Hegseth joined “The Brian Kilmeade Show” with reaction to the National Education Association approving a plan to “publicize” critical race theory and dedicate a “team of staffers” to assist union members looking to “fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric.”
“It’s been so encouraging, Brian, to see parents stand up to the school board,” Hegseth began, “but I feel like those parents are, for the most part, charging at a fortified machine gun nest with pitchforks, that the institution of our education with the unions and the teachers colleges is so fortified, this stuff isn’t going away even if we fight it.”
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten stated Tuesday after the announcement that the union “will defend any member who gets in trouble for teaching honest history.”
“We have a legal defense fund ready to go and we are preparing for litigation as we speak,” Weingarten said. “Teaching the truth is not radical or wrong.”
Hegseth slammed Weingarten’s definition of “honest history” as “capitalism evil, white people evil, America evil.”
The move comes as districts around the country and liberal pundits have attempted to fend off anti-CRT parents by telling them the curriculum is too complex for K-12 students and is only taught to students graduate-level courses.
“It all is trickle down of critical race theory, which has been taught in higher education for a long time,” Hegseth argued. “Unions have used it as a vessel to push left-wing ideology into younger and younger grades… The left wants to divide us on race and they’re using this to do so.”
New Business Item 39 also declares that the union opposes bans on critical race theory and the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project – which roughly half the U.S. states have already implemented.
Additionally, the resolution calls for the union to “join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project to call for a rally this year on Oct. 14 — George Floyd’s birthday — as a national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression.”
Conservative lawmakers have already secured bans on CRT in roughly two-dozen states, with Iowa going as far as to declare it “discriminatory indoctrination.” The topic on its own has prompted impassioned public comments at school board meetings around the country.
The NEA represents more than 2 million members – well over half of the 3.2 million public school teachers the U.S. Department of Education estimated were working in the country last year.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.