Efforts in Mequon-Thiensville School Board Recall by Concerned Wisconsin Parents Continue to Grow

Students on the floor in the classroom, listening to the teacher read

The efforts from concerned parents are growing in an attempt to recall four Mequon-Thiensville School District (MTSD) board members.

The recall election, which will take place of November 2nd, has drawn the attention of many individuals who often do not pay attention to politics, as the recall petition gained more than 17,000 signatures. 

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‘Just Unconscionable’: Parents Protest Outside the Justice Department Against ‘Domestic Terrorist’ Label

Parents protesting

Frustration at school boards boiled over for some parents and activists who protested outside of the Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. Sunday.

A small crowd gathered for the “Parents Are Not ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Rally,” a reference to Merrick Garland’s Oct. 4 memorandum that called on the FBI to “use its authority” in response to the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”

Garland’s statement followed a letter from the National School Board Association (NSBA) that asked the federal government to get involved in the alleged “immediate threat” of violence from parents against American public schools and education officials. The letter encouraged President Joe Biden’s administration to use statutes such as the USA PATRIOT Act to address actions that could be “equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

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‘Method of Intimidation:’ Ron Johnson Slams DOJ Probe of Parents’ School Board Protests

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says Attorney General Merrick Garland‘s order to have the FBI investigate parent protests of school policies is “outrageous” and a “method of intimidation.”

“He is saying they are intimidating school board members. No, it is the attorney general of the United States that is intimidating people exercising their rights to free speech and the right to petition their government,” Johnson said in an interview aired Sunday on the Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis show on WABC radio in New York.

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Parents Announce ‘Not Domestic Terrorists’ Rally in Front of the Justice Department

Parents protesting certain library books in children's schools

Northern Virginia parents plan to protest in front of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Sunday, according to a flyer posted online.

A flyer reveals plans for a “Parents Are Not ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Rally Oct. 17. “Stand up, speak up, fight back!” the memo reads. “Bring friends, be heard … you can make a difference!”

News broke Wednesday that a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) student was allegedly raped in a school bathroom in May by a male student who wore a skirt. The victim’s father, Scott Smith, was arrested at a LCPS school board meeting weeks later for resisting arrest, and the perpetrator – who was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy – allegedly assaulted another girl at the school he transferred to following the initial incident, Daily Wire reported.

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Commentary: Parents Aren’t Domestic Terrorists

It is probably an understatement to say that when one group designates another as a terrorist organization, diplomatic relations between the two become strained.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.”

Truths. Equal. Creator. Rights. Concerned parents want schools to teach truths, not ideologies; operate under equality, not equity; and respect faith in our Creator and our parental rights. These are the fundamental principles from our Declaration that are at stake in American education today.

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Wilson County School Board Votes to Extend Mask Mandate

In September, the Wilson County School Board approved a temporary mask mandate for students, teachers, and staff in the entire school system. The mandate expired on October 4th which led the school board to vote on whether to extend it or not during their meeting Monday night.

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Williamson County Schools Will Make Students Wear Masks in School Buildings Until Mid-January

On Monday, during a routine school board meeting, the Williamson County Board of Education voted to extend the temporary mask requirement for students, staff and visitors at all grade levels, inside all buildings and on buses, through January 19, 2022.

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Commentary: Biden Seeks to Override States Prohibiting School Mask Mandates, Citing Civil Rights Act

The back-to-school mask wars have been heating up for weeks, but the Biden administration just took them to a whole new level. On Wednesday, the president ordered the US Department of Education to use all available measures to prohibit states from banning school mask mandates.

In his remarks, Biden decried the contentious school board meetings that have occurred in districts across the country as parents argue for and against school mask mandates. He indicated that the “intimidation and the threats we’re seeing across the country,” from concerned citizens who oppose mask mandates “are wrong. They’re unacceptable.”

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School Board Recall Attempts Spike Amid Concerns About COVID Closures, Critical Race Theory

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

School board recall efforts are sweeping the country, with many driven by parents claiming Critical Race Theory (CRT) is infecting schools, demanding schools reopen in person, and arguing that boards are consumed by virtue signaling.

According to Ballotpedia, 58 such efforts against 144 board members have taken place in 2021. Those are both all-time highs since it started tracking school board recall efforts in 2006, and far above the next highest year, 2010.

Only one school board member has been removed in 2021, however, while three resigned and seven were retained in elections. One is scheduled for a November recall vote in Kansas for upholding a mask mandate.

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Parents Launch Effort to Recall Mount Pleasant Public School Board Members Who Imposed Mask Mandates

Michigan voters upset with mask mandates and other school-board actions can organize recall efforts, as Mount Pleasant Public Schools parents are now doing. 

Three directors of that central-Michigan school district could be electorally removed owing to public backlash over a requirement that all students up to the age of 12 wear masks in school.

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Metro Nashville Public School Board Member Fran Bush Recounts Disdain for Parental Concerns as Mask Mandates Sneak Through

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed MNPS School Board Member for District Six, Fran Bush in studio to discuss Tuesday evening’s school board-parent debate on mask mandates for students.

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Commentary: School Board Elections and the Impact on Critical Race Theory in America

Protestor with megaphone, talking

Over the last few months, the U.S. has engaged in intense discussion over “critical race theory.” As Americans have debated the impact of CRT, several states have banned CRT from the public school curriculum, while other states are using it as part of that curriculum. The debate over CRT’s merits or dangers has prompted ideological battles in school board elections. This article looks at the increased activism around school board elections and its broader ramifications.

Past politicization of school board elections

Though school board elections may not seem as exciting as a presidential or even congressional race, they have taken on greater importance in recent years. In 2005, the city of Dover, Pennsylvania faced a contentious court case known as Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, which ruled that the school district’s teaching of intelligent design violated the separation of church and state. Shortly after the trial concluded, the district held its school board elections, and all the school board members who favored the teaching of intelligent design lost their reelection bids, at least in part due to their position on the issue. The election generated much discussion.

In the early 2010s, school board races saw partisan involvement through the Tea Party movement. Generally, candidates affiliated with the Tea Party ran on platforms of greater political accountability and lower property taxes. Carl Paladino, a former Republican nominee for governor in New York, won a race for the Buffalo school board on a Tea Party-type platform. The school board later ousted Paladino for making offensive comments about former First Lady Michelle Obama.

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Commentary: Attend a School Board Meeting

If you want to know, up close and personal, the banality of evil, attend a school board meeting. With critical race theory and forced vaccination and masking all the rage, I did just that last night.

This board meeting wasn’t my first. When I was a kid, my dad ran for school board and won after a terrible teacher (a feel-good hippie) allowed one of my classmates to steal my work all year and put his name on it. Said teacher taught us second-graders macramé and little else. My family had moved from a high-performing school district to this less-than-stellar place. For about three years, I learned nothing new. My parents were incensed. So my dad ran for board treasurer, got elected, and promptly pissed everyone off.

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Owatonna School Introduces ‘Introduction to Critical Race Theory’ Class

Owatonna School Board

A highschool in Owatonna has introduced an elective class about critical race theory. The course is applicable for college credit. The course description says that taking Introduction to Education is strongly encouraged as a prerequisite. The description says that students will be taught the five tenets of critical race theory (CRT) and will be shown how to “isolate race.”

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Commentary: Concerns Grow About Critical Race Theory and Fostering Healthy Solutions in Williamson County Schools

Protestor with megaphone, talking

Critical Race Theory and its potential impact on students, and the broader community, has many parents worried in Williamson County. These worries have grown ever since Fostering Healthy Solutions (FHS) was hired – by unanimous vote by the WCS school board – to do an audit of the WCS system. FHS is Shan Foster’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultancy, which he co-founded with his mother, Anita Foster, in 2017. FHS was brought in to address charges of bullying and claims of incidents of racism in the WCS. The WCS School Board has paid FHS $55,000 over 4 months to help the district “provide a safe learning environment for all students by creating a cultural strategy plan”, according to an April 28 article in the Brentwood HomePage.

Fueling WCS parents’ concerns about FHS, are controversies regarding Critical Race Theory that are erupting in other school districts nationwide. The concern being, that firms like FHS are enacting programs in the name of “Diversity”, “Equity” and “Inclusion”, but hiding behind those nice-sounding terms is a bevy of lesser known CRT-based ideas. For example, concepts such as “white privilege”, “anti-racism” and “systemic racism”, as well as a “oppressor/oppressed” framework for understanding America. Oppressor/Oppressed narratives are rooted in Neo-Marxist philosophies and are usually presented as fact to faculty and students via DEI programs, rather than academic theory.

The Tennessee Legislature just banned the teaching of CRT in schools – with Governor Bill Lee signing HB 0580/SB 0623 – which penalizes funding to any school system that teaches CRT concepts. Still, the question many Williamson County parents have is, does CRT inform the worldview of the FHS’s founders?  And does FHS intend to use CRT concepts and ideas to guide discussions about DEI should their contract be renewed in July?

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Parents Protest Implementation of Critical Race Theory at School Board Meeting

100 parents were reportedly in attendance at a school board meeting in Lakeville, Minnesota on Tuesday to speak out against Critical Race Theory being implemented.

Two concerned parents spoke at the meeting and protested the “indoctrination” of Critical Race Theory and said that Critical Race Theory is opposed to their Christian faith. The couple, Jim and Keisha, said that they were there to speak for the “millions of black Americans who disagree with the Black Lives Matter movement.” 

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Measure Granting Tennessee School Boards Sole Authority to Close Schools Heads to Lee’s Desk

Gov. Bill Lee

A bill that will give local school boards the sole authority to close schools was approved Thursday by the Tennessee House and is on its way to Gov. Bill Lee.

Senate Bill 103, which passed the House, 85-2, makes it clear local school boards can close public or charter schools in the state, not the governor through executive orders or local health departments.

The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Kevin Vaughan, R-Collierville, aimed to clarify who had the authority because during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear in some locales whether the county health department or local school board held the authority.

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Proposed Legislation Gives School Boards Decision-Making Authority Over School Closures During Public Emergencies

A bill filed Monday will give Tennessee school boards the ultimate decision-making authority about whether their schools should be open or closed during a public emergency. 

The filing of the legislation was accompanied by an announcement from the bill’s sponsors, Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Representative Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville).

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Cumberland County Board of Education Chairman Shrugs off Question About Lifting Mask Mandates in Schools

Cumberland County students and teachers are stuck wearing facial coverings for the foreseeable future after the local school board chairman cited procedure as a reason not to reconsider their mask mandates.

During an October 22 Board of Education meeting, member Anita Hale asked if the body would ever reconsider its mask mandate. A recording of the board’s videoconference meeting is available on the Cumberland County Board of Education’s Facebook page here.

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Metro School Board Member and Plaintiff Fran Bush Says Constitutional Lawsuit Against Former Superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph is Still Pending

The lawsuit against former Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph and the Metro government is still pending, one of the plaintiffs, a school board member, says.

Fran Bush is one of three MNPS school board members who are suing Joseph and the Metro government. The other plaintiffs are board members Jill Speering and Amy Frogge.

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Eden Prairie School Board Member Criticizes ‘Unacceptable’ Lack of Direction from Walz Admin on Upcoming School Year

An Eden Prairie School Board member broke his silence Monday after learning that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) won’t be releasing state guidance on the upcoming academic year until July 27.

Three scenarios are possible for the 2020-21 school year, including continued distance learning, the resumption of in-person instruction, or a mix of the two.

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Anti-Gun Group Calls for End to Active-Shooter Drills in Cincinnati Schools

An activist group is calling for an end to active-shooter drills at Cincinnati schools, arguing the readiness efforts are traumatic to students and teachers.

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More Politics and Less Proficiency Plagues the Metro Nashville School Board with Upcoming Election

Live from music row Monday 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 am to 8:00 am – Leahy was joined in studio by all-star panelists, Nashville Metro Councilman, Steve Glover, and Crom Carmicheal.

During the show, the men discussed the upcoming school board vote with the resignation of Will Pinkston and the role of the director of schools in Nashville. Glover described the position as one that needs to be acting like they are running a business more than the running of a school system. He was bewildered in seeing how administrators have put politics before the children’s education.

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Superintendent Should Report to Nashville’s Mayor, Carol Swain Tells WSMV, But Education Expert Says State Requires School Boards to Oversee Directors

  WSMV polled the four major Nashville mayoral candidates on whether the Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent should report to the mayor instead of the school board, and only one said “Yes.” That candidate was Dr. Carol Swain. WSMV’s story is here. The Metro Nashville mayoral candidates who were polled…

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Rutherford County School Board Considers Giving School Director $60K Pay Raise

At an April 8 budget meeting of the seven-member Rutherford County School Board, the topic of a $60,000 pay increase for the Director of Schools was discussed. The director’s salary discussion consumed nearly 20 minutes of the meeting that lasted just over an hour. The current Director of Schools, Bill…

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Washington County School Board Member Arrested on Charge of Simple Assault Involving Girlfriend

A member of the Washington County Board of Education was arrested on a charge of simple assault related to his girlfriend, the Johnson City Press reported. David L. Hammond, 50, of Johnson City, was served with an arrest warrant Friday, the newspaper said. The alleged assault happened about 11:15 p.m.…

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Role of a School Board

Tennessee Star

Local school boards reflect the needs and aspirations of the communities as well as the interests and concerns of professional and nonprofessional employees. We believe non-partisan control is what is best for our communities. This is best ensured when educational policy is made by representatives vested in the community they live, and whose undivided attention and interests are devoted strictly to education of the children in that district. What we stress in a nutshell: Public education is a federal concern, a state responsibility, and a local operation.

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Commentary: Breast Feeding 101 for Educators

teacher

Health professionals and public health officials promote breastfeeding to improve infant health. Breastfeeding also provides long-term preventative effects for the mother, including an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight and a reduced risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and osteoporosis. It is important to note that 82% of public school teachers are female in Tennessee. Women are the predominate sex in our profession. More importantly, most of these women are of child bearing age. So this is an important topic for all stakeholders.

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