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‘The Ugly Hand’ of Critical Race Theory in Schools, Attacks on Merit-Based Admission—Asra Nomani

In schools across America, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” initiatives are on the rise. At top-ranked high schools, merit-based, race-blind admission exams are being overhauled and replaced with lottery systems, and kids are being taught critical race theory-based lessons about race and oppression in America.

What is really going on in schools across America? And what can concerned parents do?

In this episode, we sit down with Asra Nomani, vice president of Parents Defending Education and a former Wall Street Journal reporter.

Jan Jekielek: Asra Nomani, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Asra Nomani: Thank you so much. It’s an honor to be a thought leader, even accidentally.

Mr. Jekielek: Actually, it is that way. You’ve been a thought leader about other issues than what we’re going to talk about today, in the past, at least, or maybe even currently. You’re part of this organization, Parents Defending Education. Your work actually started with Fairfax [County] Public Schools and you had some very pointed words to say to the Fairfax County School Board.

Ms. Nomani: I did. I just was so horrified by months of assault on our Asian American families at my son’s high school, which is Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology [TJ]. It’s the number one high school in America, according to U.S. News and World Report, but we’re not heroes, according to the Fairfax County Public Schools administrators and their school board.

We’re zeros because we don’t count. We are not the right type of minority for the new racial diversity and inclusion mandate that these educrats have decided that they want to impose on our county.

Asra Nomani at a school board meeting: The principal at our high school told us that our mostly minority students and parents had to check their privileges. And then you, Melanie Meren, told us that we were toxic. And then by the fall, every single one of you voted to remove the merit-based race-blind admissions test to TJ.

And now I sit here listening to these empty proclamations and declarations that you’re making about your great value of Asian Americans, and you dare to tell us that you’re going to consider removing the one policy that parents have to defend their students from indoctrination and activism, the policy that makes certain that anything taught in our school that is controversial must be presented fairly.

You have to just think for yourself, if you have to remove a policy like that, how can you possibly be doing anything good?

Mr. Jekielek: Tell me a little bit about what actually led to what we just watched. There’s a lot of big things to be saying. Tell me more about what’s happening here.

Ms. Nomani: Jan, it just all began with an email in June 2020. We the parents and students got this email from the principal, Ann Bonitatibus, and she told us, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing that we needed to now check our “privileges.”

I read this email along with all the other families at TJ and we were just shocked because this was a woman who has gone to our Lunar New Year celebrations and our Diwali parties, and she knows that we are families from all across the world. We number more than 30 countries, most of us are immigrants, and they are amazing, amazing families who have endured a lot to get to America.

The fact that our kids go to this school doesn’t put us in this vaulted category of the privilege of society. We were just normal people trying to make ends meet, trying to keep our kids healthy, trying to make sure that they get a good night’s rest.

It was like a knife to the heart because I was by then a junior parent and I’ve been spending three years working hours and hours every week at the front office, as editor of our school newsletter or PTSA [Parent Teacher Student Association] newsletter. I was the PTA mom.

I just thought to myself, “Wow! Overnight, we just lost our humanity,” and that really made me angry because that’s not OK. You can’t be pushing diversity and then dehumanize an entire swath of people, and so that’s when I started speaking back.

Mr. Jekielek: You told me offline that you actually in protest quit being the editor of the PTSA newsletter, but you didn’t stop there.

Ms. Nomani: Yes. What happened is what’s happening in school districts everywhere. I was the PTSA newsletter editor. I’ve been a journalist for 30 years, and so now I’m going to donate my time for my school to make sure that everybody knows when we’re going to have the PTSA meeting and when we’ve got a National Merit finalist and who won the reflections contests. This is all important stuff in kids’ lives.

I was the kid in high school who got a $30 gift certificate for winning an editorial contest. That’s how this all began for me. But all that stuff matters in a kid’s life, in a family’s life. So that was my contribution.

Then it was unbelievable. All of a sudden, the newsletter was the platform where the principal and the PTSA president at the time were going to use it to push their agenda. They were going to push this agenda that we needed to change admissions to the school, because we needed to have our demographics match the demographics of Fairfax County. And not in terms of gender—okay, I get it, you want to have that—it was racial demographics.

It was that we didn’t have enough underrepresented minorities, meaning blacks and Hispanics, and we had too many Asians. Then they wanted to—you’ll love this—what they wanted to do was go after the colonial mascot. And that was our mascot. And our name was Thomas Jefferson. And everything was now on the table for attack. A lot of people know the story of Bari Weiss quitting at the New York Times in protest for their bias. Well, I quit my job at the PTSA newsletter called “This Week at TJ”.

But I then started talking to parents in New York City, and a great dad by the name of Chien Kwok, and he’s Chinese American. He has struggled like all of us to find the American dream in America. Chien told me, “Stay, because we need parents influencing policy.” So this year, I have continued as corresponding secretary of the PTSA at my son’s school, and every single vote, just about, is six to one.

I am that one person who is pushing back on the principal and pushing back on the complacency of other parents who don’t want to take any risks challenging this incredible overhaul that’s happening of our school system. It’s okay, I’m expressing the voices of just thousands and thousands of people who are not happy about the direction of education in America today.

Mr. Jekielek: What is it about this that you feel is damaging to the students, exactly? Because again, diversity, equity, inclusion, they sound really good, right?

Ms. Nomani: Yes, of course. I am at the intersection of every identity that they would put on their little pecking order of important identities. I’m Muslim. I’m a woman. I’m a woman of color. I’m an immigrant. I’m a single mom, and many other layers. I grew up in rural America. I grew up in West Virginia. So in that intersection Olympics, I get a gold medal. I’m also a liberal and voted Democrat all my life.

Ultimately, why this is so dangerous and offensive to me is because all of the ideas of critical race theory are illiberal. There was a moment in American history when we all heard Martin Luther King declare that we should value people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. What critical race theory does is look at everyone by the color of their skin.

What they do is they say that we had a hierarchy of human value, which we did. We have had that in society. I am the first generation born out of British colonial India. So my parents literally lived under white supremacy, they lived under that rule. But my parents didn’t come to America with anger or hate in their hearts. They came with an understanding about humanity.

What critical race theory does, is they take that awful hierarchy of human value that has happened through the history of time—judging people by their race, and they have created a new hierarchy of human value. What they do is they check the box. “What oppression you have experienced? Are you LGBTQ? Are you transgender? Are you a person of color? Well, are you a black person of color or brown person of color?” Or this indescript, Asian person of color that now becomes white adjacent?

They have all of these different algorithms, really, on human beings. That is inhumane. That’s the ultimate problem. This is not just theory. This has now become worksheets in classrooms, where kids literally have to fill out their oppressions and where they fit on the oppression scale. They get segregated, can you just imagine? It’s the 21st century, and we are now segregating children based on race.

We have a case, Wellesley, Massachusetts, after the tragic shootings in Atlanta, they segregated students saying that Asian students and BIPOC—another acronym that they love, black, indigenous people of color—could go to the healing circle, but no white kids were allowed to. Just imagine that we are so cruel.

That’s what I reject about this. I’m a bleeding heart liberal, and this is cruelty to human beings. The real, ethical question that we all have to ponder is, do we believe in segregation? Do we believe in judging people by the color of their skin? And if we say no to either one of those questions, then that means that you reject critical race theory. Those are the underpinning theses of that theory.

Most logical, rational people would say, “No.” But the problem we have is that people are also afraid. They’re afraid of being called a racist if they answer these critical race theory people. This guy Ibram Kendi, he’s put forward this thesis that if you do not buy into his little made-up word of anti-racist, that you’re now a racist.

But we have to have a spine. We have to have moral courage. We have to take the argument head on, because it’s just word salad that they’re put throwing out there. We have to be smarter than them. And more courageous.

Mr. Jekielek: Right. Actually, you just did a poll recently with this with the new organization that shows that a lot of Americans aren’t into this.

Ms. Nomani: Yes. Most people reject the idea that we should even teach people about the idea that they are different because of the color of their skin. They’ve rejected that idea. We have rejected that idea in American society. So the poll revealed overwhelmingly that Americans reject the ideas of critical race theory. This is going to become a major issue in our elections. This could be the deciding issue.

In Virginia, the Republican candidates have clearly stated that they are opposed to critical race theory and these new tactics of propaganda. So the Democratic expected nominee, Terry McAuliffe, is going to have to take a position. But the Biden administration has already put forward a plan to bring critical race theory into the federal government.

So we have a portal on our website where people can send their comments to the Biden administration. There’s just days remaining. So please go there and tell them that you oppose this idea. Who knows if they’ll listen, but they need to know that they’re going to lose elections. It’s a political strategist smarter than me who said it. What was his name? James Carville. He said, “Wokeness is not going to work among Democrats, and this is going to become a dangerous issue.”

So they’re ignoring him right now, but this is a real game changer in school board elections, local [elections,] in the state delegates and senators that we send to the state houses, including in Virginia, and in the governor races. I really think that it will impact the presidential election in a few years, because we will have seen by then the negative impact of this movement of critical race theory in society. People are really going to protest its impact on their lives and on the lives of their kids.

Mr. Jekielek: One of the things that might be slowing people down is something that you mentioned to me when we were speaking offline. When you first started this in June of 2020, you were imagining that you were alerting the board to these things, as opposed to fighting against them. Tell me, how did your thinking change? What did you realize along the way?

Ms. Nomani: Oh, my gosh, it was an awakening. I now feel like the quintessential character, the Jimmy Stewart character, who goes to Washington and realizes how corrupt the institution is. My speech, it’s like my Jimmy Stewart moment, where I say to these board officials, you’re part of this racket.

In June 2020, I literally was sitting with my little home computer, and I didn’t even have anything. I just had my computer, and I spoke to the school board members, and I played with them. I said, “There’s an attack on our school, and it’s anti-Asian, and there’s this thing called critical race theory that is driving this indoctrination and this overhaul of our school systems.

At that time, some activist alumni were mulling over the idea of an “Occupy TJ Movement.” If you remember back to Seattle, it was brutal. That Occupy CHAZ movement was for real. I warned them. I said, “You are threatening the well-being of our students and our families if you let allow this to happen.”

But I didn’t know what I didn’t know. They were in on it. These school board officials have been having these quiet meetings and committees that people don’t even know exist called governance and policy meetings. There’s a secret task force that the Virginia Secretary of Education started that June that included our superintendent and our school board member. We didn’t even know this.

They picked a fight with the wrong parents, because I’m an investigative reporter. I started filing Freedom of Information Act requests. I demanded the minutes. They refuse to give minutes from these secret meetings. I’ve been following this kind of corruption and money and politics for decades now. Now it’s like it was coming home. It was right in front of me and impacting the school where my son goes.

What I’ve realized and what we’ve been now reporting, because part of the work that we’re doing at Parents Defending Education is exposing this and doing real reported pieces with the documents, the contracts, the minutes, and the agenda items. We’re chronicling this behind-the-scenes operation that has brought critical race theory into Fairfax County Public Schools.

This has been the pattern in every school district. There would be some incident reported in June 2020. There would be some “Racism at fill-in-the-blank” Instagram page created. There would be a flurry of troubled meetings by school board officials and the superintendent, and they would create the new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. The parents that were pushing back would never get on the committee.

Soon enough, they would hire consultants. Then those consultants would put forward bogus surveys—like the kind we got last week in Fairfax County—to justify the new business that they were going to now bring to the school district and to the parents. It’s all indoctrination. People have to be really clear that this is not some touchy-feely, oh, let’s all get along.

This is indoctrination. This is coming out of the teachings of this book, Critical Race Theory. This consultant was paid $170,000 for a one-year contract, while he’s got multiple other jobs in an independent school district last night in Austin. And he’s like, “Oh, there’s no critical race theory. That’s taught in law schools and education schools.”

And I’m like, “Do you think we’re that stupid? We know that you’re not teaching the pedagogy of critical race theory. What you’re teaching is the end product—that there’s oppressed and oppressors, that we have a hierarchy of suffering, and you have to find yourself on this pyramid.” And so it’s propaganda, flat out propaganda.

I just have my pile of books, “Me and My White Supremacy.” Ibhram Kendi [was] paid $20,000 for one hour in Fairfax County Public Schools and other school districts to basically just give talking points that are on YouTube channels. It’s an industry, and it’s a network. It’s just like how I’ve reported on corporate America and other places. We’re following the money, and we’re going to name all of these consultants, so that parents know when they come to their school district exactly what is happening.

Mr. Jekielek: You’re not the only one, clearly. We recently also had Shawntel Cooper speak at her board meeting.

Shawntel Cooper at a school board meeting: In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Now I have a dream that we will implement love, not hate, or supporting another Jim Crow agenda.

CRT is not an honest dialogue; it is a tactic that was used by Hitler and the Klu Klux Klan on slavery is very many years ago to dumb down my ancestors, so we could not think for ourselves. CRT is racist, it is abusive, it discriminates against one’s color.

Let me educate you. An honest dialogue does not oppress. An honest dialogue does not implement hatred or injustice. It is to communicate without deceiving people. Today, we don’t need your agreement. We want action and a backbone for what we asked for today to ban CRT. We don’t want your political advertisement to divide our children or belittle them. Think twice before you indoctrinate such racist theories. You cannot tell me what is or is not racist. Look at me. I had to come down here today to tell you to your face that we are coming together and we are strong. This will not be the last greets and meets respectfully.

Ms. Nomani: Yes, it is so amazing. I just love hearing just these ordinary parents stepping forth in front of a microphone, either in a virtual meeting or in person. Shawntel, she had her face shield on, and she literally looked like a parent going to battle. They’re speaking up.

The thing is these school board officials and these bureaucrats just don’t remember that we’re here for the kids. We are mama bears and papa bears and you’re messing with our cubs now. We will not let that happen. We will not let anybody mess with the beautiful minds and hearts that these kids have. So these parents are just emerging.

You know, Jan, back in June 2020, we had five parents at TJ who were sending letters to the principal. One of them was my favorite, Helen Miller. She wrote a letter and she literally told the principal, “I’m hopping mad.” That’s what she wrote. I just feel like we’ve got this hopping mad brigade now across the country.

We went from five people in June 2020 to over 5000 signing the change.org petition that we had expressing our opposition. We had hundreds come to protests and rallies that we’ve organized. Now through Parents Defending Education, we’re getting thousands of members and parents who are saying, “We’re fighting back in our school districts.”

We’re putting them on a map that we’re calling indoctrination. On that map, you can look at your school districts, see what’s happening, send us an incident report, we’ll investigate it, and we’ll hold the school boards and school officials accountable. Because ultimately, they think that they can get away with this. We have to just keep reminding them that we’re watching, and we’re vigilant. We are those mama bears and papa bears that are now hopping mad, and we’re going to protect our cubs.

Mr. Jekielek: Of course, the organization is Parents Defending Education. Just quickly tell us where people can submit their [report of] whatever is happening in their particular district, in their area, as well as thoughts and questions?

Ms. Nomani: Please go to Defendinged.org. We have a really easy forum that you can fill out to report whatever is happening in your school or your school district. You can join us and become a member. We have great resources—fill-in-the-blank template on how to write an op-ed, how to get your school board speech to the three minutes before they rudely cut you off, and how to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Email us at info@defendinged.org, and we’re there. It’s me and other moms reading the emails. We will get back to you about how to help you. We’re not like some machine. We’re moms working at our dining table, talking, and having our meetings on walks around the neighborhood. We’re skilled—we’re skilled professionals. So we’re going to do this right. And we are doing this right.

But at the end of the day we’re moms that accidentally fell into this activism. Because somehow, just like in my life, the ugly hand of this critical race theory activism by ideologues and propagandists came into our schools and tried to claim our classrooms. So please join us because it’s going to take an army to stand up to this. Ultimately, it’s the future of America that’s on the line. We have to fight this battle and win it.

Mr. Jekielek: You actually do a lot of training of parents who are maybe not ready to go up in front of the school board as you did, or as Chantel did. But why don’t you tell me a little bit about how this training works? And how people could benefit from it?

Ms. Nomani: Yes. Folks just have the fear of public speaking. That’s natural to a lot of people. But then another layer here is psychological, because sometimes you’re afraid of retaliation from school board officials and teachers and principals. So one of the things that we do is, we just try to let folks know, for one thing, that they’re not alone, and that we will be there to tweet out their video or give them support and share the message that they’ve got.

Another element of what we do is we try to help with the talking points. We try to help with getting the words down so that people can tell their story, and so they can speak from the heart and at least others can connect to their message, even if the school board official doesn’t listen to them. There’s that saying that you’re speaking to the person in front of you, but you’re also speaking to everybody who’s watching. We try to let them know that there is this wider audience.

For example, with op-eds, we try to train them to put the news upfront and teach them what I’ve learned in journalism. Give them a knut graf and tell why the reader should care. Show three examples and then close out with a narrative that loops back to your lead example. All of these lessons that we’ve learned as professionals, we’re now trying to teach, and it’s been amazing.

I’ve been speaking on Zoom calls to families from New York State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Texas. We FaceTime, we do WhatsApp, whatever method works. We’re talking with them. More than anything else, what I’m hearing from parents is that they are really afraid of what’s happening in the schools. We have trusted school officials with our kids’ lives.

Now, in Missouri, school officials have been revealed to literally give a tip sheet to teachers on how to hide curriculum from parents. They’re seeing all of this happening and, and all they want to do is speak up and challenge things rationally. We’re definitely telling them, “Be unapologetic. Don’t walk on eggshells about this. Be hopping mad. Tell them how you feel. These are folks that work for you.” More than anything else, we’re giving moral support.

Mr. Jekielek: You gave me this example when we were talking a bit offline of what happened in the Beaverton School District as part of this Equity ABAR Summit. Tell me a little bit about this.

Ms. Nomani: It’s just so shocking. What we have now are people who literally call themselves equity warriors. They feel like they are in a war, and they are in a war to change our school system. In Beaverton, we got a tip that there was a training. This is a new buzzword, ABAR, it’s called. I had to look it up: anti-bias, anti-racism.

When I think I know all the buzzwords, there’s another one that emerges and I’m like, “Okay, what is that?” And sure enough, not only is it a buzzword out there, but there’s been curriculum, symposiums, seminars, and workshops about these ideas. What they’re doing is they’re just trying to mask critical race theory.

So they had ABAR, they had an ABAR summit. At that summit, teachers were scolding other teachers. What we got was this one teacher who told the other teachers that they had to get with the program, and if they didn’t, they would be fired. They had to either evolve or dissolve, literally dissolve.

Can you imagine telling another human being you’re going to evolve or dissolve? That’s what I want to get back to, which is, this movement is so inhumane. It doesn’t see the humanity of other people. So sure enough in this summit, other teachers were listening and they couldn’t respond. They were afraid of retaliation.

So we got a copy. It was on YouTube. I downloaded it. These are the kind of tricks that we’re trying to teach parents, to just use one of these cheap software programs to download it. Now I have it on my own computer, and I did an edit of that moment.

We did a dispatch on our defendinged.org map, and then shared it with reporters. I’ve called the public school system. The public affairs person said, “Oh, no, this teacher doesn’t represent the school district.” And so, okay, she doesn’t represent the school district, but she’s basically told hundreds of teachers that they’re going to get fired if they don’t go along with the program. She hasn’t been publicly challenged by the school district on this point.

So we exposed it. And it’s been great. There’s a movement now in Beaverton to challenge this kind of philosophy. And it’s ugly. There’s a lot of ugly stuff going on by the activists to try to shut people up. But it’s in the light of day now.

And guess what? The school district took down their video. We put ours up. They tried to demand that we take ours down, citing copyright. Taxpayer dollars paid for this. We paid for the summit. This is something that everybody needs to know, and it needs to be in the light of day.

That’s just one example of dozens upon dozens, where we’re exposing the reality of what these activists are doing in school districts. We want folks to know that you’re not alone. You’re not suffering and seeing this by yourself. We are here to cast a big old spotlight on all that’s happening. So now, I know about Beaverton, Oregon. It’s on my map. They’re not going to get away with anything now.

Mr. Jekielek: Ostensibly, we keep hearing more and more of these kinds of examples. It’s almost as if every school district in the country has been affected.

Ms. Nomani: Yes. So what’s happened—you know this as well, just from reporting. No bad idea just emerges out of a vacuum, there’s a trail. In every instance where we find an example of bad teaching, I look at the fine print. Then down at the fine print, you end up finding the name of the consultant or the consulting group or the industry group.

In this case, it could be the superintendents’ industry group. It could be the teachers union or the Southern Poverty Law Center. They are churning out so much propaganda into school systems. First, they called it teaching tolerance. And now they literally call it justice. They are putting that word on, that loaded word they are defining as they do.

And everybody is now in this business, this racket of pushing this kind of curriculum and this ideology. So it’s publishing houses, all of these books are put out by publishing houses. Then the publishing house has a speaker’s bureau, and then that speaker’s bureau gets its fees. We know how these industries work.

That’s what I’m spending my time doing. It’s like peeling back the layers, so that we get to the hub. It’s a network of people. It’s folks that have created 501-c3, “nonprofits.” The Black Lives Matter movement is an industry, a multi-million-dollar organization. They are putting out Black Lives Matter at schools as a curriculum. We’ve got Kimberly Crenshaw, one of the architects of critical race theory. She’s got a 501-c3, and she’s churning out content that’s going out into the school districts. It’s is multi-million dollar industry.

I’m spending a lot of my time looking at these 990 [Form 990] tax filings that show where people are getting their money and how they’re spending their money. We’re following the money because ultimately, this is an industry just like any other that puts out really bad ideas. When we faced ideas like communism, what would people do?  They take it back to the Kremlin, right?

When I’ve been reporting on issues about Islamist etiology and indoctrination, [I] follow the money and it takes me back to Doha, Qatar. So that’s what is happening here. The base for a lot of these different movements are organizations in New York City, Berkeley, the heartland of America. They have spread everywhere, but we’re going to map that out also.

Mr. Jekielek: Asra, as we finish up, one of the things that you told me offline, frankly, chilled me to the bone. You basically said that in 50 years, you hadn’t personally felt and experienced racism until recently.

Ms. Nomani: So I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, mostly white. I was a “person of color.” And I didn’t experience racism until this one moment when I saw somebody who was just ignorant, and it wasn’t racism. I was dropping a friend off. She was from Malaysia, I’m from India, and this drunk had said, “Go back to Thailand.” So I’m like, “Okay, that’s a poor drunk kid who just hasn’t gotten on a plane and doesn’t know the difference.”

I worked at the Wall Street Journal, covered corporate America, covered money and politics in Washington, have gone into the halls of power that might be mostly white, and traveled the world. I have never faced the kind of prejudice and discrimination that I have encountered over this past year as an Asian American. What is so disheartening to me is that it is coming from these so-called liberals, who are my kin. They are the people with whom I had associated for most of my lifetime.

What they are doing is, in this race to be more politically correct than the other person, they are forgetting about humanity. So they’re throwing Asians under the bus, because they want to check the box on what they say about blacks. There’s no competition in being good in this world. What they have done is they have created this hierarchy of human value among human beings. I’ve just been just so sad, but also angry about this phenomenon.

That’s why I step forward before the school board, because I wanted to let them know that I see their hypocrisy. I was planning to go there with all my papers and documents from the contract. I was going to really talk to them about this misspending of money. But while I sat, waiting for my turn, they were giving these empty proclamations about their love of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Then this school board member Melanie Marin told us that she fell in love with Asian culture going to a hibachi restaurant as a kid. I sat there and I had memories and flashbacks of every school board meeting where they said that Asian Americans were toxic and racist and we weren’t the appropriate people of color. I just felt over this past year so dehumanized and forgotten—whitewashed in a negative way by these folks.

So that’s why I ended up speaking with such clarity, because that clarity came out of months of pain that they have had us endure, an end that is ultimately inhumane and unjust and so illiberal. It’s just like my fight within the Muslim community for a reformation and an expression of Islam that’s an Islam of grace and tolerance.

This is a fight for the soul of America now and we have to tackle any folks that propagate these bad ideas from wherever they come, even if they’re within our own communities. In my case, this is my liberal community that’s pushing out this racism, and I’m going to really call them out on it, because they’re just doing something that is so wrong and immoral, really. So we have to keep as our North star, whether you’re liberal, conservative, independent, whatever you are, our North star of humanity, and just stay focused on that.

Mr. Jekielek: So as we finish up, Parents Defending Education, how do we reach you again?

Ms. Nomani: Please go to our website defendinged.org. You can write to us at info@defendinged.org, file an incident report, give us a tip, and we’ll chase it. We have many, many, many that have come in, and we’re reading every single one of them. We will put you on the map. We will put your school district on the map and hold your teachers, your school administrators, and your school board officials accountable if they dare to go down this path that is ultimately immoral and inhumane. We’ve got to stand up for humanity and our kids, ultimately. We have to fight for them.

Mr. Jekielek: Asra Nomani, it’s such a pleasure to have you on.

Ms. Nomani: Thank you so much. Thanks for everybody that’s watching and please ponder all of this and take action. More than anything else, take action and speak up.

These interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.

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