‘Arrogant’ teachers think they know better than parents, Rep. Chris Stewart says after seeing now-disputed video
Two Utah school districts describe Accuracy in Media video as “inaccurate,” “misleading” and “incomplete.”
Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart reacted on Twitter to a video that has been shared on conservative media channels featuring people identified in recordings as Utah educators explaining how they teach topics such as critical race theory that are restricted in Utah public school classrooms.
The Accuracy in Media video includes conversations with interview subjects who said they teach restricted topics to Utah students by instructing high school seniors “who don’t tell their parents” or the teachers send home information to parents after classroom presentations.
“This is why so many people don’t trust public education: arrogant teachers who think they know better than parents. And this is why nobody should be surprised that Utah gave parents the ability to choose with school vouchers. We will always fight for the rights of our parents,” @RepChrisStewart tweeted Monday.
Stewart’s tweet referred to the Utah Legislature’s recent passage of HB215. The bill created the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which will grant qualifying families an $8,000 scholarship per school-age child to help pay for private education services or tuition, and at the same time gives each state-licensed educator a $6,000 compensation increase.
The video identifies some of the people interviewed as educators in the Jordan and Murray school districts.
A statement from Murray City School District said the school district is reviewing the allegations in the Accuracy in Media video shared on Fox News last week.
“We have noted some inaccuracies in the accounts shared by our staff member being interviewed. We are also concerned about soundbites that omit context, tenor and questions that elicited the responses.
“For this reason, and to make a fair assessment of the comments, we are requesting a full, uncut version of the interview from AIM as part of our review. If AIM complies, we will share this with the other districts and USBE to aid their independent reviews,” the statement said.
The Jordan School District also responded in a statement saying, “The video that has been shared online is incomplete and misleading. We do not teach critical race theory in Jordan School District. We value parent participation in their child’s education and respect a parent’s right to opt out of classroom content.
“We take these allegations seriously and are currently investigating the matter.”
The elected state school board, meanwhile, issued this statement:
“As the elected leadership team for the Utah State Board of Education, we are aware of recent allegations against several school districts regarding potential disregard for law or rule of divisive topics being taught within the school setting. All administrators and educators are required to abide by Utah law, board administrative rules, and official policy, including R277-328 Education Equity in Schools.
“As the state’s oversight entity for all public education, USBE will review the allegations to determine what appropriate action is necessary. Additionally, we are continually working to improve our policies and rules to ensure compliance with Utah law. Notification policies and transparency with parents must be a priority within the public school system.”
The state school board statement said parents or guardians with concerns should contact their student’s school to work toward a solution because curriculum decisions are made through local boards.
People who have contacted local educators and administrators and believe that their concerns have not been resolved can contact the board’s Public Education Hotline at 801-538-7813 or email email@example.com.
The state’s largest teacher’s association, the Utah Education Association, declined to comment.
Accuracy in Media, according to its Twitter feed “uses citizen activism and investigative journalism to expose media bias, corruption and public policy failings.”
On Monday, Accuracy in Media’s Twitter feed also called out Dayton, Ohio, school officials for allegedly committing “to secretly ushering in critical race theory.”