Glenn Daigon: People Power Vs. the Far Right Education Movement
Glenn Daigon talks to Skye Perryman of Democracy Forward about defending public education from far right attacks.
Q: With a new school year, what do you see as the far right’s top priorities in terms of public education policies?
Perryman: What we are seeing is a range of efforts: undermining funding for public education, pushing things like vouchers or other types of policies that only benefit some students and do not benefit all students, or continuing to stoke culture war issues through pursuing the censorship agenda that really threatens the quality of education available to students throughout the country.
Q: Which of these efforts do you see as the most dangerous to students?
Pearryman: These initiatives all emanate from the work of far-right institutions…that are trying to undermine public education. So the same groups that are pursuing broad censorship agendas, are also the groups that are pushing for policies that would undermine public schools more generally. They are all part of the same playbook.
Q: What are Democracy Forward’s tactics to blunt or block these initiatives?
Perryman: We use a range of tools and seek to make those tools available to people in communities, teachers, and parents. We are representing librarians and others in a litigation that has successfully blocked a statewide censorship law [in Arkansas] that would have imposed criminal penalties on librarians and teachers. We are working with communities in places like Texas, Florida, and Ohio to make sure that communities have access to legal resources to fight back against this.
What we see in our work every day is that the vast majority of the American people support democracy, support the notion that all people—regardless of their background, their income, or geography—deserve to have access to a quality education. We are really committed to providing communities, teachers, parents, and others with the legal and regulatory tools to be able to use their voices at this time.