Reopen California Schools, another parent group, revealed the emails on Sept. 5 in a Twitter post. Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Reopen California Schools, told NTD, a sister media of The Epoch Times, that the original public records request stemmed from a different case.
“The public records request came from parents down in San Diego at this particular school district unrelated to this incident that we came across,” said Zachreson. “In gathering documents for this, they noticed that their particular organization, Parent Association, was targeted by the California Teachers Association.”
Email screenshots revealed that CTA research assistant Ann Swinburn was investigating Parent Association and its financing.
The emails show that a principal was accidentally cc’d into the email chain. Two individuals by the names Holly and Michele then talked about “damage control” and asking the principal to delete the email.
Swinburn has since deleted her Twitter account.
“Before she deleted [her account], even through some archives, we see comments of her making, essentially to that point over and over again, that she is trying to find out these groups. ... ‘This is right-wing dark money groups that are funding this, and we have got to find out the pattern and find out who’s funding them, and ultimately discredit them,’” said Zachreson.
According to Zachreson, CTA is very involved politically. The association has around 310,000 members and is one of the most powerful teachers unions in the state.
Zachreson described the teachers union’s tactics as a “smear campaign” against grassroots parent groups.
“A year and a half ago, when we were trying to get schools open, we were called racist; we were called white supremacists,” said Zachreson. “We were called all sorts of names to try to discredit that fact that we just wanted our kids in schools.”
NTD reached out to CTA for comment.