Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) recently lambasted Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, after she compared parental rights to segregation. In an interview conducted by theNational Review magazine, Scott said that Weingarten’s comments show a lack of knowledge and understanding of the racial problems of the past.
Scott stated that Weingarten’s comments were particularly insensitive given the history of segregation in the United States. “We are now in an era of unprecedented opportunity for students, especially those who come from underserved areas and diverse backgrounds,” he said. “The last thing we need is someone to come in and compare the progress we have made in the last century to segregation laws.”
Scott further criticized Weingarten’s comparison by pointing out that it was “so far off base” and “disrespectful” to those who had to endure segregation “first hand”. He also noted that it was particularly egregious to make such comments when the current administration has been working hard to close the education gap between black and white students.
In the end, Scott asserted that Weingarten’s comparison was weak and ineffectual, and offered no real solution to the issue at hand. “Parents should never be denied their right to choose the environment that is best for their children,” he said. “To make such comparisons is not only irresponsible, but it also flies in the face of all the progress that we have made to ensure a better education for all.”
Ultimately, Senator Tim Scott’s comments put the focus back on the issue of parental rights and away from Weingarten’s insensitive comparison. He also showed that education should be free from comparisons to the past, and that all students should have the same opportunities for advancement.