Teachers Union Head Randi Weingarten Compares Parents’ Rights and School Choice Supporters to Segregationists

The head of the national teachers union, Randi Weingarten, compared the rhetoric of supporters of school choice and parents’ rights initiatives to that of segregationists, prompting an outcry from supporters of the movements.

Explosive comparison of Jim Crow-era racists to modern activists pushing for school districts to allow parents more involvement in their children’s education was made by the president of the American Federation of Teachers during an interview Tuesday with the Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University. Senior Fellow Seth D. Harris.

“The same kind of roots that emerged after Brown v. Board, those same words you heard, in terms of wanting segregation, after Brown v. Board of Education, those same words you hear today,” Weingarten, 65, said in response to a question about the differences in the political discussion around schools now compared to the 20th century.

“I was a little stunned when I spoke to the Southern Poverty Law Center and they showed me the same words: choice, ‘parental rights’ and attempts to divide parents and teachers, and at the time, it was white parents versus others. parents. But it’s the same kind of words,” he added.

Weingarten claims that the words “choice” and “parental rights” were favored by segregationists who sought to stop the integration of public schools in the Jim Crow era. The Burnes Center for Social Change

Weingarten argued that only a “small group of extremists” who want to see the end of public education support school choice and parental rights policies. He specifically mentioned former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, New College of Florida board member Christopher Rufo, and the conservative nonprofit group Moms for Liberty, which has 115,000 members in 45 states.

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“If Randi is truly interested in addressing modern segregation in schools, she should unequivocally condemn the practice of racially segregated ‘affinity groups’ and ‘healing circles’ being used in K-12 schools,” Nicki Neily, president of Parents. Defending Education, she tweeted in response to the union leader’s comments.

“And yet she was the one blocking the school doors,” Ilya Shapiro, director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, argued in a tweet.

🚨🚨Randi Weingarten compared advocates for parental rights and school choice to segregationists:

She says the words “choice” and “parental rights” are the same kinds of words that were used in reaction to school desegregation by opponents of the Brown v. Board of Education. pic.twitter.com/XDvP12pWbU

– Nicki Neily (@nickineily) September 13, 2023

“Public schools remain one of the most racially and economically segregated institutions in the United States,” Nathaniel Cunneen, communications strategist for the American Federation for Children, said in a tweet. “Researchers at Stanford University found that black-white segregation between schools increased 35 percent between 1991 and 2020. Meanwhile, almost all studies on the topic show that school choice has positive effects on integration ”.

The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Moms for Liberty and other parents’ rights organizations “hate and anti-government groups” (along with groups like the Ku Klux Klan) in June.

Randy WeingartenWeingarten says the “vast majority” of parents reject the “harmful words” of school choice and parental rights advocates.John Roca

The extremism watchdog maintains that “current fathers’ rights activists have also copied and pasted scripts from previous groups, adapting old racist and homophobic ideas, as well as conspiracy theories affirming Marxist indoctrination. “Now they are adding a dash of QAnon rhetoric, accusing progressives of trying to groom and sexualize children.”

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“Like his predecessors, his rhetoric embraces strong anti-LGBTQ, racist, and nationalist themes, excluding large demographic segments of American society from his parental concern,” the center added.

Weingarten responded to the clamor in a tweet Tuesday, calling it “an example of the extremism we face.”

“I said I was surprised that a small group of extremists were using the harmful words of segregationists and I saw that the vast majority of parents and educators rejected them,” he said.

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Source: vtt.edu.vn

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