A group opposing the nonexistent problem of critical race theory being taught in K-12 schools is now offering $500 to New Hampshirites who are willing to snitch on teachers.
New Hampshire became one of several states this year to explicitly ban concepts that have been labeled “critical race theory,” amid a national panic over curricula following last year’s Black Lives Matter protests. School board meetings have devolved into screaming matches, some communities are going a step further and attempting to ban books, and liberal and conservative pundits alike have credited the recent Republican wave in Virginia to a GOP focus on critical race theory and mask mandates in schools.
In New Hampshire, the new regulations—passed as part of the state budget over the summer—provide for teachers found to be teaching “divisive concepts” to appear before the state’s Board of Education for a disciplinary hearing, which could include losing their licenses to teach in public schools.
Last week, the state Department of Education launched a new website for parents and students to lodge complaints against educators they believe are violating the new law. The list of violations includes teaching that members of one group are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously,” according to the New Hampshire Department of Education—effectively stifling conversations in the classroom about unconscious bias.
With that in mind, the Hillsborough, New Hampshire chapter of Moms for Liberty tweeted Friday that it’s willing to pay out a cash reward to anyone who “catches” a public school teacher breaking the new law.
“We've got $500 for the person who first successfully catches a public school teacher breaking this law,” the group said. “Students, parents, teachers, school staff... We want to know! We will pledge anonymity if you want.”
Moms for Liberty began in Brevard County, Florida, but groups have exploded all over the country during the past year due to the movement’s hard-line opposition to school mask mandates and to critical race theory—a previously obscure academic concept that conservative activists have turned into a new front in the culture wars.
Though Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich has said in interviews that the group is mostly funded by small-dollar donors and denied any connection to the Koch brothers or other conservative funders, the group has received thousands from a conservative Florida PAC and hosted a fundraiser in June with former cable news host Megyn Kelly that raised at least $57,000 from sponsors, Media Matters reported last week.
The state’s teachers are not backing down quietly. The New Hampshire affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, the state’s second-largest teachers’ union, released a statement last week excoriating state education commissioner Frank Edelblut over the new website and calling the new law a “false flag.”
“Totally innocent teachers could lose their teaching license over claims that are not backed up by any evidence,” AFT-NH president Deb Howes said in a statement. “Edelblut has declared a war on teachers, a war that the overwhelming majority of N.H. parents will find repulsive.”
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