Parents’ rights groups were touting their gains in the midterm elections on Wednesday, saying their growing clout in school boards across the country heralded tougher pushback against classroom wokery.

Though a complete picture of school board results nationally has yet to emerge, organizations like the 1776 Project PAC and Moms for Liberty highlighted their gains as a fulcrum moment in their fledgling school reform movement.

Those groups and the candidates they endorse encompass a range of views, but share a focus on tackling teachers’ unions, raising educational standards, and on how race, sexuality and gender are taught in classrooms.

Their gains echo the reelection win of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘, a Republican who campaigned on a platform of parents’ rights and other bedrock issues, and who took the unusual step of endorsing several Florida school board candidates.

While the gains are welcomed in many schools, anti-censorship campaigners warn that right-leaning parents’ groups are banning record numbers of books on important teenage identity issues.

An activist for Moms for Liberty at a campaign event for Indian River County school board candidate Jacqueline Rosario, who won on Tuesday, thanks to support and money from right-leaning groups 

Supporters of Moms for Liberty at a school board campaign event. Long dormant and apolitical institutions, these elected councils have become powder kegs with the politicization of classes on gender, race or sexuality in schools

Mom-of-four Tiffany Justice says Covid-19 lockdowns were an educational ‘black hole’ for kids 


Cornell Law School Prof. William Jacobson launched a CRT database

Critical race theory is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism. Scholars developed it during the 1970s and 1980s in response to what they viewed as a lack of racial progress following the civil rights legislation of the 1960s.

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.

The architects of the theory argue that the US was founded on the theft of land and labor and that federal law has preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race. Proponents also believe race is culturally invented, not biological.

Kimberlé Crenshaw, executive director of the African American Policy Forum, a social justice think tank based in New York City, was one of the early proponents. Initially, she says, it was ‘simply about telling a more complete story of who we are.’

Aiden Buzzetti, with the 1776 Project PAC, a super PAC that spent a reported $2.6 million backing candidates lined up against lessons on the controversial Critical Race Theory (CRT), celebrated the group ‘flipping’ its 100th school board.

Victories for Tom Payne, Angela Seastrom, Michelanne McCombs, and Elaine Mckee had switched the Brandywine Public School District in southwestern Michigan from ‘liberal to conservative’, the group said — one of many wins nationwide.

‘Last night was a disappointing night for Republicans in many parts of the country, but we’re happy to say we were very successful in key races in Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio, Maryland, which were by far the biggest places we targeted,’ said Buzzetti.

Tiffany Justice, a co-founder of Moms for Liberty, which campaigns against school mask mandates and on how race and sexuality are taught in class, described wins for aligned candidates in Florida, North and South Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and beyond.

‘We were thrilled to see so many first time candidates getting elected to office,’ Justice told

‘With all of those candidates now serving on school boards, enacting policies that are in support of parental rights, we’re going to be able to see an improvement in educational outcomes.’

Her right-leaning group has more than 200 chapters across 40 states. They operate independently, but share concerns over issues such as vaccine mandates and how districts should teach about race and sexuality.

For Justice, the gains this week are a chance to get CRT and other frivolous topics off the curriculum and focus on educational basics, after shocking revelations last month of steep declines in test scores over the pandemic.

Students suffered historic learning setbacks with math and reading scores falling to their lowest levels since before Covid-19 swept the US, according to data released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress last month.

School board races, which are historically nonpartisan, were partially shaped this year by advertisements produced by political committees with a range of backers, including the 1776 PAC and Moms for Liberty.

Other notable groups include Michigan’s Get Our Kids Back to School PAC, which campaigns against ‘wokeness’ and Covid-19 restrictions, and Progressive Lakeshore, a left-leaning group that reportedly targeted a few school board seats. 

Local school board races give regular people an outlet for their frustrations about the direction of their country, analysts say, and give parents a chance to add their voice to national debates on race, gender, and Covid-19 rules.

In Florida, all six school board members endorsed by Gov. DeSantis won their runoffs on Tuesday, results that delivered him a total of 24 wins out of 30 local education candidates he backed this year, according to Politico.

DeSantis, who is positioned as a rival to former president Donald Trump as the next Republican presidential nominee, has as governor signed laws on restricting how public schools teach students about race, sexual orientation and gender identity

Those measures have put him at odds with Democrat-led local school districts and with federal education policy, while also raising his profile as a leading Republican and a frequent guest on right-wing news shows.

Jacqueline Rosario, a member of Moms For Liberty, was backed also backed in her successful school board reelection campaign by Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis

On social media, the 1776 Project PAC said ‘The parents revolution is winning across the country’, omitting an apostrophe

Out of the six school board candidates endorsed by DeSantis in runoff elections this week, five squared off against opponents backed by the Florida Democratic Party. All five DeSantis-backed candidates won their races.

They included Jacqueline Rosario, a former teacher backed by DeSantis, Moms for Liberty and the 1776 Project. She was reelected in Indian River County after pushing for books with sexual content to be removed from school libraries.

While the rise of conservative-leaning parents’ groups is welcomed in some schools, the anti-censorship group PEN America recently warned they were behind moves to pull record numbers of books from school libraries.

There were 2,532 instances of individual book bans affecting 1,648 titles at some 5,000 schools with 4 million students in the 2021-2022 school year, the group said in a report in September.

The texts frequently tackled ‘culture wars’ issues like gender, sexuality and race.

Frequently banned titles include Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and was turned into a 2018 movie.

Books banned in schools include Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe and The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

The anti-censorship group PEN America says censors have been busy in Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Georgia

PEN America, a non-profit writers’ group, says books dealing with LGBTQ and racial issues are most frequently targeted

America’s 5 most banned titles: 

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe was banned by 41 school districts. The illustrated text charts the author’s ‘journey of self-identity’ and ‘what it means to be nonbinary and asexual’, according to promotional material.

All Boys Aren’t Blue, a series of personal essays by George M. Johnson, was banned in 29 districts. The ‘memoir-manifesto’ narrates the childhood, adolescence, and college years of its black, queer author 

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez is a novel about teen love between a Mexican-American girl and a black boy in Texas in the 1930s. It was banned in 24 districts.

The Bluest Eye was banned in 22 districts. The first novel by celebrated author Toni Morrison tells the story of a black girl growing up in the 1940s, and her sense of inferiority due to her skin color.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was banned in 17 districts. It was inspired by the Black Lives Matter protest movement, deals with the police violence against minorities, and was turned into a 2018 movie.

This content was originally published here.

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