Rapid City, South Dakota held elections for its school board this week. The result? Two incumbents, including the school board president, went down to defeat. Insurgent candidates won all four contested seats.
I understand that an organization called South Dakota Parents Involved in Education (SDPIE) played a major role in this election. I understand the issues it raised included opposition to the teaching of critical race theory and disrespect for the American flag and pledge of allegiance. (Reportedly, some of the teachers in this district have been discouraging students from saying the pledge.) I understand the results to be a rejection of wokeness in the city’s schools.
My understandings don’t come from local media reports on the election. This account by the Rapid City Journal doesn’t mention any issues. All we get by way of explanation for what seems like a startling result is this:
This year’s school board election was contentious; candidates and some campaign organizers said the race was political despite the nonpartisan nature of the school board. A number of Republican state lawmakers donated to all four of the winning campaigns.
Oh, and turnout was low.
My understanding of the election comes instead from a blurb I received by email via United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) of which SDPIE is the South Dakota branch. (I tried to follow the link provided, but was blocked). USPIE states:
An enthusiastic coalition of parents, grandparents, taxpayers, businesspeople, and Christians rallied around the American flag to win 4 out of 4 positions up for election on the 7-member School Board. Displaying the American flag appeared to be a key element in these successful races. . . .
SDPIE also reported that the local Republican Party awoke from their years of slumber discovering to their surprise that the current school board members were mostly registered Democrats. They began to weigh-in, joining the old warriors of the Tea Party movement, SDPIE, South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, Family Heritage Alliance Action and the homeschooling network. This collaboration was fundamental to the success of the election upset, which unseated even the Board’s president.
Racism was an underlying theme for the Liberal incumbents defending their seats as they sought to place more Native Americans on the Board who previously held 1 of 7 seats on the Board. Ironically, one of the newly elected Conservatives has a Native American background but chooses not to exploit it. As we have all become too far familiar, “color,” to the Left, is a political pigmentation not an actual characteristic. . . .
This news is just one amazing example of what is happening all over our country. Parents and taxpayers are organizing to take back their local school boards. . . .
I have no first-hand knowledge of what is happening at schools in Rapid City. But I know that the woke agenda has made huge strides in America’s public schools (for a report on this development in Loudon County, Virginia schools, go here). It has penetrated Red States, including South Dakota.
Stanley Kurtz has reported that the draft revised South Dakota social studies standards embrace action civics and call on students to, among other leftist agenda items, “raise awareness of how minority groups face bias in the mainstream media.” That’s why Gov. Kristi Noem is working to ban action civics and critical race theory in South Dakota schools.
Thus, it’s heartening to hear about the election in Rapid City. It’s also encouraging that SDPIE is talking about targeting the city counsel there. And it’s great that John and the think tank he heads are combatting wokeness in schools at the grassroots level in Minnesota.
But while grass roots organizations are working from the bottom up, the left is working from the top down. It plans to have the central government withhold federal money from school districts that reject action civics and critical race theory.
An epic battle seems to be brewing — one with enormous implications for the future of America.