Parents groups and advocates blasted the National Education Association for an odd tweet picturing former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos while warning followers to “check” their kids’ Halloween candy.
“Parents and educators, be sure to check your kid’s Halloween candy this year,” the NEA, the largest teachers union in the U.S., wrote on Wednesday. “We just found an out-of-touch billionaire funneling dark money to undermine public education inside our candy bar. Wow.”
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Parent groups criticized the NEA’s priorities, especially in light of recent academic slowdowns across the country in the wake of COVID-19 related school closures.
“The National Education Association has zero accountability with the union fees and donations they collect. They literally paid someone to make this,” Moms for Liberty New Hampshire said of the tweet.
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“Imagine being in the position of the NEA or the AFT, and knowing that you are responsible for the destabilization of public education for a generation. I guess you would lash out with ridiculous memes too,” the popular Twitter account NYC Expat Mom tweeted.
“Left can’t meme,” National Review social media editor Claude Thompson simply tweeted.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered the same sentiment, tweeting “The Left can’t meme.”
DeVos Chief of Staff Nate Bailey blasted the NEA tweet as “dumb” and ghoulish in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“These are the people who needlessly closed schools, forced masks on kids, called the FBI on parents, and now are filling our schools with CRT and secret gender transitions, all while student achievement levels have fallen to historic lows,” Bailey said. “America’s parents know who the real ghouls are. Imagine if they spent as much time on improving education for kids as they did on dumb memes and deploying the FBI to investigate concerned parents.”
“The NEA could have used this opportunity to post a serious PSA on the dangers of fentanyl in schools, but they opted to embarrass themselves with this terrible graphic instead,” Michele Perez Exner, communications director for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, suggesting another missed opportunity for the NEA.
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Teachers unions were blasted the past two years for having a hand in keeping schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent national report card showed the impact that forced at-home learning may have had on schoolchildren, finding the largest decrease in reading scores in three decades. Math scores, meanwhile, saw their first decrease in the history of the testing regimen done by the National Center for Education Statistics.
The NEA, along with the American Federation of Teachers, was caught up in controversial emails last year with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The correspondence, obtained by Americans for Public Trust, found that the nation’s two largest teachers unions appeared to influence last-minute changes to school reopening guidance and a slow walking of getting kids back to school.