The Fox hosts began calling for the tearing down of the public school system

Fox News hosts have begun calling for the total destruction of the K-12 public school system in a drastic escalation of the network’s years-long campaign against teachers.

Laura Ingraham claimed on her Thursday night show that ‘a lot of people are saying it’s time to fund government education or at least fund it by giving vouchers to parents’, adding: ‘And I think that must happen.” Greg Gutfeld also said private school vouchers are needed because public schools are “a destructive system,” and he described National Education Association teachers as “the KKK with free summers” in a discussion. Earlier in the day. The five.

Conservatives have long sought to undermine public education, and proposals to eliminate the Department of Education and strip the public treasury with vouchers for private schools are staples of Republican campaigns. But education policy was not a priority for President Donald Trump, and this debate took a back seat for most of his tenure.

Fox and his allies waged an opportunistic assault on public schools and teachers in the years that followed. Their calls to “defund government education” mark a strident new phase in that effort – and if Republican politicians follow their lead, the party will be courting disaster. The public school system serves nearly 50 million children, and polls show that parents overwhelmingly approve of the work their child’s school does.

Fox’s new calls to tear down the public school system come just two years after the network argued that the lack of in-person instruction in public schools was a calamity hurting viewers’ children. At the time, many state and local governments had closed their public schools, seeking to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Fox responded to these efforts by denouncing teachers and their unions, arguing that public schools provide an essential service to students and their parents that should not be breached, regardless of the cost of COVID-19 cases and deaths. . Network hosts scoffed at the idea of ​​spending more money trying to make classrooms safer from the virus.

Ingraham, for example, said in July 2020 that teachers’ unions were the “culprits” for closing schools, explaining: “It’s unbelievable. It’s like child abuse at one point. From a medical and common-sense standpoint, the decision to put the kids back in school should be an absolute yes.

As the pandemic waned, Fox hosts shifted their focus from arguing that lack of education was hurting students to arguing that their education itself posed a threat. Public school teachers, once scapegoated as villains for not wanting to teach, became villains because of what they were supposed to teach.

In 2021, Fox personalities and their fellow right-wing propagandists began to obsess over discussions of race in public school curricula, which they dishonestly referred to as “critical race theory.” Experts have warned that teachers who teach this “critical race theory” will “warp the minds of American children” and “brainwash your child”. Working alongside right-wing think tanks, activist organizations and politicians, they sought to turn racial anxiety into political energy to win elections for Republican candidates and pass laws changing the way race was taught in the schools.

The right quickly began bundling “critical race theory” with public school curricula on LGBTQ identity. In the spring of 2022, the network’s personalities had embarked, along with their viewers, on a hate frenzy targeting LGBTQ teachers and students.

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