Parents of kids as young as kindergarten were calling to raise concerns about the growing amount of LGBT content (and other material that flouted traditional Christian values) seeping into the curriculum.
At a gathering in Charlotte, NC, Fitzgerald planned to instruct a handful of individuals about their legal rights and recourse.
“I thought I was gonna meet with about three parents,” she said. “I walked in and there were about 25 people.”
The participants called her attention to some of the dogwhistle language that schools were using—words such as “social justice” and “unconscious bias”—that have, sadly, become part of the modern-day vernacular since groups like Black Lives Matter began pushing their pro-Marxist agenda to the extreme.
After a little research, Fitzgerald and her team discovered that the offending materials were coming from “Teaching Tolerance,” an initiative linked to anti-Christian hate group the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The group’s radically woke curriculum “comes in a red manual,” Fitzgerald recalled. “It even looks like Marxism.”
Indoctrination first noticeably became a top leftist priority during the Obama administration, when then-Attorney General Eric Holder sent a “Dear Colleague” letter that floated the threat of using Title VII compliance to circumvent state and local policies, coercing schools instead to submit to the will of the federal Justice Department.
Those efforts were amplified during the Trump administration, as leftist groups consolidated their resources and proceeded to organize at levels previously unimagined.
“There’s been an orchestrated campaign, I think, to have left-wing people infiltrate the school system,” Fitzgerald said.
After a 2019 scandal over the racist and sexist treatment of SPLC staff forced out co-founder Morris Dees, the erstwhile civil-rights advocacy group, with an estimated half-billion-dollar endowment in offshore bank accounts, fell into the hands of a top Obama surrogate, Tina Tchen.
Meanwhile, other groups—including BLM, Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign (the country’s leading gay-activism organization)—have gotten involved by releasing their own curricular materials.
HRC’s “Welcoming Schools” program claims to “uplift school communities with critical tools to embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.”
But, in fact, its modus operandi is to actively bully proponents of traditional American values out of any role in influencing their own children.
The goal is to “indoctrinate kids into a world that they’ve never encountered before,” Fizgerald said, with much of it happening by time they reach third grade.
Once those immoral lessons become hard-wired, “no amount of Sunday school teaching” can counteract it, Fitzgerald warned.
Nonetheless, she said the ready-made curricular materials were inviting to many schools and departments, allowing them to focus their sparse financial resources elsewhere.
In some cases, the process becomes a vicious cycle, in which the seed money that activist organizations funnel into the schools goes right back into their own coffers.
“Why do you think the nation’s largest abortion provider would have a sex-ed curriculum?” Fitzgerald asked. “It’s a business model.”
Another part of the problem stems from the discriminatory practices of school personnel, she noted.
As they have in the media, the legal arena and other key American institutions, unelected leftists have installed themselves into kingmaker positions overseeing state education departments, licensure programs for teachers, school administrative roles and school systems’ human-resources departments.
That allows them to freeze out dissenting voices by preventing their hiring or advancement—and punishing those who manage to slip through the cracks.
“Qualified teachers have been shut out … because they’re not LGBT,” said Fitzgerald.
Oftentime, intervention for problematic teachers may take the form of re-education programs steeped in coded leftist lingo under the guise of pedagogical best-practices.
By labeling these as “professional development” trainings, school systems have been able to fly below the radar, several levels below what might catch the attention of even the most diligent and involved parents.
“The whole secret to this is not letting the parents know—so, lack of transparency,” Fitzgerald said.
To that effect, the NC Values Coalition recently devised its own primer, the Mama Bear Manual, and plans to conduct a series of workshops in some of the state’s top urban regions in early April.
Just because a parent sends their child to public school doesn’t mean they lose their fundamental right to know and have a say in what their child is being taught.
Register here to attend one of our upcoming free Mama Bear workshops! https://t.co/qWRmIUCkDf
— NC Values Coalition (@NCValues) March 13, 2022
The two-hour workshops will feature a variety of speakers, including the Heritage Foundation’s Katie Gorka, a Trump-era adviser in the Department of Homeland Security who is married to former President Donald Trump’s deputy assistant, Sebastian Gorka.
Appropriately enough, given Attorney General Merrick Garland’s designation of concerned parents as “domestic terrorists,” Gorka’s main field of expertise is in terrorism prevention, but she also happens to be an “expert on all things,” said NC Values’s director of legal and strategic initiatives, Reaghan Boerman.
“We are trying to fit in as much as we possibly can” into the workshops, Boerman said.
Representatives from the pro-values legal watchdog Alliance Defending Freedom will also be present to help teach local participants how to wage lawsuits and take action against noncompliant school systems.
On the political front, the workshops will direct concerned community members (including Mama Bears, Papa Bears and Grandparent Bears) to organizations like the Family Research Council and Moms for Liberty, where they can develop insights into legislative lobbying and grassroots campaign organizing.
The workshops might even be used as a potential recruitment platform, said Boerman.
“Our hope is to use that as a resource to find some parents to challenge” leftist incumbents on local school boards, she said.
And the events may spur others to turn out in greater force at the voting booth, said Fizgerald.
She noted that a typical school-board election generally sees a turnout of about 11% to 13% of eligible voters.
“We’re going to encourage them to support good candidates,” she said, pointing to the online iVoterGuide as one good resource for values-based voters.
The anti-indoctrination movement is part of a growing trend—notably led by North Carolina’s northern neighbor, Virginia, where Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin last year made parental outrage a major component of his successful gubernatorial campaign against Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe.
Unlike the leftist groups pushing pro-Marxist material, there is no central hub for grassroots funding and organizing against it. But if the need arises, Fitzgerald did not rule out the possibility that NC Values may share its Mama Bear Manual with organizations fighting school indoctrination in other states.
As Boerman said, one goal of the workshops was not only to equip local parent–activists with the right tools, it also was to let them know “they’re not alone.”