Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Gulbransen welcomed Williamson County District 6 School Board candidate Debbie Pace in-studio to talk about why she is running, the voting record of her opponent, and how the Wit and Wisdom curriculum got into the schools.
Gulbransen: We have in the studio Debbie Pace, who’s running for Williamson County School Board District 6. I got that right.
There are so many districts around the state and all these other things, you know. When you know you’re saying that right district number, it’s very nice.
We were chatting about why you’re running. We last left off with how, basically, you’d noticed that the Williamson school board was doing a lot of … I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but basically liberal things with the school, with the mask mandates and not doing things in the best interest of the children. And that’s where we left off, so let’s continue telling the story of why you’re running for school board and why it’s important.
Pace: Thank you, Aaron. Again, I’m Debbie Pace. I’m running in District 6 in Williamson County and what I was talking about was the school board meetings I started to go to during COVID and how shocking it was to see that in such a conservative town many parents believed they were being protected by a school board that represents them.
And what I saw was they did not seem to not only not represent us, but they seem to not even care. And the more I watched the more enraged I became about it. It was just not right. And I sat there and watched it.
And I just couldn’t sit by and watch any more. And that’s when I had to stand up and take a stand and I felt like somebody has to speak the voice of these parents who are being ignored and not listened to.
Gulbransen: I mean, in my estimation from watching all of these things it seemed like the school boards around the country basically care a lot more about teachers’ union’s interests than they cared about parents and parents’ rights and students rights and that sort of thing.
Especially during the COVID stuff. And I haven’t gotten a chance to say this on the air, but indulge me for a second: Dr. Fauci was completely full of garbage, and all of the lockdowns and mask mandates and vaccination mandates were completely full of garbage.
That feels good to say. I just haven’t had the opportunity to say it. But back to your race, which is obviously the topic of conversation, but back to, COVID aside, this is not the only crazy thing that the school board was doing. Let’s get into that.
Pace: Another thing that COVID did expose in Williamson County was the toxic curriculum. In the beginning of 2020 a curriculum was put into elementary schools K through 5 that’s called Wit and Wisdom.
And of course, not many people knew about it until the children in elementary school were home doing school on their laptops. And their parents were overhearing what was happening and what the teachers were teaching, and red flags began to pop up.
And more parents became aware of what their kids were learning which was a good thing. And we learned a lot about Wit and Wisdom during that year of 2020-2021.
And what we found was there was a lot of Critical Race Theory in that curriculum. And some of the parents started to complain, and when that happens the schools are forced to look at the issues.
Pace: And they did. They formed a committee to look at the curriculum.
Gulbransen: And what did they wind up doing?
Pace: They wound up taking one book out of the curriculum, and kept it. And that’s where our school board, again, voted to stand with the committee that voted to keep the curriculum.
And my opponent that I am running against said that he knows the material is darker and heavier than these kids can really handle at their age, but he voted to stand with the committee to keep the curriculum for five more years, which we know as a child goes through K through 5, they’re taught all of these things, and then you have an almost whole generation of kids that have learned it.
Gulbransen: I’m asking you to divine what is going on in the brain of your opponent, but why would you publicly say there’s an issue with this material and then vote to keep most of it? I don’t understand. That’s something your opponent should answer for, actually. That puzzles me. Do you have a theory as to why?
Pace: I do not. I don’t know why you would vote one way and then say the opposite of what you voted for, but, I do know that, again, somebody has to stand up for our kids. He has said he’s against Critical Race Theory, so there’s that.
But I don’t feel like he has done anything to stand up for it. He knew the parents fighting it. He knew, he had many conversations with parents that were fighting it. And then when it came to the school board vote, he failed us.
Gulbransen: Did the teachers’ union take a public position, or, at least for their undercurrents of a position on the Wit and Wisdom stuff? I’m assuming they were in favor of it. Because that usually explains what goes on.
Pace: We do have a teachers’ union in Williamson County, and I haven’t heard much from them, or about them. I know the teachers don’t feel like it protects them. I do know that.
But basically, what happened with Wit and Wisdom, our school is looking for a new curriculum and Penny Schwinn, who’s the Commissioner of Education for the state of Tennessee, appointed by Bill Lee, she was the one who brought this curriculum and pushed it through, although it did fail the state reviews three times.
And there is a lawsuit currently in the state of Tennessee against Penny Schwinn, the school board, and the superintendent. Some parents brought a lawsuit. That’s currently happening. That’s kind of how it got in.
Penny Schwinn signed a waiver, which has never happened before, pushed the curriculum in, now we have it, and paid a lot of money for it.
Listen to the interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.