Associated Press frames national debate over school board as GOP culture war

The Associated Press framed the contentious national debate over school boards and education as a “culture war” pushed by Republicans in an Election Day dispatch filed Tuesday.

“On Tuesday, voters weigh in on dozens of races that have been dominated by debates over masks, vaccines, race and history. The outcomes will decide not just districts’ policies but also whether the education fight has staying power as part of the national discourse and becomes a rallying issue for Republicans in the 2022 midterms,” the AP reported, in a story headlined, “GOP push to politicize school board races gets election test.”

The story featured a photo of left-wing teachers union head Randi Weingarten, who was quoted in the article as accusing right-wingers of trying to “turn schools into battlegrounds with the goal of winning elections by politicizing both public health and history.” 

Heather Fruzzetti makes a public statement as people protest different issues including the board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in May, vaccine mandates and critical race theory during a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021.

Heather Fruzzetti makes a public statement as people protest different issues including the board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in May, vaccine mandates and critical race theory during a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021.
(REUTERS/Leah Millis)

While Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin was mentioned in the piece as having “seized on conservatives’ frustrations with schools over pandemic policies and diversity education,” his Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe wasn’t, in spite of his controversial remarks that parents shouldn’t “be telling schools what they should teach.”

ASRA NOMANI CALLS OUT EXAMPLES OF WOKE BOOKS IN VIRGINIA SCHOOLS, EXPLAINS WHY PARENTS ARE PUSHING BACK

Framing the story as school board fights being a GOP-created issue, the story did not mention Weingarten’s endorsement of McAuliffe and her high-profile role during the fight over reopening schools at the height of the pandemic. Her detractors said she played a key part in the Biden administration and Democratic-led cities’ hesitancy to reopen by putting teachers ahead of students, while supporters argued she faced an extraordinary situation.

The AP did quote parents running for school board spots across the country after taking issue with mask mandates, COVID-related school shutdowns, and debates over divisive curriculums like critical race theory and its various offshoots.

Kevin Hulbert puts pro-Youngkin signs up as people gather to protest different issues including the board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in May, vaccine mandates and critical race theory during a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Kevin Hulbert puts pro-Youngkin signs up as people gather to protest different issues including the board’s handling of a sexual assault that happened in a school bathroom in May, vaccine mandates and critical race theory during a Loudoun County School Board meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S., October 26, 2021. Picture taken October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
(REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Parents across the country have risen up in frustration with school boards over coronavirus policies, transgender issues, and left-leaning ideologies implemented in the classroom, leading to suspicion and villainization at times from Democrats, the media, and even the federal government. The National School Boards Association apologized after it likened threatening language and behavior from some angry parents to domestic terrorism in a letter to the Justice Department.

ELECTION DAY: VIRGINIA, NEW JERSEY POLLS OPEN IN GOVERNOR’S RACES SEEN AS REFERENDUM ON BIDEN: LIVE

Virginia’s Loudoun County has been at the epicenter of the school debate, with one parent recently stating at a school board meeting this month that she pulled her children from the public school system after her 6-year-old asked her if she was “born evil” because she’s White. 

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, endorses Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at a campaign GOTV town hall meeting in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, endorses Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at a campaign GOTV town hall meeting in Houston, Texas, U.S., February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The issue is expected to play a key role in determining who wins Virginia’s crucial governor’s race.

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.