‘Get Rid of the Education Mafia’—says Rebecca Friedrichs, book author, former teacher, and reform advocate, in interview with HDN.
Education-freedom advocate and former teacher Rebecca Friedrichs spoke to Heartland Daily News about teacher shortages and other education issues of concern to parents and taxpayers.
Friedrichs taught in elementary schools for 28 years in southern California. After years of frustration with the California teachers union, she filed a lawsuit known as Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association (CTA), aimed at eliminating the forced unionization of teachers. The case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, and the justices affirmed a lower-court decision against Friedrichs because the Court was deadlocked after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The goal of Friedrichs’ suit was accomplished two years later in the landmark case of Janus v. AFSCME.
Friedrichs’ book, Standing up to Goliath: Battling State and National Teachers’ Unions for the Heart and Soul of our Kids and Country, documents her battles with the unions and the details of the lawsuit. Friedrichs is a Prager U host, was a panel participant for the Fox Nation series The Miseducation of America, and produced the documentary Whose Children Are They? Friedrichs is the founder of For Kids and Country, an organization working to “unite, educate, engage and empower parents, teachers, students and citizens in the fight to restore America’s schools and culture.”
Heartland Daily News: What do you think is the cause of the teacher shortages currently in the news?
Friedrichs: The so-called teacher unions. I would like to correct this. You know they claim that they are for teachers and that they are unions. They are not. They are an education mafia, and I really want to get that messaging out there. This is an education mafia, and they are the cause of the teacher shortages.
Heartland Daily News: How do the teachers unions cause teacher shortages?
Friedrichs: First, they have destroyed the teaching profession. Teachers have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Teachers are retiring early in record numbers or just leaving the teaching profession in droves, and it’s by design.
It’s not an accident. It’s because our founders told us the only way to keep a free republic is with a well-educated and moral citizenry that can self-govern. This education mafia, which was started in 1857 [with the founding of the National Education Association], has been working all that time, over 150 years, to undermine our free republic. They’re socialists and they want us to be a socialist country, so they’re purposely undermining great teachers and purposely chasing great teachers out of the profession.
Heartland Daily News: How are they doing this?
Friedrichs: By making the profession chaotic, not defending teachers against experimental shots, causing, and creating, anti-discipline policies that have turned our classrooms into war zones. They are undermining great teaching by bringing in a social justice warrior agenda and indoctrination instead of education.
The teaching profession has been so completely infiltrated by this education mafia that great teachers, those who are there to really educate children, are being chased out. It’s to make room for activists who are pushing the agenda of the education mafia. This is very intentional.
The other thing it does is undermine great education because they’re trying to undermine our free Republic. They want our children to be dumbed down. [The education mafia] want our children to be kept home from school for—what is it, two years now? They don’t want them to learn, and it’s by design.
When you look at it, you think this is crazy. Why wouldn’t they want kids in school? It’s because they’re trying to undermine our free Republic, and you do that by undermining the education and the morals. It’s the same reason they’re pushing the sex ed and all the gender stuff.
The teacher shortage is by design. It is so that the education mafia can gain more control and push its agenda further and convince the American public to give them more money so that they can destroy our education system even more. Some people might call it a conspiracy, but it’s just a fact.
Heartland Daily News: If they’re pushing good teachers out, how does that translate into the education establishment demanding more money?
Friedrichs: In so many ways. Their propaganda messaging to the public is, “Oh, we’re losing all these teachers. We need to hire more teachers. We need more money to bring in more teachers. We need more money to train more teachers that are qualified.”
The other thing they’re doing is, since now the kids aren’t learning, we need these specialists.
Heartland Daily News: So, they demand more money by claiming the need to hire more specialists?
Friedrichs: Let me just back up a little bit. One of the things this education mafia did was remove phonics instruction from our classroom. They did it on purpose. They knew [the removal] was damaging children. They knew it was leading to a mass number of Americans who are now functional illiterates because they didn’t get phonics instruction. That was all done on purpose by the education mafia.
Heartland Daily News: So how do they benefit from that?
Friedrichs: The education mafia gets its money from union dues and by controlling legislators. They are getting all its people into office and getting its backroom deals, the PACS (political action committees) they support. There’s money going everywhere, so if they can get a larger number of people into jobs where they’re paying union dues, they get a lot more money.
So all of a sudden we have millions of children who are functionally illiterate because we caused it on purpose by removing their phonics instruction. Now we need to hire all these special ed teachers.
We had to start Title One programs to cover this problem. We had to bring in resource specialists. We just didn’t have all these special needs programs before. We didn’t have Title One. We didn’t have any of this. We didn’t have Head Start.
We had none of this in our educational system until this mafia showed up, undermined the education, made it so people couldn’t read on purpose, dumbed us down, and then they bring in all these specialists to try to fix it. So the numbers of educators have ballooned.
Heartland Daily News: Is that their excuse for always asking for more money?
Friedrichs: It used to be very inexpensive to educate children. You just need some very simple books and tools. You need to teach and involve parents. That’s about it. Now you need all this bloated bureaucracy to run an educational system that’s failing and it’s failing by design and it’s failing so that this education mafia can get more money.
We have to stop listening to them. We have to say no. We have to tell them, “You have destroyed our educational system. You have destroyed our children on purpose, and you are destroying our country on purpose.” We need to kick them out, and we need to get back to doing things the way we used to do them.
Heartland Daily News: Then your argument is that if you give the education system more money, it will just perpetuate this system, right?
Friedrichs: That is very well said. It will not only perpetuate the nightmare, the chaos, the school closures, and just the fact that teachers are trapped in such a corrupt system. Parents can’t get a voice at the table.
All of this was created by the education mafia. It used to be parents had a voice at the table until this education mafia got control. Collective bargaining removes the parents from the table. Literally every problem we have goes back to this mafia and their goals to undermine parents, undermine God, undermine our Republic, and to promote socialism and themselves. So, yes, giving them more money will perpetuate all of this.
We have people who are functionally illiterate in this country. We have massive numbers of students who are graduating and they can’t even read. You know it; it’s not rocket science to teach a child to read. You can teach a child to read in a couple of months with a good phonics program. This mafia has destroyed that on purpose, by design, so we have to stop giving them money.
In the second segment of this series, we ask Rebecca Friedrichs about the teaching profession. She shares her experience as a teacher and talks about activists in the classroom replacing professional teachers.