Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an ongoing public debate between parents who believed students should return to school and those who felt that remote learning was the safer option.
In California, leftist politicians and activists pushed for schools to generally remain closed throughout much of the pandemic, disregarding the pleas of parents concerned about their children falling behind.
Now, a bombshell report is accusing the state’s largest teachers union of tasking a researcher with gathering information about many of those parents who had called for a return to in-person learning.
Democrats continue to target parents who want what is best for their children. A California teachers union spied on parents for wanting to get their children back in the classroom during COVID. Outrageous.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) September 7, 2022
A group of concerned parents across San Diego County formed the so-called Parents Association and requested public records related to the heated debate, including emails that seemed to confirm that the California Teachers’ Association had been actively spying on families in an apparent bid to shut down opposition to its school closure scheme.
As one of the Parents Association founders explained, members became suspicious after noticing that locals had been parroting many of the same talking points that the union used to support its position.
The unearthed digital communications pointed to researcher Ann Swinburn as a proxy employed by the union to gather information about parents who sued districts statewide as part of an effort to see schools reopened.
Although most of the emails were delivered strategically to like-minded recipients, one message appeared to be mistakenly sent to Adam Camacho, the principal of a San Diego school that was pressured by a local union to remain closed in late 2020.
A response to the email stated: “I think you accidentally included Adam Camacho on your reply. Not sure if we need to do any damage control.”
The recipient replied that it should not “be an issue” unless there is “a record request for his work email.”
The Parents Association later made that request, leading to the discovery of the troubling behavior. A number of prominent figures across the state and beyond have sounded off on the situation, including Lance Christensen, who is currently in a race to become California’s next public instruction superintendent.
He called the revelation “startling and disgusting,” denouncing the union’s decision to “dedicate personnel to politically target moms and dads protecting their own children and expressing their first amendment rights.”