PIERSON: Greenwich Republicans’ Talk of Indoctrination Lines up with the MAGA Agenda

Submitted by Nerlyn Pierson, Greenwich

“Let’s keep politics out of our schools.” This is the message parroted by the “Greenwich Patriots” at last week’s Board of Education meeting that has for the past two years done nothing but bring politics into the schools. It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

For the past two years, this small but very loud and determined group, along with the leaders of the Greenwich Republican Town Committee (“RTC”) and their Republican candidates running for office have done nothing but push the MAGA agenda in town and bring politics to our schools.

  1. They decried the face masking policies and the district’s remote learning policies during the pandemic fighting the recommendations of the scientific community.
  2. They claim that in our Greenwich Public Schools (“GPS”) there is “’subtle indoctrination’ of children so that they become Democrat voters by the time they graduate.” Their words, not mine. Yet, not one of them has said how this “indoctrination” has manifested itself in their children (assuming that they even have children in our public schools).
  3. They claim that “critical race theory” is being taught in our schools and argue that our school curriculum should just be “academics”. How dare GPS teach on topics of race, gender, diversity and social and emotional learning? According to them, this is “activism”. Teaching history (no matter how unpleasant to hear at times) is NOT indoctrination. Teaching inclusion, tolerance, empathy and celebrating diversity is NOT indoctrination. One can argue we find ourselves during these historic times because America has done a poor job in teaching history, tolerance and empathy to its past generations.
  4. They want to ban books in the school library and curriculum that have to do with race, gender, LGBTQ issues and sexuality. Censoring ideas and speech because you don’t like the topic is more than bad policy. Restricting information and discouraging freedom of thought undermines one of the primary functions of education: teaching students to think forthemselves.
  5. Within a couple of hours of the Project Veritas video, the RTC and the Greenwich Republican Candidates (with the Greenwich Patriots in attendance) held an orchestrated press conference decrying the “toxic culture” in our schools and attributing the alleged actions as yet another example of “indoctrinating students with specific political ideologies”. Forget getting to the truth before making wild accusations that these allegations are systemic and widespread in our GPS. This has led to heightening levels of harassment and threats to our Board of Education (“BOE”) and the GPS’s administrative and teaching staff.
  6. 67 Republicans (including Rep. Kim Fiorello, Candidate Ed Lopez, Candidate Peter Sherr, the entire Executive Committee of the RTC, and Former First Selectman Peter Tesei) signed a letter demanding that the Schools Superintendent, Dr. Jones, and her Deputy, Dr. Carabillo, be put on leave, even though as required by law, the Cos Cob assistant principal has been placed on leave and several investigations have been launched at the state and local level.
    By all means, let’s ignore the due process of law for some more political points and encourage the continued harassment of our BOE and the GPS administration and teaching staff.
  7. They are attempting to create a network of citizens-turned-informants and confuse the community by asking Greenwich residents to send tips or information about something going on inside GPS to an email account that suspiciously looks like a legitimate GPS email account. So parents, beware if you get this “tip line” email account. It’s NOT from GPS.

What is happening nationwide has come to Greenwich. We have an RTC in town and Republican
candidates that want to BAN books, BAN discussions on race and racism, BAN discussions on gender, BAN discussions of multiple gender identities, BAN discussions of equality, BAN discussions of tolerance and empathy.

They claim they are pro-public schools and pro-teachers but actions speak louder than words. In reality, their actions are in line with the MAGA agenda, to disrupt and undermine our public schools. They argue for “parental rights” and “school choice” but in reality, they want to take away student choice and control learning to topics and ideas of their choosing that are in line with their ideology.

I urge each of you to get informed. If you support our public schools and are against the MAGA agenda being pushed in town, I urge you to show up at the Board of Education meetings and make your voice heard. If you cannot go, email the BOE. Let them know there is more than one voice in town.

VOTE for candidates that will support and fund our public schools. VOTE for candidates that are AGAINST the MAGA agenda. VOTE for Trevor Crow, Rachel Khanna, Hector Arzeno, and Steve Meskers. They are pro-public school candidates.

What is happening in Greenwich is a living example that local elections matter. Who you vote for and who represents you in Greenwich and Hartford have real local consequences. Get informed and VOTE.