TWO OPINIONS: Parents United RI Vilified and Defended

EDITOR’s NOTE: Members and Candidates from the Parents United RI group in RI have been frequent guess on The Current’s popular In The Dugout with Mike Stenhouse video podcast. 

The editorial directly below was in response to a December 17 editorial further below that appeared in the Westerly Sun.


To the Editor:
     After reading Mr. Christopher Fee’s letter to the editor titled, “Be aware of the threat of Parents United R.I.” the Westerly Sun, Dec. 18, 2022,  I became very specious of its intent. The first question that crossed my mind was where did Mr Fee attend school? The second is who is “Parents United R.I.” because I have never heard of them? I know that when I attended school in the 50’s, grades 1- 8 in Charlestown and 9-12 in Westerly we were taught American history, the Civil War, slavery, and reconstruction after the Civil War. I am presuming that American history is still being taught in our public schools. Does Mr. Fee’s concern rest with the fact that so many parents are opposed to public school’s include teaching Critical Race Theory, (CRT) in its curriculum? It is now being reported that the Westerly Public Schools have changed its approach to teaching CRT. That the school teachers themselves are receiving volumes of instructions from an outside source on how to teach Critical Race Theory, CRT).  Apparently, it is now being taught but by another name. It has been reported to a national public service law firm in Washington, D.C.that has made an inquiry to the school superintendent. Another example of the “Woke” movements dishonesty and hypocrisy is also seen in today’s edition of the Westerly Sun. In a sub-headline titled, “dates approaching for recently enacted firearms legislation” it reports that a U.S. District Court upheld the state’s right to enforce the legislation restricting the use of large capacity ammunition magazines and raising the age from 18 to 21 to buy a gun. There can be no question that the supporters of the “Woke” movement have tirelessly lobbied against guns and ammunition. At the same time it is an outspoken supporter of LBGTQ. The question of Transgender surgery at various Children’s Hospitals in the U.S and who should have the right to approve one is an argument among medical professionals. Certain professionals in the LBGTQ community claim that a 5 or 6 years old should have the right to make its own decision. Here we have a group that is adamantly opposed to an 18 years old buying and owning a gun but at the same time is arguing that a 5 or 6 years old is mature enough to decide whether they want to be a boy or a girl.
In my opinion anyone who supports the “Woke” movement is being mislead. A careful study of its objectives show that it is a left wing Marxists group hell bent on destroying the U.S. Constitution. Make no mistake about it! Some one or a group in the Westerly School System is part of the “Woke” movement and is determined to teach Critical Race Theory, (CRT) to the school children in Westerly. It’s all part of trying to teach the students to feel guilty and ashamed about the history of our country. If they weren’t so dishonest they would ask themselves, if the United States is so bad and Marxism is so great why are hundreds of thousands of refugees from South America flooding into the United States and not flooding into Venezuela?
Thank you,
James M. Mageau
Charlestown, R.I 

Letter: Be aware of the threat of Parents United RI

arents United RI stands against transgender kids, opposes the teaching of racism history, and fought against COVID-19 precautions and medical advice. It was formed with the intent of infiltrating local school boards and town councils to degrade public schools and promote charter schools under the guise of parental rights. Parents United RI has been associated with white supremacist, homophobic hate groups like Super Happy Fun America (SHFA). This group is an offshoot of The Gaspee Project, an organization chaired by Richmond resident Clay Johnson. This group has used its war-chest, including at least $1,000 from Mr. Johnson, to fund propaganda mail campaigns to spread misinformation about our school district. The Koch Foundation has funded many of these so-called “spontaneous parental uprisings” across the country.

Several new schoolboard members have taken the following pledge for Parents United RI:

“I hereby pledge to fully support complete transparency and parental rights when it comes to the health and education of children. I pledge to oppose all efforts to teach our K-12 students any divisive race-based or gender-based theory and any inappropriate and explicit sexual content.”

How far will your parental opposition go? Will you forbid the teaching of slavery or the civil rights movement or the history of hate crimes against minorities? Do you have enough knowledge of child development to know which books are grade-level appropriate, or do you just want to eliminate anything that offends you? Do you have any intention of actually working with school board members who disagree with you, or will you resign when you don’t get your way?

You don’t know everything about educating kids just because you made one. Not all of us are cut out to be teachers, and none of us should be allowed to commandeer a school district’s policies just because they managed to reproduce. Having a pulse and an axe to grind doesn’t qualify you to make decisions about other people’s children.

Both Republicans and Democrats want what’s best for their kids. Our once-excellent school system has been shanghaied by self-righteous members of the far right who continue to insist they’re the only ones who practice a religion properly or have a moral compass. If rational adults from both parties don’t unite to stop our local authoritarian threat, this district will likely disintegrate into the bad old days when we had double sessions and Chariho schools were the laughingstock of Rhode Island.

People of good will from both parties need to let the members of the Koch-funded Parents United RI and their affiliates know we’re paying attention, regardless of our party affiliation. Please contact your legislators and let them know you’re not happy with what’s about to be done to Chariho.

Christopher Fee

Charlestown, RI

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