This is courage personified: a conservative grandmother running for her local school board in Oregon.
In 2020, residents in Beaverton, OR, voted for Joe Biden by a whopping 59% margin, with only 19% of the vote share going to Donald Trump. Undeterred, conservative school board candidate Jeanette Schade thinks she has a shot in this deep-blue Portland suburb.
According to Schade, educators are unwittingly teaching school children racism under the guise of “anti-racism,” even going so far as to offer a segregated graduation for black high school students for the first time this spring. “They’re trying to fight racism with racism, and fight intolerance with intolerance, and that’s not how you go about it. We need to go back to Martin Luther King Jr.,” she told The Daily Wire.
The rise of divisive, racialized curricula and the permeation of inappropriate sexual content in schools inspired this grandmother and 23-year veteran teacher to run for school board.
“Every day I’m out talking to people…I get calls, emails, text messages from parents who are concerned about what’s being taught in schools, but they are afraid to speak out.” She continues, “there’s a ton of hidden conservatives, and even a lot of moderate dems are saying ‘we have to get this garbage out’ [of the schools].”
Despite what she perceives to be widespread silent support, the campaign hasn’t been easy. Opponents, including the local teachers union and Antifa, have mobilized against her, advocating on social media for the removal of her lawn signs, even going so far as to organize a “march” to protest against her candidacy.
Zeroing in on her stance against Critical Race Theory in k-12 schools, opponents claim repeatedly in public posts that Schade is a “white supremacist,” “racist,” “homophobe,” “transphobe,” “anti-semite,” “bigot,” and “covid denier,” to name just a few of the epithets.
Our youth comrades sent us this call to action in response to a racist and transphobe running for Beaverton School Board.
Show up April 26th, 5pm, Jenkins and Murray. pic.twitter.com/05SdwnrOKd
— Revolution Rising (@RisingPDX) April 25, 2021
According to Schade, lawn sign theft has also been rampant and has been endorsed by members of the teachers union in private Facebook groups. Her own lawn signs were stolen from her residence within 2 hours of placing them, and multiple supporters have reported the same.
Schade also reports that for the past 2 weeks, the harassment against her has been nearly 24-7 with angry phone calls to her home coming in at all hours of the night. Facebook messages calling her a “racist waste of flesh,” a “racist skank,” and “NAZI!” filter in throughout the day. Still, Jeanette remains undeterred. “Some people would be scared. I’m not.”
Jeanette believes the harassment is primarily linked to online posts made on various left wing facebook groups. One such post claimed that Schade is a “1950’s racist white mom reenactor,” and asserted that “keeping people like Jeanette Schade out of positions of power is part of the larger fight.” The post continued, “We’d be remiss if we didn’t leverage our power & privilege to do what we can to limit her political career.”
From the amount of backlash, one might expect she is running on a radical platform. However, her website reveals a succinct list of mainstream items, including:
Safe reopening of schools: “Too many of our at-risk students have fallen behind in the last year due to COVID-related school closures. We need to get our children back for full-day school, five days a week, as quickly and safely as possible.”
Curtailing powerful special interests: “Children aren’t learning the things most important to their futures because social agendas are coming first. Jeanette Schade will advocate for a quality education that emphasizes the essentials.”
Emphasizing the basics: “Our schools need to focus on areas like reading, writing and arithmetic instead of controversial areas like Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE).”
A variety of career paths: “Our schools need to emphasize the many different career paths that students may take, including fields in Career and Technical Education (CTE)…We [also] need to work with those who plan to attend community college or learn hands-on skills for blue-collar occupations.”
Regarding her stance on comprehensive sex ed, Jeanette shared three specific examples of what she considers “inappropriate” content for children that goes too far:
“Kindergarten students are being taught anatomy, including private anatomy,” with lessons that include coloring images of nude men and women. “Then you get to third grade and they start talking about kids satisfying themselves through a bathing suit,” and “then you get to fourth-fifth grade and they start talking about gender identity and transgender.”
Jeanette is confident that most parents in the district would prefer to address these topics at home in the way they see fit. “People across party lines…are sick and tired of what’s going on. This is about our kids’ future.”
Much of the controversy around Schade is linked to a photograph with Ben Edtl, founder of Free Oregon, a self proclaimed “bipartisan” organization which promotes civil liberties in Oregon. Edtl publicly donated $1000 to Schade’s campaign, and subsequently was falsely labeled a “Proud Boy” by Schade’s opponents, leading to a flurry of attacks on Schade, including allegations that she is “linked to a terrorist organization,” according to one facebook post.
When asked about his alleged association with the Proud Boys, Edtl stated “I have nothing to do with the Proud Boys, nor do I want to.” “I’ve learned about the Proud Boys, and I’m not impressed with [them]. They’re kind of like a biker club.” The original allegation arose after Edtl spoke at a small local event at which known Proud Boy Tusitala “Tiny” Toese also spoke. The event was later posted to YouTube.
Despite her frustrations with the harassment, much of which has been ruthless and personal, as well as the unchecked misrepresentations of her campaign, Jeanette remains impressively unflappable. Before signing off, she reiterated her core position: “This is about future generations being taught to be racist. When we start breaking down the family values and what the family unit is about, then society starts breaking down, and we can’t have that. We need to keep society strong, and keep this racist [and] sexual ideology out of our schools.”
Beaverton School Board elections are on May 18th. If Jeanette is able to win, she and her running mates will achieve a conservative majority on the board. Regardless, win or lose, her campaign is shining a much needed light on Critical Race Theory and comprehensive sex ed in Oregon schools, and parents are taking notice.
Right now courage is more important than ever. Parents across the country are standing up to racism in school curricula, but too many are still afraid. If you know someone in your community who is taking a stand we would love to share their story. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on IG @georgiamaehowe.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.