The lawn signs began sprouting up across Greenwich in mid-June saying “Unmask our Children, Ban Critical Race Theory, Protect Medical Freedom.” The signs had no attribution.
A group called Greenwich Patriots eventually took credit for the signs, though members were anonymous.
After a time Jackie Homan, a Greenwich Schools parent, shared her name.
At the June 17 Board of Education meeting, during public comment, Homan and a couple dozen other parents argued that Critical Race Theory was being taught in public schools.
Jackie Homan. Sept 7, 2021 Photo: Leslie Yager
They used using words like dangerous, radical, and racist to describe school curriculum.
They cited an inappropriate video that had mistakenly been assigned to remote school 2nd graders in March. The district had acknowledged and apologized for the incident and teachers were disciplined.
At the June 17 meeting Homan said, “Critical Race theory says my children were born racist simply because they were born white. How can that be? When are we going to get back to academics instead of activism?”
She described “social and emotional learning” as a euphemism for critical race theory.
Megan Galletta, whose nomination to the GHS entry way building committee was controversial last October 2020 because of concerns that she participated in maskless gatherings in Binney Park also spoke.
She and her 9th grade son criticized public schools curriculum. “It’s obvious that the ugly, nasty political discourse in Washington has now infected Greenwich Schools,” she said.
Galletta is now a Republican candidate for Board of Education in the November 2 election.
BOE chair Peter Bernstein has said requests to ban critical race theory in Greenwich Schools was part of a campaign of misinformation.
In an interview the day after the June 17 BOE meeting he said, “We try to teach our students to be critical thinkers, to hear both sides of a problem and form their own opinions. I hope the community is doing the same.”
Bernstein said the district has policies on what gets taught and how it is taught.
“We have a policy on academic freedom for our teachers because they do need leeway on how they teach topics,” he explained. “We also have a policy on teaching controversial topics. We can’t shy away from the fact that last November where we had a national election where people were on both sides. Those topics need to be discussed in the classroom by teachers, allowing for conversation and discourse.”
After most of the Stand Up Greenwich signs vanished, a second of set of signs popped up saying, “Do You Love Freedom.”
This time the signs had an attribution to Greenwich Patriots.
These signs have mostly vanished. Two people were arrested and charged with Larceny for removing them since the town considers them protected speech.
Just one “Do You Love Freedom” sign remains in front of the public safety complex.
Most recently a third set of signs popped up across town saying Academics, Consistency, Transparency.
In mid August Greenwich Patriots administered an independent survey to public school parents in Greenwich regarding the curriculum.
Dr. Jones wrote to families to say the survey was not sponsored by Greenwich Schools and the district does not share personal contact information.
This reporter received an email from the Greenwich Patriots with survey results and subsequently interviewed Ms Homan, who said she was the only member of the Greenwich Patriots willing to be identified. She said others contribute with donations and ideas.
She said her group emailed 1,500 parents using contacts from both the EMS and WMS school directories. They emailed some GHS 10th grade parents and added emails compiled from previous school activities and sports. They also sent the survey to local officials.
Feedback on Facebook was swift. Parents were not happy their emails were used and questioned the survey methodology.
“We consulted a lawyer before using the emails from the PTA-sponsored directories to ensure that we were making proper use of the directory,” Homan said, adding that she would do it again. “We wanted to make sure that we had a representative sample of parents, not just an echo chamber.”
She said nearly 200 parents, 12% of those sent the survey, replied before Superintendent Toni Jones sent her email indicating the survey was not sponsored by the district and contained inaccurate information.
“It wasn’t intended to be a scientific survey,” Homan said. “It was intended to raise awareness…and spark discussion.”
The survey showed sample school assignments, including a 7th grade assignment on White Privilege and a 9th grade reading assignment on writing about Africa. It also included a graphic screenshot from the 2nd grade remote lesson that had been assigned in error.
The survey asked, given the sample assignments, whether the public school curriculum was suitable, yes or no. The second question was open ended for comments. Anonymity was promised.
“There are people in this town who feel like they don’t have a voice. If I can provide that opportunity and I have the skills why shouldn’t I help the community?” Homan asked. “I thought it was inoffensive.”
Homan said after the superintendent’s email to parents, responses slowed.
On Aug 30, an email from Ms Homan shared survey results.
As for curriculum in public schools, Homan asked, “Instead of focusing on the things that divide us, why can’t we focus on what brings us together? This CRT – a lot of what that teaches is to view the world through the lens of either being an oppressor or being oppressed. It colors your thinking.”
Homan said hundreds of her groups’ signs have been stolen.
“In June we put 100 Stand Up Greenwich signs up in two nights. All of them were stolen in 24 hours. …The person who gave us the money for the signs was so upset. She said, ‘Here’s more (money) for 300 more signs. Almost all of those were stolen too. And another 100 Unmask Our Kids signs, and those were stolen.”
She said of the 200 ‘Do you Love Freedom’ signs, all were stolen except one in Riverside and one at the public safety complex.
“I had to look at my neighbor’s Black Lives Matter sign for a year and a half,” Homan said. “It’s his opinion and that’s the beauty of free speech.”
“People don’t understand (Black Lives Matter) is actually an organization. It’s a dark money thing. Indivisible and Act Blue feed into it. Most of those funds are then funneled into paying off campaign debt for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. That’s my objection to BLM is the people running the organization are known Marxists.”
“I don’t think systemic racism exists,” she continued.
Homan said her Greenwich Patriots group has been meeting on Saturdays outdoors at Eastern Middle School and at one meeting this spring someone called the police complaining about their signage on school property.
“The police said they were told by Toni Jones that I had illegally placed political signs on school property,” Homan said. “Peter Sherr was at the meeting, and he said he knows for a fact that there are no board policies against the use of signs.”
More recently, in August, Homan said the police came to Eastern Middle School where her group was meeting and they were told they were breaking the law.
“It’s not illegal to have a meeting on the grounds of a school,” she said. “Meanwhile a couple GHS teachers were asking kids what their pronouns were. It’s a slippery slope…to indoctrination.”
Vaccines and Masking
Homan said she is not only troubled by the Greenwich Schools curriculum, but objects to both Covid mask mandates and Covid-19 vaccinations, though she acknowledged that among Greenwich Patriots members, “curriculum is the bigger group.”
“Masking is detrimental to the mental and physical health of children,” she said.
Homan described having suffered from Lyme Disease that went undiagnosed by 40 doctors. That led her to question the ethics of the medical industry.
“I worked for a boutique investment firm where we did equity research. I covered Pfizer and Merck and J&J. I don’t trust them. It’s one thing to be an analyst covering them. I thought about them from a profitability perspective, that was the lens.”
“It would be easier to trust them if it was a not for profit model,” she said. “Until I got Lyme Disease I was 100% on board with vaccinations.”
After researching Lyme Disease extensively, Homan said she became an anti vaxxer.
“Personally, I would never get the (Covid-19) vaccine,” she added.
Homan said she had created an anonymous Twitter account to share information about Lyme Disease, but the account was shut down on January 6.
She said she had been writing a book to help others suffering from Lyme Disease when she learned something troubling in March.
“When I saw the same person involved in the Lyme vaccine involved in the corona vaccine, it sent chills down my spine,” she said, adding that she wrote an anonymous letter to General Michael Flynn about what she had learned.
“I was frustrated. I had found something really scary. And I had lost my social media platform and lost my friends from being sick from Lyme, because it does serious things to you, including septic shock.”
That was when she attended the Freedom Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Homan said Greenwich Patriots started after she attended the Freedom Conference where she met retired General Michael Flynn.
Sharing a selfie of herself and the retired General, Homan said she had been motivated to attend the conference after Greenwich parents were being told the Covid vaccine was approved, rather than having received Emergency Use Authorization.
She recalled putting comments in the live chat during a meeting organized by PTA and despite the chat being shut down, parents reached out to her afterward.
“That was the genesis of Greenwich Patriots. Two dozen people reached out,” she said.
From there she invited people to her house. The group created the Greenwich Patriots email account on Proton.
A week later the group met in a parking lot.
“We had a lawyer come, and (State Rep R-149) Kim Fiorello was there. I had documents including the vaccine insert. I printed out all of them.”
From there, the group organized a “vaccine truck” with LED message displays, including ‘Wake Up,’ and ‘Wait for Clinical Trial Results in 2023 Before You Join the Experiment in 2021.’
Homan has a medical exemption from wearing a mask. She carries documents including a doctor’s letter and the fine print of the Governor’s executive order.
“I feel like I live in Nazi Germany,” she said. “When I walk in a store, I show them the Executive Order with a sizable exemption. I carry a doctor’s note for Lyme. I can’t safely wear a mask. Why should I be discriminated against? I have a real breathing issue. I’ve had people yell at me in the store and swear at me. People have called the police on me (for not wearing a mask).”
Not that she would wear one anyway.
“Wearing a face mask to stop Covid would be like putting up a chain link fence to keep mosquitoes out of your yard,” she said. “The scariest thing right now is the loss of our rights. We’re being forced to live in medical tyranny. People should be allowed to make their own decisions. Quarantine is meant for the sick, not healthy people.”
Furthermore, Homan said Covid is “just a cold.”
She said natural remedies are more effective than Covid vaccines.
“I’m not scared of getting Covid. It has a 99.9% survival rate. I think a lot of people struggling with Covid have vitamin D deficiencies and general vitamin and mineral deficiencies,” she said. “To protect myself I need to have enough Vitamin D, Zinc and Quercetin. …You can boost your immunity that way. That’s safer and more effective than an approved vaccine.”
Since conducting the survey and sharing the results in an email that identified her by name, Homan said she’d had received varying responses. Some people wrote thoughtful emails thanking her. Others, not so much.
“Someone wrote, ‘You represent hatred, bigotry and lies,'” she said. “Other people said,’You should be ashamed. Go F— yourself.'”
What’s Next for Greenwich Patriots
Fortunately for Homan, she said she is the healthiest she’s been in five years.
“I’m never going to put another thing in my body unless I know what it will do. Nothing will convince me these shots are safe or even needed. I don’t take the flu shots either.”
The plan for Greenwich Patriots is to have a big presence and Board of Education meetings, and to speak out during public comment.
“I emailed the survey results to the whole RTM and will be seeking an opportunity to share the (survey) results in the neighborhood associations. If this many people think (curriculum) is a problem, it’s an active issue we should be discussing.”
Greenwich Schools communications director Jonathan Supranowitz said the superintendent and BOE chair declined to comment for this story, but stand by their previous statements on these issues.