American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten warned that legislation similar to Florida’s recent parental rights bill may have dire consequences.
“This notion – we’ve been very lucky in America, and we in some ways live in a bubble for a long time,” Weingarten said. “This is propaganda. This is misinformation. This is the way in which wars start. This is the way in which hatred starts.”
The AFT is the nation’s most prominent teachers’ union and has been a consistent and vocal critic of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and of GOP school legislation, accusing the party of overstepping boundaries and placing undue restrictions on educators.
The union – one of the most powerful labor organizations in the country – has tried to walk a tightrope as school boards nationwide are seeing a surge in parental participation.
AFT has stated it supports parental involvement in education – but expressed concern about some so-called “vocal minorities” who, according to the group, wanted to marginalize kids and censor teachers.
“Educators welcome parent involvement in schools because our kids do best when teachers, parents and caregivers work together,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten in a statement to Fox News earlier this week. “We have a lot to do to help kids recover and thrive this year after two years of an unprecedented pandemic. So rather than help us help our kids socially, academically and emotionally, these vocal minorities want to marginalize LGBTQ kids, censor teachers and ban books.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the AFL–CIO, speaks alongside Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, a New York City teachers union, left, during a news conference, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in the Manhattan borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Weingarten was slammed last month for a series of blunders while showing support for Ukraine, including misspelling the nation’s name as “Ukriane.”
The spelling mistake came as the AFT was slammed on social media for promoting a tweet where the Ukrainian flag was depicted upside down in a post that was also deleted.
Ukraine’s flag features blue on top of yellow – symbolizing the blue sky over a bountiful field. However, in the photo posted by the union, the color yellow was above the color blue.