Covid and Critical Race Theory School board races that were sleepy are getting up

School board meetings turned into battlegrounds during the outbreak! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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There is a Blue Valley School District in Johnson County, Kansas, has some of the best school districts in Kansas. In general, school board members triumph without opposition however, participation is only a tiny single-digit percent of all eligible voters.

"Very sleepy, very sedate," said Andrew Van Der Laan, who is running for one of the three contested seat on the board of education during the November. two election.

In the past meetings with the school board was conducted online because of security concerns following reports of threats issued as a plethora of protesters gathered to protest the district's policies on masks. The group, Mask Choice 4 Kids, has staged rallies and has urged youngsters to wear T-shirts to show their support for the cause, and to remove their masks to protests in order to "peacefully disrupt the educational system ... until kids and parents have a CHOICE to wear a mask in school."

This year's school board election is getting heated in Kansas the most populous county and across the nation.

Board meetings for school boards have turned into political battlegrounds in the aftermath of the pandemic that have prompted public debate and lawsuits regarding mask enforcement and other learning requirements related to Covid. They've also become a place for fighting about the education of critical race theories, in the aftermath of protests against racial justice in 2020. School board recalls are in progress in districts across several states, including Louisiana, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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However, this election has changed in a different way outside special interest organizations as well as political action groups enjoy gained a foothold in nonpartisan elections that would otherwise garner only a small amount of interest from local residents, as claimed by certain students, school board candidates , and academics.

"It's telling that the conception of where decisions are being made is changing," Van Der Laan, father of three, freelance business consultant as well as executive coaching coach who has never had a chance to run for office. "You used to see presidential races, Senate races and gubernatorial races holding that influence. Now, you're seeing it filter all the way down to the schools."

A group known as The 1776 Project PAC said it was recommending candidates on the list comprised of Blue Valley candidates running against Van Der Laan, as well as two other candidates who share interests. The endorsements include more than 50 that the PAC has offered, supporting school board candidates from Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio and elsewhere.

The group with an address in New York. New York mailing address, claims it is against"the "divisive philosophy" of critical race theory as well as "The 1619 Project," which was created through The New York Times to analyze the impact of slavery and the contribution made by Black Americans. The group claims that such programmes have been "being taught in classrooms in nearly every state across the country."

Despite recent attempts by statehouses controlled by Republicans to prohibit schools from using Critical Race Theory, an academic research which proposes studying U.S. history through a lens of systematic racism, an April survey conducted by the non-partisan Association of American Educators found that over 95 percent of teachers at schools from K-12 said that they weren't required to teach the concept.

The theory's supporters say that "their positions are incredibly hostile to white people, Western civilization, classical liberalism, the enlightenment, the founding of America, and capitalism," according to The 1776 Project PAC.

The group has raised over $437,880 in contributions. Federal information on the campaign finance system from April to September indicate.

It is the Blue Valley School District, that has a student count of nearly 22,000 and is comprised of 70 percent white, claims that critical race theory isn't an approved curriculum for the district.

Yet, parent groups within the community have said they aren't sure why they're drawn to supporting local candidates. The 1776 Project PAC did not respond to a request for comments however, an organizer did tell Axios on May 1 that the organization's objective is to run a campaign for school board candidates across the nation.

The head of Mask Choice 4 Kids, Tana Goertz, stated that the group will support school board members this week.

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Goertz -who was a finalist on season three of"The Apprentice" on NBC "The Apprentice" and who ran for president Donald Trump, the show's former host within her state, Iowa She isn't located in Johnson County. However, she was a part of the group after a university school student in the county that joined the organization abruptly quit earlier this month after being scrutinized over his father's job as chief executive in the health sector.

"The group grew into something much bigger than a college student could handle," Goertz wrote via email. "I'm not shocked or amazed that people who disagree with our stance on the subject were quick to point the finger that this group had an agenda other than being patriots who stand up for our freedom, our faith and our families."

State Senator. Cindy Holscher, a Democrat from Johnson County, said school board meetings have turned into an "bastion of harassment" against members who wanted to enforce the countywide recommendation for masks for children from kindergarten to grade 6 -- which was enacted in the summer of 2012 when the delta variant increased in prevalence and health officials confirmed that wearing masks could assist in slowing the spread of coronavirus. This Blue Valley School District's requirement for masking has now been extended to all grades up to high school.

The races for school board "feel more like what we've seen for these state Legislature campaigns in terms of boots on the ground," Holscher stated. "There's lots of marketing and fear tactics to get people whipped up."

At an Blue Valley candidates forum last week, the topic of the theory of critical race; diversity as well as equity and inclusion and the district's policy on masks and protocols related to Covid took the front and center.

"The difference is now there is a political action committee operating in our community. Two towns over, the governor of our state is getting into an election."

SAID SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER MONIC BEHNKEN

School board ideological disputes questions are not recent, according to Vladimir Kogan, an Ohio State University associate professor of political science. Schools have been discussing the teaching of Intelligent Design and Evolution as well as sex-education and Common Core, an educational tool that was criticized by Republicans over the last decade.

If politicians driven by political issues win local elections in November, this could encourage more extreme PACs, political extremists and agents to focus their efforts for school boards. explained.

"You have adults basically arguing over national partisan issues because that's what they're angry about," Kogan declared. "But you have to wonder: Are the kids going to be collateral damage from these polarizing debates?"

Monic Behnken who serves in the board of school administrators of Ames, Iowa, just north of Des Moines, decided not to seek re-election in November following her membership since the year 2017. Although she knew that she would be staying for a short time the ever-changing policies relating to the pandemic, as well as the aftermath of protests for racial justice in this region only made the situation harder.

Normally, she explained, "our job is, do we want to pay for lights on the tennis court? Do we want to hire this deejay for prom?"

In February, which is Black History Month, the school district was criticized for its week-long "Black Lives Matter at School" event that was met with criticism from Republican lawmakers along with conservative groups as well as some residents declaring it a mismanagement of funds and morally unacceptable or a one-sided.