Last night, I offered comments on behalf of a number of parents at the Greenwich Board of Education meeting regarding an advertisement that the Connecticut Education Association teachers union purchased in support of the Amistad Awards. The Awards were hosted in Connecticut last week by a Communist organization called People's World.
Parents are understandably concerned about the union's pro-communism politics, and want to ensure that those radical politics are kept out of the classroom.
After delivering the comments, a number teachers expressed shock and were upset to learn about the union using their dues money to purchase the ad. This was the first time that many of teachers heard about the ad. Even if it only amounted to a few dollars contribution from each local union, even if it only amounted to pennies per member, the teachers were uncomfortable with the ad and with supporting a communist awards event. They wanted to make it crystal clear that they do not support the radical politics of the union. And they wanted to make sure that parents and community members know they are absolutely not communists and don't in any way support communism.
That being said, many teachers fear what the repercussions might be if they leave the union. They are concerned about potential financial impacts, the loss of benefits and more. These are very real and legitimate concerns.
But there are organizations that can help guide teachers out of the union, including Constitution State Educators in Connecticut and the Freedom Foundation. Teachers should take time to educate themselves about these organizations and their options. And talk with other teachers who have already left the union, and are happy with the decision.
In the meantime, though, union members should consider publicly challenging union leadership for their open support of communism, and also consider removing communist sympathizers from positions of power inside the union.
Union leaders take home fat, six-figure paychecks off the backs of educators, and they are supposed to represent and advocate for their members, and not for their own personal politics.
Here's what I told the Greenwich Board of Education and Superintendent at last night's meeting.
Good evening Board of Education members, new members, and Dr. Jones.
I’m not sure if you were aware of this, but this past weekend, an organization called People’s World held its annual Amistad Awards in New Haven. The award recipients were "being recognized for their commitment to organizing priorities that address racial equity, climate change, voting rights and the common good."
People's World was founded by Communists in 1924, and it "continues to feature Marxist analysis and opinion developed by the Communist Party..." according to its website.
The event honored Connecticut State Senator Gary Winfield and others. During his acceptance speech, Winfield specifically stated that he’s aware that there is a relationship between the Amistad Awards and the Communist party. He said, “I know who I’m in this room with. And I’m happy to be here.”
Winfield did that because a couple years ago, Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke at the Amistad Awards, and when he got called out in the press for speaking at the Communist event, he denied all knowledge of the organization’s ties to the Communist Party.
Why am I bringing all of this up?
Well, first of all, it’s undeniable that the Amistad Awards are directly tied to the Communist Party.
And second, the teachers union that operates in Greenwich, either knowingly or unknowingly, helped to fund the Amistad Awards through union dues money that was used to purchase an ad in the Awards Adbook.
In case you didn’t have an opportunity to see the CEA ad, it said in large type face at the top, “unity, diversity, equity, solidarity” and then the text below read, “The Connecticut Education Association congratulates all of the People’s World Amistad Award Winners.”
So there you have it.
The teachers union knowingly provided financial support to a Communist run awards ceremony, demonstrating they are in solidarity with their comrades at the People’s World.
Most parents I know were shocked to hear that the teachers union openly supported communism like this. Parents definitely do not want principles of communism – the struggle of the oppressed class against the oppressors – critical race theory and critical social justice theory – to be taught in school as if communism were a good thing.
It’s clearly not.
Communism has never worked, and it’s the antithesis of the capitalism on which our country thrives.
Superintendent Jones and Board of Education members, can you please help me understand what you are doing, in terms of policy, to make absolutely sure that teachers, especially those who are members of the Greenwich Education Association, understand that their personal politics, as well as the radical communist-embracing politics of the union, end at the threshold of the school?