Five Tips for Fighting a Woke School Board
Conservative parents who want to fight the culture war on the home front need to look no further than school boards. While great strides have been made in the last three years to retake boards from leftist trustees in places such as North Texas and Virginia, there is still much work to be done to re-establish parental rights.
Pride month celebrations this past summer ignited the latest parent outrage. An Indiana LGBTQ youth group hosted a carnival for kids, invited them to sign LGBTQ pledge cards and barred parents from attending, according to the Daily Signal. Meanwhile on the West Coast, Armenian parents at the Glendale Unified School District in Glendale, Ca., protested a Pride Day and the district’s LGBTQ+ curriculum. The Daily Signal reports Antifa showed up and clashed with parents, resulting in the arrests of three individuals.
Pride month is the tip of the iceberg. Other issues include parents fighting to keep pornographic material out of school libraries, to stop the teaching of critical race and gender theory and to prevent biological male students from using female bathrooms/locker rooms or from competing in girl’s sports.
So, what is one to do? Fight back! Here are five tips:
1. Connect with likeminded people
The good news is that there are more tools to fight back than ever before. Websites such as Moms for Liberty and No Left Turn are places to start. They are both grassroots sites that offer information and a forum to share experiences. Does your area have a local conservative Facebook private group? If not, start one! A political action committee is another good way to raise funds to sponsor conservative school board candidates. When Southlake, Texas, was among the first to fight a diversity, equity and inclusion plan, conservatives in the city rallied behind Southlake Families, which helped fund future candidates and helped seed conservative PACs across the states.
2. Get Educated
The first step in fighting woke indoctrination is understanding the terminology being used, terms such as critical race theory and anti-racism. Writers such as Christopher F. Rufo, a senior Fellow and Contributing Editor, City Journal, have covered the subject extensively. Rufo’s new book “America's Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything” is a good place to start. Also check out Woke Schooling: A Toolkit for Concerned Parents. To understand the roots of gender ideology, read “Irreversible Damage” by Abigail Shrier (or listen to an interview with Shrier). Also, watch Matt Walsh’s documentary “What is a Woman?”
3. Get Involved
Start attending school board meetings and speaking during public comments, especially when key policies are up for a vote. Write letters and encourage others in your community to speak and share their views, and then commend them once they do. It takes courage to stand up and speak publicly, especially if you’re living in a community where your opinion represents the dissenting viewpoint.
4. File Freedom of Information Act Requests
If you suspect your school board trustees are doing something illegal or unethical, keep tabs on them by filing freedom of information act (FOIAs) requests (also referred to as open records requests.) Every state has sunshine laws that allow you to request records including emails and text messages, school expenditures and communications with vendors. Interesting things uncovered in these requests could include: a leftist teacher training presentation; how much a woke speaker was paid to come speak; and if the school board trustees broke laws or ethics violations. State law varies around the country, but open meeting acts usually require trustees to operate in open and prohibits trustees from lining up votes in advance of a vote. There are limits to FOIAs and potential costs, but once you understand how to file these requests, they can be a great source of information and could be instrumental in your fight.
5. Serve on committees or run for school board
The best way to fight a woke school board is to have a voice on the board. A first step might be trying to find out how to serve on committees to help shape school policies. Next is to run yourself or back a candidate. Interview conservatives who’ve run successful campaigns for advice. What are their Dos and Don’ts? One is “Don’t split the vote!” in a three-way race against another conservative candidate. Find a good campaign manager, read your state political campaign laws, build a website and social media page. Look for funding starting with grassroots meet-and-greet coffees in the community. If you have a high-profile race, you might qualify for money from a local or national PAC. In 2022, conservative PACs such as the 1776 Project poured millions into local school board races.
There are ways to fight back. Some states make it easier than others to maintain parental rights, but your children are worth fighting for.