Infiltration of Schools: Extreme Right’s Parental Disguise

Far-right politics that fuel hatred, confusion and divisions
The Reconquête political movement launched a collective of “Vigilant Parents” in September 2022 to fight within schools against “school textbooks inspired by the far left, [the] teaching of “gender theory”, [the ] interventions by pro-immigration and LGBT associations, [the] wokism, [the] historical repentance and [the] hatred of France…”, as we can read in a leaflet on their site.

This collective primarily targets educational staff and establishments that provide sex education courses, on LGBT issues or with anti-racist content. Several teachers have already found themselves under pressure from groups of parents from this far-right collective who publicly display the names of teachers on social networks. In Lille, Sophie Djigo, a philosophy teacher in preparatory class at the Watteau high school in Valenciennes, was threatened with death by far-right activists for wanting to organize an outing with these students to a migrant camp. She testifies for France info “I received rape and death threats by email, by post, by social networks or even by the establishment’s switchboard”; “Someone threatened to cut me up. “. In recent hours, the fascist sphere has once again attacked her, making her responsible for the assassination of the French teacher in Arras! Methods of harassment and lynching similar to those used against the mayor of Saint-Brévin whose house was burned down by the far right.

Recently, Zemmour called on the parents of this collective to infiltrate the parents’ councils during the elections which are being held on October 13 and 14.

“Vigilant Parents” claims to have collected more than 4,000 testimonials from parents via its website. Testimonials whose content can be seen on their website. The latter are quite simply racist, reactionary or LGBTphobic, as when a student denounces that in the class of her brother, a high school student, two transgender people “want to be called by other first names”, when they are not downright fanciful, as when a “student’s relative” reports that a teacher asked his students “to learn the poem the crow and the vixen while annihilating the work [deemed] too masculine”. The collective aims to protect children from the LGBT lobby as well as teachers who “fear of ending up like Samuel Paty”.

By agitating and fueling this idea according to which the central problem in education is the “cultural battle” against the “Islamist LGBT lobby”, Reconquête seeks to bring together sectors of the population permeable to racist, LGBTphobic, sexist and reactionary prejudices, and offers them “enemies” on whom to blame all evils. Conversely, the collective never mentions the staggering lack of resources and personnel, or the precariousness which affects staff, students and their parents alike. It also does not mention how the lack of education on gender issues, for example, is at the origin of many situations of harassment. Or again, how the competition between students, punishments, and academic pressure are at the origin of a profound malaise in youth and a social sorting that excludes children from the working classes.

A similar offensive internationally

This policy led by the extreme right is anchored in a context of an international reactionary offensive such as in the United States. In April 2022, members of the Republican Party of the United States succeeded in passing the “Don’t Say Gay” law in the Florida legislature, banning mentions of gender and sexuality for children from kindergarten to CE2. But what preceded this law were several years of effort put into the infiltration of school boards by Republican Party activists as well as incessant controversies over the teaching of subjects relating to the history of racism in the United States. United, to gender and sexuality. Ballotpedia has thus identified several thousand local controversies on these subjects between 2021 and 2023.

At the beginning of September, in Belgium, eight schools were set on fire in reaction to the vote on the EVRAS decree which aims to generalize two hours of sex education lessons. At the end of September, 2,000 people demonstrated in Brussels around the slogan “EVRAS, get out of our schools” at the call of organizations ranging from the far-right, anti-Semitic movements like Civitas to anti-vax movements. , through Muslim associations. A reactionary mobilization centered on the fight against the danger of “wokism” which would hang over children. Thus, making LGBT people, immigrants and “wokist” activists responsible for the economic and social crisis affecting us internationally, Reconquête and Eric Zemmour intend to import the same incendiary methods into France.

At a time when the far-right is trying to rally very broad fronts around “the protection of children”, there is an urgent need to oppose another type of alliance to these offensives, a worker, feminist and anti-racist front, fighting for the emancipation of all oppressed people, against the extreme right and against the government which paves the way for it. Having sexuality education and more broadly, emancipatory education, is a decisive issue. But while the government remains subordinate to pressure from the worst reactionaries and does not itself hesitate to put in place sexist, LGBTphobic or Islamophobic measures, this will not come from the institutions.

It is education personnel and parents of students, in alliance with those who fight against oppression, who should organize themselves to counter reactionary speeches, to secure massive resources for education, in particular for gender and sexuality education, and for training for staff and children to deal with harassment phenomena.

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