Six weeks after the 2021 general elections, conservatives are still winning races. Last Saturday, conservative candidates defeated two incumbents in four run-off elections for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Board of Trustees. Dr. Kendall Baker and former PTO President Bridget Wade both focused their campaigns against mask mandates and indoctrinating students with critical race theory. Although they are the only two conservatives on the nine-member school board, the radical school establishment and their media allies are shaking in their boots.
A Houston Chronicle "reporter" editorialized, repeatedly, that conservative school board victories were "a testament, some say, to the grip that national politics have taken over local education." He also insisted CRT "is not taught in Texas schools" while attacking Texas Governor Greg Abbott for "trying to whitewash discussions of race and the country's history" by banning it.
Houston's educational establishment greeted conservative victories with their own barrage of insinuations. "I'm optimistic enough to think that people can grow and adjust ... once they're out of campaign mode," said Jasmine Jenkins, executive director for Houstonians for Great Public Schools. Now that's a back-handed compliment as only a Southern lady can deliver it. Houston Federation of Teachers president Jackie Anderson added, "There is no place in HISD for discrimination of any kind. The HFT and our community simply won't tolerate it." A Rice University political science professor sneered that comparing votes for Donald Trump to votes for the two victorious challengers is "probably one of the strongest correlations you can find."
One incumbent, who lost to a former PTO president, complained bitterly, "the impression that voters have of public schools, if they don't themselves have children in public schools, is informed by Fox News and national news coverage that has nothing to do with what our kids are being taught." How gracious! Did she learn to blame electoral defeats on "ignorant" voters from Hillary Clinton's Masterclass? Many parents first discovered what schools were teaching during the pandemic shutdowns -- and they didn't like it. Plus, ignorance of school operations is not the most likely charge to level against a former PTO president.
Why have I devoted so much space to the unfair, vicious, and absurd attacks Houston's educational establishment has levelled against the two conservative challengers who won? If you are considering a run for school board, you ought to know what you can expect. The radical Left tolerates no interference with their power. They will shamelessly stoop to the basest assaults. Don't run for school board to find friends, receive praise from the media, or boost your self-image. Run for school board because it's right, because the next generation of Americans deserves to be protected from the toxic indoctrination the Left is forcing down its throat.
If you can't run for school board, you can still make a difference by voting. In Kendall Baker's runoff, 5,292 votes were cast, and he won by only 78. Bridget Wade "handily defeated" her opponent by less than 1,000 votes out of 12,397. Another conservative challenger lost by only 41 out of 4,379. In that race, every 44 votes was 1 percent of the total. The point is, school board elections are low-turnout races, which means voters who actually show up have an outsized impact. That's how radicals seized control of schools in the first place. Local school board races may be less exciting than presidential campaigns, but if parents want to defend their children from the Left's agenda, this is the solution.