Randi Weingarten, president of prominent teachers’ union American Federation of Teachers (AFT), tweeted on Monday her support for a controversial op-ed that falsely claimed parents don’t have the right to “shape their kids’ curriculum.”
“Great piece on parents’ rights and #publicschools,” Weingarten tweeted, including a link to a Washington Post op-ed titled, “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t.”
The authors of the op-ed — Professor Jack Schneider and journalist Jennifer Berkshire — insisted that parents have some say in their children’s education but claimed the current focus on parental rights was “a political tactic.” They also claimed the current movement by parents to get more involved in what is being taught to their children stems from “White racial grievance,” ignoring the numerous minority parents who has also opposed the way schools are currently teaching about privilege and race.
“Knowing that every vote matters, the GOP has increasingly relied on a strategy of voter suppression. Simultaneously, Republicans have worked to ensure that their base turns out in force by stoking White racial grievance. The recent firestorm over critical race theory is a perfect case in point. Never mind that this concept from legal scholarship isn’t actually taught in K-12 schools or that it isn’t what most protesters believe it to be. Republicans gain an electoral advantage by convincing their base that White children are being taught to hate themselves, their families and their country,” the authors wrote.
The authors also insisted that allowing parents a say in their children’s educations would keep those kids from being able to think independently and be exposed to alternate ideas.
As noted on Twitter when the op-ed was posted, parents do have the right to “shape their kids’ school curriculum.” In Virginia, where multiple school districts have gained national attention for parents’ attempts to fight back against mask mandates and Critical Race Theory, state law gives parents the “fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.”
Corey DeAngelis, research director at the American Federation for Children, also mentioned Pierce v. Society of Sisters, a 1925 ruling that found:
The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.
Weingarten has come under fire before, after it was revealed she had a major impact over the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines keeping schools closed. As The Daily Wire reported, the AFT “appears to have lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep schools shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic” and even suggested language for the CDC’s school-reopening guidelines released earlier this year.
“The AFT, of course, spent $20 million to elect Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, and teachers unions have been instrumental, across the country, in delaying in-person learning and a return to classrooms following the COVID-19 pandemic,” The Daily Wire added.