Public schools even for the youngest children are becoming playgrounds for the woke, featuring drag queens, transgender closets, Critical Race Theory and more, but if you say a word about it, the National Education Association (NEA) will destroy you. That is the message of a new YouTube ad from the NEA’s New Jersey chapter. According to Fox News Thursday, “the ad flips back and forth between colorful photos of teachers with students and black-and-white photos of parents, arguing that the latter are trying to fuse politics with education.” Which, of course, the hard-Left, thoroughly politicized NEA itself would never ever do.
The NEA ad declares: “When extremists start attacking our schools, that’s not who we are. People who only want to fight to score political points should take that somewhere else.” Attacking our schools? Are parental mobs storming schools, taking teachers hostage, and destroying every rainbow banner in sight? Are administrations walking to their cars every afternoon in fear that some parental sniper will make it the last walk they’ll ever take? Are angry parents entering classrooms during school hours and ripping the LGBT propaganda out of unwary students’ hands?
None of that is happening, of course, and nothing like it. What the NEA would have us believe is happening was made clear in September 2021, when the National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote to Old Joe Biden, claiming that “NSBA believes immediate assistance is required to protect our students, school board members, and educators who are susceptible to acts of violence affecting interstate commerce because of threats to their districts, families, and personal safety…. As the threats grow and news of extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings is being reported, this is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult issue…. As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
That was bad enough, but even worse, in January 2022, Fox News revealed that “Education Secretary Miguel Cardona solicited the much-criticized letter from the National School Boards Association that compared protesting parents to domestic terrorists,” according to an email exchange it had reviewed. Fox reported that “the email exchange indicates Cardona was more involved with the letter’s creation than previously known. President Biden’s Department of Justice relied on the NSBA letter, which suggested using the Patriot Act against parents, in creating its own memo directing the FBI to mobilize in support of local education officials.”
Yet there was nothing behind all this. PJ Media’s Megan Fox did a deep dive into the supposed “threats” that school board members had allegedly received that justified FBI intervention, and came up empty. Fox concluded, “There isn’t one legitimate threat on the NSBA’s list or a situation that wasn’t handled easily by the police. What the NSBA wants to do is crack down on free speech and, stupidly, they attached to their letter every example of parents speaking freely and demanding that the FBI stop it.”
In light of that, Laura Zorc of Building Education for Students Together said of the NEA’s ad: “Defaming parents as ‘extremists’ for standing up for their children is right out of Merrick Garland and Randi Weingarten’s playbook. New Jersey’s parents deserve better than this NJEA (New Jersey Education Association) slander — standing up for your children is not a political point, it is a parent’s responsibility. The NJEA should be ashamed for pretending they care more about children than their parents.”
The “extremist” word is as carefully chosen as it is insidious. Back in 2011, the Obama administration removed all mention of Islam and jihad from counterterror training, and refashioned the nation’s counterterror strategy as “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE). CVE materials carefully refrained from making any mention of jihad at all, and maintained that “extremists” were found in a wide variety of contexts. While broadly true, this assertion opened the door to the government branding any group as “extremist,” and treating it as terrorist. No one imagined in 2011, however, that it would take only ten years for angry parents at school board meetings to get the label. And make no mistake: they will by no means be the last to get the label. The authoritarians are just getting started.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 25 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.