The 1776 Project PAC invested in school board elections in Cherokee and Coweta, historically and reliably conservative counties. Residents of both counties found flyers in their mailboxes, warning, “Critical race theory is in our schools” and “Elementary schoolchildren are given books about what it means to be transgender.”
That a few of these candidates drew enough voters to land in a runoff speaks to the power of misinformation, innuendo and exaggeration when expertly delivered and packaged. Any small sign of tolerance in the schools was brandished as proof the woke mob was breaching the walls — even a Woodstock High School diversity week flyer created by a student club encouraging classmates to wear T-shirts in assorted colors to raise awareness about disabilities, gender, racial and LGBTQ rights.
The audience for these messages is white parents who prefer any unsightly blemish in American history minimized. They want a sanitized and edited curriculum taught to the soundtrack of “God Bless America” by teachers with their hands over their hearts and the mouths of anyone seeking a true telling of U.S. history.
The runoff results show voters didn’t believe their districts were falling into a liberal abyss. In Cherokee, two of the four candidates supported by the 1776 PAC and united under the banner of “4CanDoMore” foundered in the May primary; the others lost in this week’s runoff. In Coweta, three of the backed candidates were defeated last month, and one lost in Tuesday’s runoff.
Holly Jones, a 27-year Cherokee resident, was alarmed over the infusion of outside influence and money in a local school board contest. “My problem with this group was that this is a nationally backed AstroTurf campaign going on throughout the country with a very specific objective, and that objective is to completely dismantle public education in the United States,” she said. “I was glad to see that the people of Cherokee County could see through the talking points and rejected the interference from a national PAC.”
“Our school system is great as it is; CRT is not rampant as they claimed it was, and at the end of the day, level heads prevailed,” said Cherokee parent Mark Kunzman.
East Coweta High School Principal Steve Allen released a video plea to voters in his county to reject the 1776 Project PAC candidates, saying, ”This school system is a great school system. And it needs to stay this way for the kids. Don’t believe the hype. It is time to say enough is enough. I am adamant about this. I know you are tired of hearing this but we’re under attack. So, please do your job. Get out and vote.”
Voters did just that in Coweta and Cherokee, repudiating political manipulation and groundless attacks on the educators that serve their kids. In the final tally, they refused to surrender their own faith in their local schools to a murky political agenda that treated educators as dangerous influences to be contained and corralled.