Teachers' Union 'Triggered' After Republican Lawmaker Brings Educators Donuts

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May 23, 2023

A Virginia teachers' union had a meltdown after a Republican state legislator dropped off hundreds of donuts for educators in her district.

"The union felt that we needed to also make a response recognizing that her presence triggered some members and employees," said Alynn Parham, president of the Williamsburg-James City County Education Association, which represents teachers at schools where Republican delegate Amanda Batten delivered pastries, the Virginia Mercury reported.

Batten delivered 83 dozen donuts to 19 schools in her district to thank teachers for their work. "The end of the school year is in sight, and I’m grateful to our hard-working teachers as we recognize Teacher Appreciation Week," Batten said in a Facebook post.

When teachers noticed a "Paid for and Authorized by Friends of Amanda Batten" message on the boxes, Batten began to receive blowback for using campaign funds to feed the educators.

Parham said upset teachers drafted a letter that "addressed concerns about Batten’s presence in the school district."

The controversy led school officials to tell Batten that future food donations would be turned away due to their "political nature."

Batten said she used campaign funds so taxpayer money wouldn't be spent. She put the campaign disclosure on the boxes to "err on the side of transparency."

"I don’t know if that’s an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars or not. We had the campaign funds to do it," Batten said. "Had I left off what I think is a legally required disclaimer, that somehow would have been more acceptable? That’s odd."

The meltdown comes after another Virginia teachers' union encouraged its educators earlier this year to defy Republican governor Glenn Youngkin's ban on "woke" education. The Virginia Education Association published a "Black Lives Matter at School Toolkit," intended for elementary to high school students, for a "week of action." The plan violated Youngkin's executive order that prohibits teaching critical race theory.

Published under: Virginia