Know your school board candidates and what you are voting for

To the Editor:
All across America, school boards and teachers are under attack. Parents are being told that critical race theory is being taught in our schools in an effort to make white children feel inferior.

First error here is that CRT is a college level graduate course. Next error? CRT is a course about the systemic influence of racism and not in a way that condemns white people.

I can’t believe there are people in this country who don’t think we have a problem with racism! So how did we get here? The answer is easy — Steve Bannon and several extreme activist groups.

On his podcast in May 2021, Bannon said, “The path to save the nation is through the school boards.” He later told Politico, “Republicans are leveraging fear about CRT because it will help them win elections … the Tea Party to the 10th power.”

When did we get to the point that we allow partisan politics into our schools? In Florida, Governor [Ronald] DeSantis rejected math books perceived as teaching qualities of social and emotional learning such as feeling and showing empathy for others.

DeSantis’s motive? Authoritarian control of public schools using political theater.

Is that what we want here? I don’t think so!

Here in Guilderland we have always provided the best education for our children without politics getting in the way. I personally don’t care what political party a school board member belongs to as long as their first priority is all our children and staff and not some ridiculous personal political agenda.

Mr. Bannon assumes that using fear will sway the minds of, as he said, “suburban moms.” He hasn’t met the moms of Guilderland!

I have watched as activists outside our district rallied the troops to protest mask mandates. Were any of them infectious disease experts? Not that I am aware of.

Were any of them supported by outside political groups? I wonder. Did they educate themselves enough to know that school boards follow guidance from the Centers for disease control and Prevention and the State Education Department guidance to do what is best for all staff and students?  

As I write this, I do not know the list of all the candidates running. What I do know is extremist groups such as Leadership Institute, Intercession for America, Center for Renewing America, and many others, are distributing “tool kits” to train people to run for school boards where their objective is to “stop liberal domination,” stop CRT (even though it is not taught at elementary, middle, or high school levels) and, as we see in Florida, make sure empathy has no place in schools. 

I have two daughters who went through the Guilderland school district from kindergarten through 12th grade. Because of the excellent curriculum and foundation provided by our schools, one went to Marist College and the other went to Ithaca College. After college, both have gone on to very successful careers. Thank you, Guilderland schools!

We in Guilderland are a caring, inclusive community so let’s keep it that way. Know your school board candidates and what you are voting for.

Mary A.Schmitz


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