Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is raising money to promote right-wing takeovers of local school boards, which he claims is necessary to “protect the hearts and minds of the next generation from the left-wing agenda.”
In a fundraising letter dated August 2021, Perkins wrote, “As hard as the COVID-19 pandemic has been on everyone, it did bring one unexpected blessing that I urge you to help me capitalize on.” Perkins continued:
You see, when public schools were forced to go virtual, parents got a front-row seat to the radical anti-faith, anti-family, anti-America indoctrination being force fed to their children.
From gender identity ideology to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the revisionist 1619 Project branding America as systemically racist from its founding until today, parents realized their local public schools were filling their children’s minds with lies, hatred, and division…
…and they were horrified!
Perkins didn’t hold back on the hype. “The danger cannot be overstated,” he wrote. “These ongoing efforts to indoctrinate our youth are an existential threat to our families, our faith, and to the very freedoms that we have long enjoyed.” He complained that “younger generations have slowly moved from embracing Christian values and loving our country to accepting and even supporting godless forms of government like socialism and communism.”
Religious-right groups have often treated the country’s public schools as culture-war battlegrounds, from trying to dictate the content of textbooks to opposing LGBTQ-inclusive policies. This isn’t the first right-wing effort to reshape public education through school board takeovers, and FRC isn’t alone in this current campaign. Right Wing Watch recently reported that right-wing activist groups like the Leadership Institute, Intercessors for America, and the Center for Renewing America are also fanning fears and resentments over teaching about racism and transgender inclusive school policies to drive up right-wing voter turnout and school board takeovers.
“FRC Action is offering urgently needed expertise, training materials, guidance, and personal connections to help conservatives win local political campaigns,” Perkins wrote in his recent fundraising letter. He claimed that more than 1,200 “parents and concerned citizens” took part in the group’s virtual “School Board Boot Camp” in June.
Perkins, ignoring the national right-wing groups heavily involved in the right-wing school board takeover effort, portrayed the campaign as a grassroots uprising:
In many of America’s 13,800 school districts, grassroots efforts are beginning to nominate conservative, pro-family, pro-American candidates to run against left-wing incumbents. Some have launched recall campaigns to unseat school board members before the next election—before they can do any more to influence our impressionable children.
We need to grow these small and sometimes disorganized efforts into an army of activists ready to do battle on behalf of the family and America.
FRC Action, Perkins said, is “focusing our national expertise on key local elections by providing, at no charge, much needed resources to help replace radical school board members with Christian and conservative parents and other qualified candidates.”