Obstacles Mount for Anti-CRT Parents Working to Take Over Connecticut School Board

A parent coalition fighting to keep critical race theory (CRT) out of the Guilford, Conn., school district recently encountered a significant setback.
On July 22, five parents new to the political scene — and running on an anti-racial-indoctrination platform — secured spots on the school board’s November ballot after garnering majority support from the town’s GOP caucus, bumping three Republican incumbents. Described by the five newcomers as “Republicans in Name Only,” the three board members had earned a reputation for knuckling under to the board’s Democrats and endorsing the district’s critical race theory schemes, which they say are disguised as equity and inclusion initiatives.
But the victory was short-lived for the Guilford CRT resistance. For the conservative parents trying to restore intellectual integrity to their children’s education, obstacles are mounting.
To dilute and defeat the five newcomers’ ticket, the three disgruntled establishment Republicans recently announced they will primary their intra-party opponents on September 14.
To guarantee spots on the November ballot, the original five winners must again survive the challengers they already defeated by securing the local GOP’s endorsement in the primary. But even if the three incumbents are defeated in the primary, they won’t be eliminated from the running and will instead enter the general election on November 2 as independents, forcing the anti-CRT five to beat them yet again.
In addition, a progressive counter-alliance, sponsored by the Guilford Independent Party, has entered a “fusion slate,” called Protect Guilford Schools, featuring three unaffiliated candidates and two cross-endorsed Democrats, to compete in the November 2 election. The two political blocs are forming an alliance of convenience to maximize their chances of vanquishing the anti-CRT upstarts.
The Independent Party launched the effort to defend against what they called an “attack on Guilford schools by far-right conservatives,” according to a news release obtained by the local news outlet Patch. 
Ted Sands, one of the GOP incumbents ousted by the gang of five, told the Hartford Courant that his displacement by the conservative upstarts is evidence that MAGA troublemakers are running amok in Guilford.
“There are two contending groups: there are the Trump people and there are the Republicans,” he told the newspaper. “Our Republican town committee has been taken over by the Trump group. They buy into [the false assertion that] the election was stolen from him, all the conspiracy theories . . . they love it.”
In an interview with journalist Jesse Williams, Guilford first selectman Matt Hoey said that the anti-CRT group in Guilford has “demonstrated a willingness to behave outside the norms of civilized society.” According to the article, the Guilford Human Rights Commission hosted a forum Tuesday presenting an overview of what it believes to be unwarranted attacks against CRT, which, the speakers argued, must be injected into the curriculum to address the town’s history of racism.
A Guilford Republican town committee release obtained by National Review insinuated that some complaints have been directed to the GOP town committee about potential foul play at the July election.
“There have been rumors floated that somehow some people felt cheated by this process. They have no facts to back this up and it is insulting to those who worked so hard to make this process as fair and transparent as possible. There was absolutely nothing underhanded about this process,” GOP town committee chairman Paul L. Chello wrote.
Danielle Scarpellino, one GOP winner from the July contest, is a firebrand Guilford mom leading the charge to prevent a racialized curriculum from infiltrating her daughter’s classroom. She claims that she’s been subject to an unbelievable level of vitriol and intimidation since she joined the Guilford political arena.
In an email provided to National Review, a Guilford elected official accidentally sent a message to Scarpellino intended for Superintendent Paul Freeman, who has spearheaded the district’s CRT drive, describing the mother as “a dog with a bone.”
“I will let her know that I have no role in this, that I hold you in the highest regard and there has never been a question regarding your integrity,” the official said.
Recently, an online petition circulated calling for Scarpellino’s cancellation:

Danielle Scarpellino is trying to remove the teaching of America’s RACIST PAST from our school’s curriculum, in an attempt to erase the ways in which black people and minorities have been oppressed throughout history. FACT: OPPRESSORS CAN’T BE OPPRESSED…Stop trying to whitewash history. Danielle sit down, your racism is showing.

A Guilford high school teacher reportedly commented in solidarity with the post.
The public campaign against Scarpellino now extends to her business. She told National Review that a Guilford parent, whose child attends Scarpellino’s dance studio, vowed to boycott her business and withdraw his daughter from classes. Another effort is reportedly underway to persuade the local Catholic church, St. George, to bar Scarpellino from using its grounds for dance recitals.
In an effort to appease the family of the child who dances at The Spot, which serves children age two through 18 including those with special needs, Scarpellino offered her a full scholarship. Scarpellino has yet to receive a response from the parents.
She said another petition has been generated declaring support for the district’s newfound embrace of CRT, named “Support for Equity Work in Guilford Public Schools.” Hundreds of students have reportedly signed it.
“They don’t even know what they’re signing. Why wouldn’t they sign it? It uses all the pretty buzzwords,” Scarpellino added. “They’re using our children as political pawns.”
Kristy Faulkner, a Guilford parent who is one of the Independent Party nominees, told the Courant, “We must protect Guilford’s board of education and continue to work constructively across party lines.” Scarpellino insists, however, that rather than preserve the school board’s monopoly on power, her movement stands for the children of Guilford, who are falling victim to the district’s hyper-politicized agenda.
“If I wasn’t doing this, it would be a one-party town. It’s completely overrun with bullies and a mob. It is David v. Goliath. The school is creating social-justice warriors, and they’re saying ‘it’s this way or no way at all.’ There is zero tolerance for dissent,” she noted.
Scarpellino says that she and the team at Truth in Education, the local Guilford chapter raising awareness of the district’s CRT plans, seem to be the only questioning voices in a town full of parents who fear being smeared as racists.
“Once they use the word ‘racist,’ that sends everybody running for cover. No one is going to call out the BOE and say they’re opposed to equity and social-justice initiatives because they’re going to be called a racist,” she said.
While the odds appear to be stacked against the anti-CRT contingent, Scarpellino said she is comforted by all the quiet messages of approval she receives on the Internet from Guilford parents.
“There are so many Republicans in hiding. They DM me on a regular basis. They say ‘we support you,’ but they can’t sign any petitions. The only time they can is through an anonymous private vote. They don’t want their names attached to us,” she said.
via nationalreview

Latest Articles