Speaking at an education conference Saturday, Susan Curlee, a Tennessee school board official, detailed her struggle to unravel what she says is a vast left-wing conspiracy to indoctrinate children.
“They’re looking out for what is best for the teachers union, best for the Democratic Party and best for those that agree and will be complicit to the wishes,” Curlee declared in a video released as part of this year’s Concerned Educators Against Forced Unionism Conference.
The CEAFU, a project of the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, aims at challenging compulsory unionism in education. For Curlee, her battle against union and Democrat interests began when her two young daughters were going through elementary school.
In a little over two years, Curlee saw her local school drastically change. The teachers that didn’t retire in large numbers began looking stressed and on edge — as if they were afraid of something. This drove Curlee to run for her local school board in the hopes of finding out what was wrong and fixing it. What she found was far worse than originally thought.
“We were up against a tremendous force that was backed by a teachers union and also by SEIU,” Curlee recalled. “Turns out the NEA, AFT and SEIU have been partnering.”
Despite alleged intimidation tactics and very hostile efforts against her, she was able to win the election and become a member of the local school board. The problems, however, didn’t stop there.
“After the election was over, and I had an opportunity to have some space and time to breath, it still bothered me,” Curlee noted. “Who were these people and what was it that drove them to come after an ordinary person?”
After detailed research, Curlee says she discovered some of the unions and education groups that came after her during the election were all run by the same people. Unions like the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union and American Federation of Teachers were working with groups like Democracy Alliance, backed by George Soros, to allegedly indoctrinate children with a progressive ideology through front groups disguised as local education initiates.
“They developed a strategic partnership to come in and enforce some of these progressive agendas specific to education,” Curlee detailed.
“The local teachers union set up an organization that was called the Williamson Political Action Committee for Education,” Curlee said. “It sound very benign, very pro-education.”
“If you see someone who is endorsed by Williamson Political Action Committee for Education you must think these people are really for education,” she stated. “Actually what they’re for are teachers unions. What they’re for is a very leftist agenda. They’re for a very progressive agenda.”
Another such front group Curlee mentions is Williamson Strong. She argues the group is nothing more than an unregistered political action committee which seeks to promote school officials the unions like. In fact, according to The Tennessean, back in December she filed a complaint against Williamson Strong for its unregistered political activities.
Williamson Strong, however, refuted the allegations in an open letter. The group noted, “Frankly you appear to be seeing evidence of Williamson Strong when we aren’t even there. When anyone says something to you as an elected official that you do not like or with which you disagree, you say they’re ‘bashing’, ‘threatening’, ‘vicious’, ‘pro-common core’, or the new buzz word you seem to have settled on: ‘targeting.’”
“When you see groups, when you see organizations like Strong Schools, Strong Communities, understand that these are NEA backed,” Curlee declared. “These groups are anything but grassroots.”
“Always look at these organizations, look at whose involved with them, look at the agenda they’re for and look at those things they’re standing up against,” Curlee noted. “More important, look at who they are trying to silence.”
“This is about them getting their way and being bullies about it,” Curlee continued. “They live to intimidate.”
Curlee then began looking into the superintendent and filed a record request.
“After the election and after seeing these battles were continuing to rage on, I suspected all along that our Superintendent was deeply involved and embedded with this group,” Curlee noted. “I was repeatedly intimidated and asked to withdraw my records request.”
For weeks she was stonewalled and unable to get access to the records she requested. It all came to a head, however, at a local Let’s Talk Schools Event.
“I was placed in a room, isolated from all the other school board members,” she noted. “The School Board attorney was assigned to my room.”
“Over fifty parents crowded into that room, most of them members of this group Williamson Strong,” she continued. “They stayed for over an hour, they were hostile, accusatory.”
After threatening to press charges and go to the media over what happened that night, the records finally appeared. She discovered that the superintendent had allegedly used his authority and school resources to benefit the unions and candidates they supported.
“School resources were also used to research the children of candidates who were running,” Curlee said. “They weren’t just looking at us; they were looking at our children.”
“With those records I found out that our Superintendent had access to all the emails that were coming in to the board,” Curlee detailed. “Not only did he have access but he was forwarding those emails on to incumbents who were up for reelection.”
The information in the emails was even used on the blog Williamson Secrets, which attacked candidates and school board officials the unions didn’t like.
“Also contained in those records was evidence that the meetings that I had heard about, the meetings where the union representatives were maligning the new school board members and trying to incite fear in the teachers,” Curlee noted.
The Daily Caller News Foundation could not reach the NEA, AFT, SEIU or Williamson Strong for comment.
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