Last updated on January 31, 2022
Quoting an opinion piece in The Washington Post by a former Virginia Secretary of Education, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second largest teachers’ union in America, tweeted, “Racists … are showing up in droves to school board meetings, threatening members and superintendents with recalls, firing — and worse. It is dangerous. It is divisive. It is un-American. As Virginians, let us remember our history and not repeat the errors of our past.”
Randi Weingarten deleted this tweet pic.twitter.com/uiurFjYy0K
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) January 29, 2022
Interestingly, the actual quote from the opinion piece by Atif Qarni does not state at the beginning “Racists” but “Racist parents.”
Weingarten later deleted the tweet.
In the opinion piece, Qami ripped Virginia GOP governor Glenn Youngkin, writing that he had “openly declared war on Virginia’s public education system.” He continued, “… with CRT, Youngkin has manufactured a crisis in K-12 education that does not exist. In this fictitious narrative, he is the hero, teachers and school boards are the villains, White children are the victims, and racist parents are his foot soldiers. Youngkin established a tip line to report public school educators teaching ‘divisive concepts.’ This is the new Red Scare.”
Qami concluded, “I am most concerned that Youngkin’s administration is stoking the fires of racial discontent, eerily reminiscent of the 1950s, and waging war on sacred ground, the public school classroom. Racist parents are showing up in droves to school board meetings, threatening members and superintendents with recalls, firing — and worse. It is dangerous. It is divisive. It is un-American. As Virginians, let us remember our history and not repeat the errors of our past.”
The night before last November’s Virginia election in which Youngkin defeated Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, Weingarten appeared with McAuliffe at a rally.
— Julia Manchester (@JuliaManch) November 1, 2021
In May 2021, Fox News’ Martha MacCallum asked Weingarten, “You have said that we quoted you on the way to the break that you know that there’s that this is a factual finding the 1619 report that was put together in The New York Times that now has been converted to learning materials that are in classrooms, and are parts of curriculums. Do you believe that 1619 is a factual program?”
Weingarten answered, “So, Martha, I believe that I’m a history teacher, and I’m a social studies teacher. And I believe we should teach history. And from everything I can see and understand from the data I see 1619 was the year that the first slave boat came from Africa to the United States. So that’s a point in history that I think we should be teaching.”
MacCallum later asked, “So I am asking you, as you say you’re a social studies teacher, do you favor teaching students that 1619 is more important than 1776? Do you favor that?”
Weingarten replied, “I favor us teaching about 1776, which I have often done, I favor us teaching about 1619. …”
In February 2021, in an interview with Axios, Weingarten said in reference to children who have been out of school for months, “kids are resilient and kids will recover.”
Axios’ Dan Primack asked, “Is there a point — and maybe you think we’re already past it — is there a point in which kids have been out of in-person school for so long that the education that they’ve lost isn’t really recoverable, that the third grade, the fourth grade, the kindergarten they lost, they can take extra semesters in the summer; they can do [that], but it can’t really be fixed?”
“No,” said Weingarten, whose union is the second largest teacher’s union in America, representing 1.7 million teachers. “I don’t believe that. I believe that kids are resilient and kids will recover. But we as adults have to meet their needs. Their emotional needs, their social needs, their learning needs.”
“And that’s who America’s educators are,” she said. “That’s who America’s bus drivers are. That’s who America’s paraprofessionals are. That’s who America’s food service workers are. And we are pained about what has happened in this pandemic. The crises that have enveloped our kids, our communities, ourselves.”
“But at the end of the day, we have to believe that this is recoverable,” she added. “And we have to believe that virtually all our kids will thrive with the opportunities that we’ve put before them.”
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