Teachers union spied on anti school closure parents

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 65
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Location: Long Island, New York

06 Sep 2022, 8:50 pm

California teachers union spied on parents fighting to reopen schools during COVID, emails show

Emails obtained through a public records request show that the California Teachers Association (CTA) – one of the most powerful teachers unions in the state – spied on parents who fought for schools to be reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2021, Parents Association, a group of parents at multiple school districts in Northern San Diego County, successfully sued the state to reopen schools.

The following month, a CTA researcher named Ann Swinburn emailed a parent arm of the local union seeking to share information on parents.

Amid email exchanges, one of the parties accidentally CC’d a principal within the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD), which was sued by its local union – with help from CTA – in December 2020 to stay closed. Realizing their mistake, someone appeared to suggest the principal should delete the email – which he ultimately did not do.

Allison Stratton, one of the founders of Parents Association and an SDUHSD parent, filed a Public Records Act request to obtain the emails. Stratton told Fox News the emails confirmed her suspicions that CTA was spying on parents.

"We already suspected (it) because we see the same people show up at every school board meeting saying the same things, echoing what the union is saying. So, it’s not a surprise," Stratton said. "They were working as hard as they could against parents who wanted school reopened."

Several archived tweets shared by Reopen California Schools, show that Swinburn appeared to be convinced that parent groups fighting to reopen schools were covertly being backed by big money interests.

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