by Kendall Tietz
New Jersey teachers said they were instructed during a teachers union training to log conversations regarding the COVID-19 vaccine with parents and students, Fox News reported.
The training provided by Made to Save, a vaccine “equity” nonprofit, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) directed instructors to “follow up and track” conversations with parents and teachers regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, Fox News reported. They were told to log their conversations into the Democrat campaign app, “Reach,” and were incentivized with gift cards to be active users.
Campaign operative Jake DeGroot devised Reach, which New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez utilized in her 2018 campaign, Fox News reported.
“Reach allowed us to canvass in the streets, subway stops, and community events in so many new ways that it revolutionized the way we connected with voters,” according to Reach’s website. “This is a part of how we won, and we knew that other progressive people-powered campaigns could use it to win too.”
The training also suggested talking points for educators that assumed people planned to get vaccinated and ways to “adapt” their language depending on the circumstance, Fox News reported. Examples include, “Do you want me to help you get an appointment?” and “I’m excited to safely see my students and their families!”
“Look up the people you’ve talked to and mark down how your conversations went!” the training said, Fox News reported. “Then add them to your Reach network and add their contact info so that you or Made To Save can follow up with them later and help them get vaccinated.”
Drama teacher Jennifer Mess, who teaches at Middletown Township Public Schools (MTPS) in New Jersey, told Fox News that the involved organizations don’t think teachers have the ability to think for themselves.
“Having the audacity to back this type of presentation shows that the NJEA, NEA, AFT, and any other organization involved clearly does not regard educators as professionals or critical thinkers,” Mess told Fox News. “We literally teach our students to be able to look at information critically before making a decision.”
“This was a blatant effort to coerce, manipulate, and even track information on students and their parents,” Mess added. “Anyone involved in this type of deception has lost their morals and purpose of education along the way.
Members of the NEA want to return to in-person instruction and “vaccinations are one of the best ways to keep students and educators safe and in the classroom,” an NEA spokesperson told Fox News. “Educators are leading conversations to encourage people to learn more about getting vaccinated in an effort to keep students, their families and our communities safe and healthy.”
Made to Save is a non-profit “non-political, non-partisan organization,” a spokesperson told Fox News. The data “collected during our use of the REACH app will only be used for outreach efforts to follow up on conversations with individuals about the COVID-19 vaccines.”
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Kendall Tietz is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.