ANDERSON — The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) made a stop in Anderson Wednesday night, highlighting the importance of the upcoming mid-term election. They're on a 20-day nationwide, Get-Out-the-Vote tour leading up to November 8.
"You go back and think about the best teacher you ever had," Fedrick Ingram, AFT's Secretary & Treasurer, said to the crowd gathered at the UAW Hall.
On the tour, AFT is highlighting what they believe kids and communities need in their elected leaders.
"Somebody who cares, you have to have the heart for education. You have to know what it takes to educate kids," Ingram said. "Our public schools have been politicized, so our power lies in the ballot box. We've got to elect officials that support our public schools."
WRTV has reported extensively on the national group Free to Learn Coalition creating deceptive school board candidate websites, with partisan information, for certain districts in our area. While it's not happening in Anderson, local AFT President Randy Harrison, says the same political rhetoric has found its way into their school board races.
"I call it the CRT boogeyman. The stick figures. The accusations that our public's schools are teaching things that that we're not," Harrison said.
He teaches senior government classes. Harrison used the misinformation flying around as a teaching moment for his kids, posing this question to them.
"Raise your hands if a teacher in Anderson Community Schools has taught you how to be gay or any of the horrible things this false information says about us? Not one hand went up," Harrison said.
The problem, Harrison fears, will come if community members believe partisan claims about school board candidates.
"If they make those misconceptions about us and win, then tell us we can't teacher the truth about slavery, the 3/5 Compromise or other things not comfortable in our past and we don't teach it anymore, we'll forget that and go backwards. That's my concern," Harrison said.