Outside conservative groups bring fight over 'critical race theory' to Johnson County school board races

by  Roxie Hammill

Three candidates running for school board in the Blue Valley School District have appeared together on door hangers and campaign signs In a letter to some voters the candidates  Kaety Bowers Jim McMullen and Christine White  have said theyre running together as conservative Republicans for the normally nonpartisan school board seats

Three candidates running for school board in the Blue Valley School District have appeared together on door hangers and campaign signs. In a letter to some voters, the candidates — Kaety Bowers, Jim McMullen and Christine White — have said they're running together as "conservative Republicans" for the normally nonpartisan school board seats.

In Blue Valley and other districts, school board races that previously were tame affairs are increasingly lit up by hot-button national issues, including schools’ efforts at addressing race and diversity. 

Party politics, usually under the radar in local non-partisan elections, is coming out into the open this year as school board candidates in Johnson County make their final push for votes in the Nov. 2 election.

  • A flyer in circulation promotes the candidacy of Christine White for Blue Valley school board even though she announced last month that she is withdrawing from the race. The flyer blames “cancel culture bullies” for forcing White to withdraw, calls her opponent Gina Knapp a “radical leftist” and says voters should still select White so that a “like-minded” person can be appointed in her stead.
  • Door hangers in circulation in Blue Valley advertise White and two other candidates, Kaety Bowers and Jim McMullen, as a “slate” aimed at ensuring representation on the school board by conservative Republicans.
  • national political action committee opposed to “critical race theory” curriculum in schools recently endorsed ten candidates in the Kansas City suburbs, including the same three Blue Valley candidates, along with three in Olathe and one in the Shawnee Mission district, Brian Neilson.
  • A recent fundraiser for Neilson was recently promoted by the Johnson County GOP. The invitation for the Oct. 3 event was sent out by the party with the RSVP asked to be sent to party officials. Neilson said he didn’t coordinate with the party on planning the fundraiser but welcomed its support.

The 1776 Project PAC

The campaign against “critical race theory” has driven heated school board contests around the U.S.

Critical race theory is an academic study that examines how racism is interwoven into society. It is usually taught at college level, and the Kansas state school board says it is not taught in public schools. But so-called “critical race theory” has become a talking point among right wing politicians and media hosts and has been welcomed as a campaign issue among certain Republicans.

[Critical Race Theory is INDOCTRINATION in Markism, it has nothing to do with right wing anything. People are tired of the globalists attempt at conditioning their children for a totalitarian society. It's why they concentrate exclusively on kids because they lack the mental development and experience to recognise baloney and why the public education system must be destroyed as it cannot be reformed. Home Schooling is the only viable means of eliminating the indoctrination. - ED]

One political action group, in particular, is making it their central plank in supporting candidates for school board across the country this year.

The 1776 Project PAC, based in Shirley, N.Y., was formed in April with opposition to “critical race theory” at its heart.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, the group had raised $437,800 in the last quarter ending in September and spent roughly $297,000 for things like marketing, postage and delivery.

Two of the group’s individual donors listed on the FEC filings are from Kansas — outside of Johnson County, from Auburn and Chanute — and gave the group a combined $1,525.

On its website, the 1776 Project PAC says it is “committed to abolishing critical race theory” and sets itself up in opposition to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles that aimed to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

[Oh bullshit!. You NEVER hear of the left complaining when they take money from out of state sources to defeat some conserative candidate  The 1619 project is a phony founding of America rewriting history to suit an anti-American narrative. The founding of America ideals begins with Governor William Bradford of the Massachusetts Bay coloniy where many of our bill ot rights originated, such as no Cruels and Unusual punishment and the right to be confronted by your accusers, etc. Public education's curriculum is antithetical to freedom. The mere fact that the 'supposed' prize winning articles appeared in the New York Times, a long time leftist journal should give anyone who has a mind a clue to its motives.]

The 1776 Project PAC’s involvement in local school board races got heated pushback from Stand Up Blue Valley, a public education advocacy group, which wrote on its Facebook page last month, “Despite what this New York-based PAC wants you to believe, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is NOT being taught in Blue Valley Schools.”

“NO East-Coast PAC should have ANY say in our kids’ education and we know our members will agree,” Stand Up Blue Valley’s message continued. “So it’s our job to Get Out The Vote and send a clear message to outside special interests eyeing our School Board races: 'You are not welcome here and the Blue Valley School Board is NOT for sale.'”

[This is nothing but the free flow of ideas in the global marketplace where the best ideologies win unless they are artificially suppressed by yellow journalism and other media activists. - ED]

Endorsements and impact

The 1776 Project PAC has endorsed the three Blue Valley candidates plus Brian Neilson, who is running against Heather Ousley for a spot on the Shawnee Mission school board.

However, no contributions from the PAC were listed on any school board candidates’ Sept. 2 finance reports. The candidates endorsed in Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission said they have so far not seen any contributions from the PAC.

Candidates varied on how much of an effect the endorsement is having on their races.

Ousley said people who bring it up are usually more accusatory than inquiring. The incumbent school board member and current board president said the district has worked hard to be more welcoming and inclusive in its policies.

Neilson, her opponent, said he would have to investigate the details of the PAC.

“I don’t know what they are all about. They endorsed me without talking to me,” he told the Post. “I’ve been told campaigners and PACs should stay as far away as possible and I’m taking that advice.”

McMullen in Blue Valley said he doesn’t get asked often about what party he’s from, but acknowledges Republicans would generally agree more with his views.

“I’m a pretty outspoken conservative but the thing is you try to win over everybody. I even try to win over die-hard liberals,” he said.

People do ask about the district’s curriculum regarding issues of race and diversity, and McMullen said he takes a more nuanced approach in looking at board policies that might fall under that description.

Andrew Van Der Laan, another candidate in Blue Valley not endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC, said he hasn’t heard many questions about partisanship from voters but noticed a lot from groups and social media.

Bowers, his opponent, didn’t respond to a request for comment on the PAC but did say in an earlier interview that “honesty and integrity are important at all levels.”

Running as a ‘slate’

Meanwhile, the three Blue Valley school board candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC are also doing something unusual: running together, though one of them has announced she is dropping out of the race.

Christine White, a Johnson County pediatrician who had advocated for the easing of local COVID-19 restrictions and mask rules in schools, was one of three candidates, along with Bowers and McMullen, who have appeared together on door hangers in the district.

In an explanatory letter that accompanied the door hangers sent to some homes, the candidates pitch for voters’ support. The letter explains that the three did not know each other before the campaign, but decided to run as a “slate.”

“We would like to have three of (the seats) filled by us – conservative Republicans,” the letter said. “We will then have a much better chance to make the needed changes in our district.”

The candidates want to make sure students get an education without “unwanted ideologies being forced on them,” the letter continued.

One example they gave was “critical race theory,” which the candidates say they would like removed from being taught either “officially or unofficially.”

The letter also says the district should “get back to basics and teach reading using phonics, not with sight words.” It also says the candidates want to “improve academic excellence” and lower class sizes.

The letter cites the district’s diversity, equity and inclusion as the umbrella under which critical race theory exists. In particular, it mentioned the district’s strategic priorities and professional development.

Like many districts in recent years, Blue Valley has been accelerating its efforts at diversity, equity and inclusion.

[Nonsense. Diversity, equity and inclusion are ALL social justice themes with no place in a good education system. This is why students have such low reading skills, can't write a simple sentence with subject, verb and object or do simple math. - ED}.

A district-wide committee made up of staff, students and community members has recommended a number of things, including the hiring a district diversity leader, establishing a system for reporting and responding to incidents and establishing diversity and inclusion groups at every school.

[How stupid is this! The system for 'reporting incidents' is a euphenisism for the elimination of due process and confronting one's accuser(s) to prove the charges being made. Without that you have nothing but mob rule. Why aren't the fundamentals of the American judicial system and government being taught? - ED]

McMullen said in an email the flyer was created in June or July with three candidates, then redone with just himself and Bowers when White pulled out.

There are three seats up for contention on the Blue Valley school board this November.

Van Der Laan and Bowers are competing for the seat currently held by board vice president Michele Benjamin.

Knapp is running for the seat being vacated by Stacy Obringer-Varhall, with White’s name also appearing on the ballot, though White has said she is not running any longer.

And McMullen is vying with Lindsay Weiss for the seat being vacated by Mike Seitz.

Transparency cracks

In addition, more flyers circulating for White are adding to the races’ politicization.

The origin of the mailers and who is paying for them remain a mystery.

White told the Post recently that she didn’t authorize them, but they’ve made the rounds in doors and mailboxes, along with campaign yard signs bearing White’s name that continue to crop up in the Blue Valley area.

The mailers’ text brings up the heat on the local culture war, with phrases like “cancel culture bullies” and “radical leftist.” But there’s no mention at the bottom as to who paid for it.

[One need only look ro Joe Biden and the rest of his adninistration to see what a joke 'transparency' is. Fliers are a means of getting out ideas in a free market, something the media doesn't do much less agree with. Additionally, the US Supreme court has ruled, 'money is free speech', no matter who wields it. If this were a tax referendum money would be coming from all over the country and there wouldn't be a hint of transparency or who paid for it and the media would be completely silent.. - ED]

That’s legal, say state ethics officials, because most Kansas school board races fall through a transparency crack in state campaign ethics statutes.

Campaigns for city council races in larger cities must claim ownership with names of the chair and responsible organization at the bottom of literature. That’s also true of all the bigger state and county races and even those that call for ballot questions.

The Wichita school district is the only district in the state considered large enough for its school board races to merit reporting requirements, according to state ethics laws.

But even school board campaigns in districts as large as Johnson County’s don’t have that requirement.

Such districts have different filing deadlines for financial disclosures as well. For them, reports on who donated to school board candidates fall a month after the election.

In Johnson County, candidates who did not have a primary opponent did not have to file a September financial report, meaning it will be December before the public learns who their donors were.

Even then, any potential ethics violations would be referred to local law enforcement rather than the state ethics commission.

This story was originally published on the Shawnee Mission Post.

Source:   Outside conservative groups bring fight over 'critical race theory' to Johnson County school board races | KCUR 89.3 - NPR in Kansas City

Idaho MassResistance forces local School Board to change guidance counselor policy - after outrageous "transgender" issue with 11-year-old.

by Mass resistance

Idaho legislator works with MassResistance to craft statewide legislation.

Despite opposition from local “transgender” activists and state school counselors group – who are against parents “interfering”!

Within days of our report on the outrageous incident, the problem was brought up at the local School Board meeting.

t’s one of the most horrific things that’s been happening in elementary and middle schools. A child will come to a pro-LGBT school guidance counselor with some social or emotional issue. The counselor will persuade the child that the real problem is that he or she is “gay” or “transgender.” But the parents must not be informed about their conversations, the child is told.

By the time the parents find out, an enormous amount of psychological damage has been done to the child. We’ve seen this scenario over and over. MassResistance is dedicated to stopping this.

In November 2020, a family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho contacted MassResistance describing how their 11-year-old girl had decided she’s a “transsexual” after talking with her elementary school counselor. When the family finally heard about this, the girl said that her school counselor and elementary school teacher both completely supported “her decision.” The girl insisted that it’s “who she is” and that the school people both told her, "I will accept you for who you are."

The school district had not reported any of this to the parents as it was developing. Instead of being directed to her family, the girl was given the phone numbers of local LGBT support groups.

Big uproar across the state

After our report, the incident caused considerable uproar in the Coeur d’Alene area and throughout the state.

National conservative media, including The Daily Citizen and The Federalist, ran stories on it.

The local liberal newspaper attempted to “correct” MassResistance’s reporting with statements from the elementary school, an LGBT group, and a pro-LGBT “human rights” group. They claimed that the counselor was actually helping the 11-year-old. The fringe LGBT movement also weighed in, bashing MassResistance. Our reporting apparently struck a nerve!

Two months after the incident, on January 23, 2021, the Idaho LGBT movement organized an “LGBTQ+ Youth Rally” at a local park to show support for the elementary school counselor who had helped the 11-year-old girl with her “transition.” According to the news report, the rally was also meant to counter the MassResistance report and resulting “homophobia” in the community. Clearly, a big reason was to intimidate anyone who might speak out.
LGBT activists tried to intimidate parents in the community from speaking out. But it didn't work. [Photo: Coeur d'Alene Post Falls Press]

Parents fight back

But among regular people, there was growing outrage over such clear abuse of young children – and a strong belief that something must be done. Idaho MassResistance began mobilizing local parents and others who refused to be intimidated by the LGBT tactics.

Parents started holding protests outside the school district’s main office in Coeur d’Alene. They began attending the local School Board meetings in larger numbers. The School Board basically reflected the conservative leanings of the area, and as a group agreed that some change needed to be made. The parents’ show of force gave them the courage to move forward in the face of the LGBT movement, the unions, and the leftist education lobby.

Many parents remember when school counselors mainly provided academic counseling and helped with post-secondary and career goals. But in recent years they have taken on mental health and psychological issues, largely in collusion with the LGBT movement and other special-interest groups. (See, for example, this policy statement from the American School Counselor Association.) This is what the Idaho MassResistance parents are up against.

A new school counselor policy is passed

At the January 4, 2021 meeting of the the Coeur d'Alene School Board - less than two weeks after our MassResistance report - the Board members reacted to the flood of emails they had received and agreed that they needed to explore what to do about the situation.

In March 2021, the School Board initiated an effort to change the district policy regarding school counselors. The Idaho MassResistance parents continued to push for strong protections, against the hesitations of some board members.

The new policy was drafted by a committee which included a School Committee member, two parents (not part of our group), an administrator, and three school counselors.

In October 2021, the new proposed policy language was released to the public for consideration. The draft still contained troubling language. Idaho MassResistance presented these critiques to the School Board members: 

  1. The policy says that the counselor’s role is to “balance” the student’s privacy rights with the parents’ rights, which the counselor decides upon. But there should be no “balance.” The student is a minor. The parents must be told about everything. It's wrong to allow this secretive relationship to emerge and continue with school counselors. The result would be no trust between parents and the school.
  2. The policy states, “School Counselors connect students and families to outside resources and agencies.” That has traditionally translated into sending kids to LGBT groups and abortion clinics. If anything, the counselors should only suggest these outside groups to the parents and let them decide.

Nevertheless, in February 2022, the school board formally approved the new policy. It’s not everything that we wanted. But it definitely is a shot across the bow – a strong warning to the school counselors in that city – to absolutely stop what they’ve been doing to children. Parents feel that MassResistance has helped them achieve a victory.

The Idaho School Boards Association jumps into the fight

When the Coeur d’Alene School Board released its proposed policy, the education establishment apparently got the message that they needed to quash this “anti-counselor” movement before it got any more momentum.

Two months later, on December 2, 2021, the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) voted by an overwhelming 7885-21 to pass a strongly worded resolution supporting school counselors.

The resolution directs the ISBA lobbyists:

to work with the legislature to amend existing statute to allow school districts more flexibility in addressing the mental, social, and emotional needs of students …”

In other words, they want to write new state laws to keep parents from interfering with any secret LGBT counseling of children.

So far, the ISBA hasen’t moved forward by drafting a bill. But the group’s lobbying did impact what was to happen next in the legislature.

The State Legislature also gets involved

The outrage over the Coeur d’Alene issue even reached the State Legislature. In mid-February, an Idaho State Representative asked MassResistance for help in drafting a bill to protect children from this abuse. We submitted the following, which she moved forward with:

School counseling educational services provided by a school to a student addressing mental or behavioral health, including short-term individual or short-term small group school counseling services, are subject to parental disclosure and informed consent. 

Parental notification shall take place once a school counselor has recognized mental health warning signs; informed consent shall be obtained prior to any subsequent school counseling services for the purpose of addressing those mental health warning signs. A school counselor may provide parents with contact information for available community resources from a list of licensed, professional mental health providers in the area, which providers may request to be included on the list and shall not be excluded for the reason that the provider is a religious or faith-based organization.

But as soon as word got out about this new bill, the ISBA and state school counselors association heatedly approached the House leadership. They made absurd and insulting claims that if parents are told about their childrens’ homosexual or transgender “decisions,” the children will commit suicide. Floating this myth is unfortunately a common tactic used by the LGBT movement, though it goes against all responsible psychological understanding and practice. But the legislative leaders fell for it and immediately killed the proposed bill.

Since the legislative session was winding down, we will wait until next year and refile then. We’re not stopping.

Final thoughts

In the beginning, nobody believed that the Coeur d’Alene School Board would actually change anything. Even though it’s a conservative area, the Board members weren’t looking to make any waves on this hot-button issue. The policy changes were a direct result of the Idaho MassResistance parents being tireless and simply not giving up. At a certain point, the School Board basically gave in and acted.

Some locales where this is happening will be harder to change than others. But no matter how difficult, this is what needs to be done everywhere in America.

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Mann and Dewey: The radical foundations of American public education

by Don Feder

An earlier version of this article appeared in FrontPageMag.

NOTE: Almost all of us have heard of Horace Mann and John Dewey as pioneers in public education in America, which began in Massachusetts in 1830. But as Paul Harvey used to say, most people don’t know the rest of the story.


This is what America's schools see as their mission. From the San Gabriel, CA, Unified School District web page.

When America was founded there were no public schools. Public schools were created not to educate, but to indoctrinate. From Marx to Dewey to the current leadership of the Democrat Party and the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, revolutionaries have always targeted youth and seen schools as the spearhead of the revolution.

When he was governor of Virginia in 2015, Terry McAuliffe (who was deservedly defeated in this election) was pushing Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the schools, something he claimed did not exist in his 2021 campaign for governor.

When McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what to teach,” he was articulating a first principle of public education going back to its beginnings in the early 19th century: “Give us your money. Give us your kids. Then close your eyes. Shut your mouth. And let us do our job of transforming society.”

Today, the cutting edge is Critical Race Theory (whites are inherently evil), the 1619 Project (America is inherently evil) and what one proponent called the Queering Up of public education.

A Kansas school apologized for handing out a “Gender Unicorn” worksheet which asked students, “Do you know your identity or are you still in identity confusion stage?” In Broward County, Florida, an elementary school class went on a field trip to a gay bar. (“Mommy, what’s fisting?”)

The National Education Association (NEA) makes sure that America's teachers have all the "tools" to indoctrinate children in the LGBT agenda.

But these are just the latest mutations. Sex education, which started in the 1940s, quickly devolved into sexuality education – where students learned a variety of perversions in the name of disease prevention and birth control.

For at least twenty years many schoolchildren have been taught more about Malcolm X than George Washington or Thomas Jefferson.

Overt anti-Americanism in the schools may be relatively new, but it has a long pedigree.

When the virtual "distance learning" took over during COVID, parents began to see what was actually being taught to their children.

The Marxist concept of universal education

The seeds of today’s horror show were planted at the outset. The basis of today’s educational radicalism comes from early Marxist ideology.

In “The Communist Manifesto” (published 1848), Karl Marx decreed, “The education of all children from the moment that they can get along without their mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.” When the workers’ revolt failed to materialize in capitalist countries, state education became the engine of revolution.

Writing in the 1920s, Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci said, “Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and media (and then) by transforming the consciousness of society.” Hence the long march through the institutions.

And so, socialist ideology has captured the schools. In his book, “American Marxism” (published in July), Mark R. Levin writes: “It is academia and its rule over the education of generations of students that serves as the most potent force for Marxist indoctrination and advocacy, and the most powerful impetus for its acceptance and spread.”

Mann and Dewey: The radical foundations of American public education

While Europeans Marx and Gramsci preached the importance of education to the coming revolution, Horace Mann and John Dewey laid the foundation for public education in America.

Generally acknowledged to be the father of state schools, Mann was a utopian and an admirer of the collectivist communities (early attempts of socialism) established by industrialist Robert Owen (the George Soros of his age) in the Northeast and Indiana.

In the 1830s, Mann pioneered the first public school system in America in Massachusetts, by setting up the first State Board of Education and becoming its first secretary. Mann later went to Prussia (then the cradle of statism) to learn how government schools could mold impressionable minds.

Horace Mann (left) and John Dewey were monumental in shaping - and radicalizing - the public education system.

John Dewey (the father of so-called Progressive education) carried Mann’s work into the 20th century. As Mann had looked to Prussia for inspiration, Dewey made his pilgrimage to the USSR. As Levin documents: “Dewey was an early fan of the Soviet Union and its ‘educational system’ – or, more precisely, its massive propaganda effort where obedience and conformity were contorted into a new unity.”

Dewey was a signer of the 1933 Humanist Manifesto (“a socialist cooperative economic order must be established”). He said: “You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.” Indeed.

… And into the 21st century

In the 21st century, Marx’s and Dewey’s work of social transformation is carried on by the teachers’ unions and their auxiliary, the Democrat Party.

Critical Race Theory is the Marxist model of oppressor and oppressed applied to race. Queering Up applies it to gender.

Again, it’s not about teaching children how to think but what to think. That’s why the fight over Critical Race Theory and mask mandates has turned so vicious, with Attorney General Merrick Garland threatening to treat unruly parents as domestic terrorists.

And it’s why the 2.3-million-member National Education Association (NEA), at its annual convention in July, voted to increase its support of Critical Race Theory and work to fight against so-called “white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy … capitalism… and other forms of power and oppression” that are said to animate opposition to CRT.  (It’s also why the NEA gives 94% of its campaign contributions to the Democrat party.)

The other major union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is also heavily into the CRT agenda. This photo, from their website, shows the AFT president and secretary-treasurer at a George Floyd memorial.

These are the people who get to spend an average of 15,000 hours per student indoctrinating the captives of America’s public school system.

Final thoughts from MassResistance: In order to effectively fight what’s happening in our public schools, we need to understand the many decades of momentum behind this radicalism, and that a certain kind of people have been attracted to its power structure. None of this is accidental – and it will take a very deliberate, unrelenting, and focused effort to change it.

Don Feder is a former columnist for the Boston Herald and currently works with The Ruth Institute. He is also a long-time friend of MassResistance.