Teachers union bosses and the broader education establishment declared war on Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters in recent weeks, blasting his efforts to empower parents and reward successful teachers. The unions’ efforts are backfiring as conservative Oklahomans and reasonable teachers see the true nature of those supposedly representing them.
Walters has been remarkably blunt and honest when it comes to exposing the teacher unions and their scheming. Speaking to lawmakers last month, he blasted the unions as “terrorist organizations” indoctrinating children. The education chief also said his predecessor had run schools “into the ground” while leaving an “absolute dumpster fire” in her wake. The unions were furious.
It is not the first time top officials have called out the dangerous organizations corrupting American children while pouring money into the political process. Then-U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige called the NEA a terrorist organization almost two decades ago. More recently, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called teacher-union bosses the biggest threat to America.
Also infuriating the unions was a blistering video exposing their extremism posted by Walters’ department. Alternating between clips of Walters calling for empowering parents and denouncing “woke” teachers unions are clips of union bosses and “educators” shrieking about how they intend to promote homosexuality and transgenderism to kids. Even defenses of pedophilia in schools are shown.
“In a red state like Oklahoma, most of our teachers have conservative values,” said Walters in a Fox News interview, noting that union bosses wanted him to stay quiet to stop the hemorrhaging of members. The state education chief defended teaching students the Bible as well as rewarding good teachers with more pay, two ideas that drive the unions bonkers. Many teachers have rallied to Walters’ defense. Grab some excerpts from this: https://youtu.be/In0YibqTLyc
The Oklahoma Education Association, the state’s NEA affiliate, claimed the video was “creatively edited” and “intentionally misrepresented OEA members.” For instance, it pointed out that the NEA bosses seen in the video threatening anyone who interferes with their indoctrination of children were not from Oklahoma, though the OEA is the national union’s state affiliate.
“Oklahomans see this for what it is, a desperate attempt to raise a politician’s profile at the expense of our neighborhood schools,” the radical union said on Twitter, denouncing the supposedly “inflammatory and dangerous accusations” made by officials. “We will continue to do this work long after political opportunists move on to their next grift.”
Walters has not tried to hide the fact that government schools are failing miserably at the tasks parents think they are charged with. “It’s tragic how poorly Oklahoma students read,” Walters told local media. “Thirty-four percent of Oklahoma students as of last spring read on grade level. And in Tulsa Public Schools, 19% read on grade level.” In reality, it is even worse than that.
Sources in Oklahoma close to the controversy told The Newman Report that radical groups from out of state including remnants of Occupy Wall Street and Indivisible were marshalling their forces to take on Walters and his administration. Aside from exposing the unions, Walters’ defense of teaching students the Bible and the Constitution have sent godless activists and pagans into a frenzy.
Separately, a trio of far-left activists who were employed at the Oklahoma Department of Education filed lawsuits against Walters after being fired. They were reportedly leaking information to the press and far-left Democrats in the Legislature in an effort to undermine policies pursued by their boss, a man elected by the people of Oklahoma.
Walters’ office hit back hard. “Contrary to public servants, these individuals are political activists who have no business being funded by Oklahoma taxpayers,” a spokesman for the superintendent told the press. Another comment by an Education Department spokesman cited in the press blasted the lawsuits as “a political stunt with no legal merit.”
Supporters have rushed to Walters’ defense. “The vast majority of people in our great state support you and the work you’re doing to provide children and youth with good formation free from ideologies that are not part of education, education whose mission should be to help young minds ascertain the truth,” said Rev. Stephen Hamilton, pastor of St. Monica Catholic Church in Edmond.
Thanks to the courageous work of trailblazers such as former California teacher Rebecca Friedrichs of For Kids and Country, who sued the unions and paved the way to ending forced unionism, teachers nationwide now have the freedom to leave the unions. Countless teachers across Oklahoma and beyond are exercising that right — and it has the union bosses and their political minions terrified. Good.