National teacher’s union president is accused of gaslighting parents by saying Critical Race Theory is NOT taught in schools and prepares to sue states banning the controversial lessons
- American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said critical race theory is not being taught in any primary schools on Tuesday
- She claimed states are banning the controversial lessons to ‘bully’ teachers and prevent any discussion about race and discrimination
- In her remarks to members, Weingarten said the union has created a legal defense fund for teachers accused of teaching the controversial topic
- Her remarks came just a few days after the National Educator’s Association passed a resolution supporting the critical race theory
- But the union has since deleted its agenda item to discuss its support
- At least six states have now banned critical race theory in schools and a dozen more are considering similar legislation
The president of America’s second-largest teacher’s union has said Critical Race Theory is not being taught in public schools as she prepares a legal defense fund for teachers accused of teaching the controversial practice.
In her remarks to the 1.7 million members of the American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday, President Randi Weingarten vowed legal action to protect any member who ‘gets in trouble for teaching honest history,’ as more than 20 states consider bills banning the theory, which claims racism is systemic and ingrained in American society.
She said it is not being taught in elementary, middle and high schools, and is only taught at college or graduate studies, ‘but culture warriors are labeling any discussion of race, racism or discrimination as [critical race theory] to try to make it toxic,’ she said, according to the Washington Post.
‘They are bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching students accurate history,’ she said, noting that the union is preparing litigation and has a legal defense fund ‘ready to go.’
The fund includes $2.5 million to represent teachers accused of teaching the controversial lesson plan, and the union is also considering filing lawsuits against states that have passed legislation limiting how racism could be taught.
At least six states have passed new laws limiting how race can be taught in the classroom, and similar proposals are being considered in at least a dozen others.
Many of the bills are intended to bar the teaching of critical race theory – an academic framework that examines history through the lens of racism. It centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society.
Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law forbidding schools from teaching that people ‘should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress’ because of their race or sex.
It adds that slavery and racism can only be taught as a deviation from the nation’s ‘authentic founding principles’ of liberty and equality.
Bills in some other states threaten to fine individual teachers who violate the rules or reduce state funding to their schools.
‘Mark my words: Our union will defend any member who gets in trouble for teaching honest history,’ Weingarten said in her remarks for a virtual address to union members on Tuesday.
‘Teaching the truth is not radical or wrong. Distorting history and threatening educators for teaching the truth is what is truly radical and wrong.’
In an interview with the Associated Press, Weingarten said the union is adding $2.5 million to an existing legal defense fund in anticipation of local fights over the teaching of race. The funding will be used to defend teachers who are disciplined for teaching about slavery and racism, Weingarten said.
The union is also considering filing lawsuits to get clarification about new state laws limiting how racism can be discussed in schools, she said.
‘We’re looking at these laws to see if courts will give some clarification in advance,’ Weingarten said. ‘It just looks like it´s an attempt to erase so much of the history of the United States.’
Once an obscure academic idea, critical race theory has become a political rallying cry for Republicans who argue that it sows division and makes children feel guilty for being white.
But Weingarten said the concept has mostly been taught at the college level and is not taught at the nation’s elementary, middle and high schools.
She claimed that conservatives are invoking the theory to bully teachers and prevent any critical discussion of the nation’s history. Some of the state laws are so expansive, she said, that they appear to prevent any accurate lesson on the Civil War, slavery or its abolition.
‘Teaching America’s history requires considering all the facts available to us – including those that are uncomfortable – like the history of enslavement and discrimination toward people of color and people perceived as different,’ she wrote in her comments.
‘Years ago, the country unified against Holocaust deniers. We must unite again to address racism.
Her remarks came just two days after she was accused of gaslighting parents by tweeting ‘these bans on teaching history and discussing racism are so dangerous.’
In response, New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz wrote: ‘No one gaslights quite like Randi Weingarten gaslights.’
Others on Twitter also called out her remarks, with user GoPackJo saying, ‘If you need to lie in order to push your agenda, it’s gotta be awful,’ and Daniela Oertli writing that it is ‘Incredibly deceitful to pretend that teaching and discussing racism can only happen in the framework of CRT.’
@LibertyBellaDon, meanwhile, wrote that ‘CRT is neither history nor a “discussion” on racism. It’s a one-sided view that does not allow for a “discussion,”‘ and Marilyn Muller said: ‘Let’s not misappropriate the word history, Randi.’
‘I don’t know one American that’s against ensuring all students know all history facts, but segregating students into one of two categories—oppressed or oppressor— is teaching children to #BeRacist,’ Muller wrote.
And @aphofer asked, ‘So which is it, “we aren’t teaching CRT in schools” or “CRT=History?”