The Culture War Is Alive And Well In This Pennsylvania School District

by | Nov 2, 2022 | Politics

BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. ― It all started with COVID.When the coronavirus began spreading in the United States, the 23 schools in the Central Bucks School District were forced to shutter to keep students and staff safe. When students eventually returned to classrooms, they were still following safety measures like masking and social distancing.Many parents in the wealthy, majority-white Bucks County refused to accept the new reality — and they made their opposition known at school board meetings.Advertisement“We had this fairly active group that was coming in to make public comments, speaking at every meeting,” Karen Smith, who represents some of the towns that make up the district for the board, told HuffPost. “And they were adamantly opposed to wearing masks.”The battles over masks and COVID safety measures — which Smith saw as commonsense steps to keep kids and staff safe — became so heated that they inspired her to become a Democrat after six years on the school board as a Republican.As time went on, Smith noticed school board meetings that were supposed to be about pandemic policies veering in very different directions: primarily, toward anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and panic over “critical race theory.”Residents would come to public meetings and read excerpts from books they wanted to ban, cherry-picking explicit passages so they could accuse the libraries of having pornographic material.Advertisement“They take ‘Gen …

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