Frank McCormick, a history teacher in Waukegan, Illinois, went on national radio program "The Todd Starnes Show" on Thursday to reveal that the school administration ordered teachers to remove "controversial" books from classrooms.
McCormick described how school administrators went door-t0door demanding the teachers turn over copies of Dr. Seuss books.
"When our school sent an email out notifying us that all the banned the Dr. Seuss books were going to be collected from classrooms and from libraries across the school district, that really kind of startled me," McCormick said.
"I had sent an email back saying, 'Look, I’m a history teacher. I think there’s value in preserving these and I’d like to have them in my classroom and they can be teaching tools,' they wouldn’t even do that. Even my question, just asking if I could have the box, got administration notified ... It was troublesome to them that I even had an interest in possessing them," McCormick explained.
During the schoolteacher's interview with radio personality and podcaster Todd Starnes, he was asked when he started to notice things changing.
"Well, I think there'd always been an agenda in public education specifically, you know, teachers seemed to be mostly liberal. [The year] 2016 with the election of Donald Trump, and then again in 2020 with George Floyd served as kind of catalysts for this movement to really politicize education," McCormick replied.
"And, in 2020, it went beyond just individual teachers choosing to do this in their classrooms, and it became really an institutional mission. And so our district, for example, formed the Department of Equity and Inclusion, which is really a social justice mechanism for the entire district," McCormick continued.
"So, did you ever feel comfortable talking about your views or where did that ever come up in conversations with any of your colleagues?" asked Starnes.
"It did. And I learned over the years to become a lot more quiet about it because it resulted in a lot of ostracization. People just decided they didn’t like you and didn’t really want to associate with you. So it's something as a teacher, you learn to be quiet about and be very conscientious of," McCormick answered.
"So I'm curious why you decided to speak out so publicly, because I have to imagine you. You're going to be getting blowback over this,"Starnes said.
"Sure. Absolutely," McCormick responded.
"You know, I think it was in 2020 when I saw kind of teachers becoming overtly. political in their classrooms. And, you know, we have been locked out of school for a year. You’ve got the George Floyd riots going on and our school district kind of takes it upon themselves to have the social justice mantle," he added.
"And it was a combination of that and everything else I’d witnessed in a decade in teaching and public education, the dysfunction inherent in the system and what I felt it did to me and kind of robbed me of my, my love of teaching for a lot of reasons. And I just had enough," McCormick went on.
McCormick then described what was for him placed at a sort of crossroads, where he had to make a decision to be proactive, in line with his own conscience: "I said to myself, You know what? I can go the next 25 years and be quiet and collect the pension ... Or I can just take a stand right now. I decided to take a stand."
Starnes, a bit later, asked, "I'm wondering what has been the response from poor moms and dads and then from your colleagues?"
"Parents across the country have been very supportive, and I try to speak to them. I’ve gotten teachers reaching out to me who feel the same way, who’ve noticed the same things," McCormick said. "Colleagues, it’s an entirely different story ... Some nastiness, some kind of thinly veiled threats. They try to make things very personal. It’s funny. They never attack your arguments. They never tell you why they disagree with you. They want to attack you..."
"But I've been overwhelmed by the support from, you know, a lot of average Americans across the country, parents that needed someone to tell them, 'Hey, you’re not crazy.' And yes, there is an agenda in your children's schools."