indoctrination” happening in the nation’s K-12 education system.
Parents Defending Education (PDE) aims to build a “large nonpartisan network of parents committed to de-politicizing the classroom.” The group was founded by Nicole Neily, the founder and president of Speech First, a free speech membership organization. It was also co-developed by Asra Nomani, a former professor and investigative reporter.
The organization will teach parents how they can understand what’s happening in their children’s classroom. Specifically, the group will teach parents how to document “abuses and extremism” in their schools and how they can “begin exercising influence and oversight with their school.”
“For parents who are disturbed by what they’ve seen — with students told they are either oppressors or oppressed and recruited into political activist causes — PDE trains parents how to put schools and officials on the spot, gain media attention, get involved with school boards and other oversight bodies, and make sure the school knows there will be consequences for indoctrination and radicalism in the classroom,” the organization told The Daily Wire.
As a result of in-person learning, a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, it has become increasingly easy for parents to observe what is happening in the classroom. PDE believes that virtual learning will allow parents to more effectively document and expose disturbing classroom incidents.
Founder and president Nicole Neily told The Daily Wire that the group was designed to solve issues of indoctrination by getting more parents involved.
“We formed Parents Defending Education to help empower parents to stand up to the increasing rise of illiberal ideology in our K-12 schools around the country,” Neily said. “We know that these problems can’t and shouldn’t be solved in Washington — that is why Parents Defending Education is seeking to address these issues on state and local levels by creating a network of parents united in defense of the quality and content of their children’s education.”
PDE will also have a multimedia map called “IndoctriNation,” which documents incidents of radicalization in classrooms across the nation. Cornell law professor William Jacobson created a similar system that tracks the rise of critical race theory — the ideology that claims America is irredeemably rooted in racism — on college campuses. “IndoctriNation” will track incidents in the K-12 system.
The organization plans to use FOIA filings, the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights complaints, litigation, and investigative reporting to expose the “extremism” in classrooms. PDE members can also share their stories with the community anonymously.
Asra Nomani, PDE’s vice president of strategy and investigations, said that she believes the country is in a crisis in part because of the education system.
“Our country is in a crisis today because of ideologues pumping divisive, polarizing ideas into our classrooms, teaching them to our children,” Nomani said. “Educators have a moral duty to teach our kids how to read, write, and think — not dictate what they must think. As parents, we must stand together to defend education, challenge radicalization and inspire our children with positive values.”