August 13, 2021

Journal Gazette Editorial Board: Unwelcome Agenda

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The editorial board of the Journal Gazette takes a look at the Purple for Parents agenda in Indiana. The bottom line? “Purple for Parents,” they say, “deals in agitation, not education.”

Purple for Parents began in Arizona as backlash against the Red for Ed movement in support of public schools, according to Arizona PBS. The former group reportedly was an offshoot to Patriot Movement Arizona, identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, but it now appears to be spreading as the vehicle for anyone with a grievance against teachers, their unions and public schools.

Purple for Parents Indiana has a mailing address at Winona Lake. Its CEO, according to its nonprofit filing with the Indiana Secretary of State’s office, is Jennifer McWilliams, who spoke at the New Haven meeting. She told the Liberty Empowerment audience she was fired from her job as a reading interventionist at Frankton-Lapel Community Schools over a Facebook post criticizing social-emotional learning, which she described as critical race theory in disguise. She accuses Indiana schools of “brainwashing” children to instill a “radical agenda.”

Social and emotional learning, as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, is “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”

As one school leader suggests, these are positive traits most parents support.

But Purple for Parents Indiana views it as “indoctrination & Sexualization [sic] of children in the public education system.”

The editorial goes on to talk about a confrontation with a school board over book selection. They conclude

Purple for Parents Indiana does not appear interested in working together. Its approach is to frighten and anger parents and to disrupt democratically elected school boards. Public school parents and supporters should be aware of the outside agitators targeting their local schools and step up to challenge them.

Read the entire editorial here.

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