Today the Statesman Journal ran a lengthy subscriber-only story by Natalie Pate, "School boards in the Mid-Valley and beyond have become political battlegrounds."
It's well worth reading.
In looking the story over again before writing this blog post, my attention was hijacked by a mention early on about Salem Keizer We Stand Together, a group dedicated to the false conspiracy theory that our local schools are hotbeds of leftist teachers and administrators pushing students to embrace critical race theory, premarital sex, Marxism, and a LGBTQ sexual orientation.
But the story almost makes Salem Keizer We Stand Together sound reasonable.
What curriculum is taught, how schools respond to the ongoing pandemic and where educators stand on issues of race, gender identity and sexuality are increasingly being debated in board rooms across the United States.
And though Salem-Keizer school board members are elected as nonpartisan representatives, more and more political action committees and organizations have been throwing tens of thousands of dollars into these races, hoping candidates who hold the same values win.
While those in Salem Keizer We Stand Together see themselves as a group of concerned individuals fighting for the safety and wellbeing of their students, others see many of the things they're advocating for as dangerous.
For the full Statesman Journal story click here.
Yeah, count me in that group. I definitely think this group is dangerous.
Not because they're conservative, since even though most conservatives these days have joined the fact-free Cult of Trump, there's still plenty of reasonable people who inhabit the right side of the political spectrum.
What instantly turned me off about Salem Keizer We Stand Together after I visited their web site was the invitation at the top of the home page to come to a forum today, February 6, featuring Jeanette Schade.
As you read what follows, ask yourself if you want students in the Salem-Keizer School District taught in line with how Schade views the world.
Jeanette Schade | Chief Intelligence Officer
Jeanette has been in public school education, in multiple states, for more than 24 years as a certified classroom teacher. As an advocate for American values and equality, she has been fighting against Marxist indoctrination throughout her career. In May 2021 she ran a nationally recognized Beaverton school board campaign in fierce opposition to Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) and Comprehensive Sex Education (“CSE”). She was featured on Fox News, News Max and the Glenn Beck show.
She was publicly doxed by Antifa and teachers’ unions but refused to back down. While her race for Beaverton School Board was lost, among legitimate indications of election fraud, her message to parents in the Beaverton area was a huge success. Post-election, Jeanette focused her energy to expose corruption and indoctrination in the Beaverton School District deploying FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and Public Records Requests. As a result of her efforts she mastered the PRR process, exposing scandalous (and illegal) financial activities by district administrators and undeniable institutionalization of Marxist ideologies.
Jeanette is the Founder of Build Back Basics in Education. In her activism she has trained numerous parents and concerned citizens, across the state of Oregon, to successfully execute the Public Records Request process. She leads the team of analysts at Free Oregon as the Chief Intelligence Officer and is our leading expert on public school policy.
OK. But I doubt it was Marxist indoctrination that caused the folks at Free Oregon to not learn how to spell "ideologues."
After reading the Statesman Journal story, my initial inclination was to write about how wrong Salem Keizer We Stand Together is on issues involving racial justice, LGBTQ rights, public health/Covid, and such.
But I changed my mind about this after realizing that Salem Keizer We Stand Together isn't interested in bringing reasonable conservative views into discussions of school policies.
To echo the Free Oregon web site, it seems clear to me that Salem Keizer We Stand Together is a group of power thirsty ideologues who care much more about promoting their Trumpist political agenda than in improving local schools.