River Oaks Baptist School’s previous director of diversity simultaneously worked at a crisis communications firm that specialized in dealing with “squeaky wheel” parents who are “emboldened to speak their minds.”
Melanie Hightower worked at River Oaks Baptist School (ROBS) in Houston, Texas, which is affiliated with the National Association of Independent School (NAIS), as both the director of human resources and the director of diversity/community initiatives at the same time, according to her LinkedIn profile.
One community member at ROBS told Breitbart News that Hightower’s simultaneous authority over both human resources and diversity programming was a “terrible combination,” specifically because “it meant she was hiring people that would fulfill her DEI orientation.”
A position called the Hogan Fellow is specifically advertised as a program that intends to “provide one year of classroom experience” specifically for “talented young educators of color.” The opportunity excludes white applicants, with the qualifications further specifying that candidates must have “self-identification as a person of color.”
In one email, Hightower encouraged staff members to attend an online training focused on microaggressions, also linking to multiple articles that discuss the topic.
Email from Melanie Hightower inviting staff members to an online training on ‘microaggressions’ (Breitbart News)
The training was hosted by Pollyanna, a pro-critical race theory organization that has crafted a “K-12 Racial Literacy Curriculum.”
While advancing the diversity agenda at ROBS, Hightower began working as a crisis management consultant for The Jane Group (TJG). TJG is a crisis management firm that specifically caters to independent schools who need paid assistance in crisis communications and media management. The organization’s website advertises that they “know crisis,” “know communications,” and “know DEI.”
One Instagram post from TJG referred to some parents as “squeaky wheels” who were “misbehaving.” (The Jane Group @thejanegroupinc)
A different post warned of “parent activism,” complaining that “parents are emboldened to speak their minds,” and are even demanding “curricular changes and faculty terminations.”
Post complaining of Parent Activism, citing “parents … emboldened to speak their minds” (the Jane Group @thejanegroupinc)
TJG is led by Jane Hulbert, whose bio explains that she “has been the NAIS crisis communication’s consultant since 2000.” TJG’s website explains “We are the only crisis communications firm on retainer to the National Association of Independent Schools.” The NAIS is a national accreditation association for private schools across the country, and is registered as a 501(c)(3).
Included on TJG’s list of clients is ISAS, the same organization that ROBS Head Reynolds previously served on the board of. ROBS consults TJG for crisis communications and is listed on TJG’s National Client List. When faced with their own crisis in the form of parent concerns regarding CRT, ROBS Head Leanne Reynolds sent out an email to teachers referring to parent’s concerns as “distractions.”
Reynolds explained that multiple parents, whom she identified by name, had been “reaching out to faculty and staff wanting to discuss CRT at ROBS with you.” She went on to tell teachers, “Please do not engage. We are working to move forward, and we don’t need any more distractions,” according to an email obtained by Breitbart News.
When asked about the relationship between TJG and ROBS, as well as the treatment of the two parents the head referenced in the email, a spokesperson for ROBS replied, “We pride ourselves on our mission of providing ambitious academics in a faith-based environment and doing so in partnership with parents – whose involvement we encourage and cherish.”
The Jane Group did not respond to a request for comment.
Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at email@example.com
Cotton: Disinfo. Board Was Only Paused Because People Found out, Congress Needs to Ensure Nothing Like It Can Ever Exist
On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America Reports,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) celebrated the pausing of plans for the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board but noted that the pause isn’t permanent and argued that the board “only paused because the American people found out” and Congress should pass legislation “to ensure that it and nothing like it can ever be created again in the future.”
Cotton stated, “I’m glad to know that this Orwellian Ministry of Truth is at least paused for the moment, but I think it’s important to realize that it’s only paused because the American people found out about it. The government has no business refereeing disputes engaged in political campaigns or public debates. If you don’t like someone else’s speech, the solution is more speech. It’s not to use the Department of Homeland Security, for goodness sakes, to try to censor or label someone’s arguments in the public sphere. I think the Democrats often believe that disinformation and misinformation are simply facts that reflect poorly on Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. So, again, it’s good that they finally came to their senses and paused this board, but Congress needs to act in the weeks ahead to ensure that it and nothing like it can ever be created again in the future.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
Republicans Cast 150K More Votes than Democrats in North Carolina Primaries: ‘GOP Enthusiasm Way Up’
Republican voters turned out in droves to participate in the North Carolina primaries and surpassed Democrat participation — even though there are more registered Democrat voters in the state.
Analysis of voter data by the Republican National Committee (RNC) after Tuesday’s elections revealed Republican voters cast roughly 150,000 more votes than Democrats 758,637 to 612,645. GOP turnout was “86 percent higher than 2018 and nearing 2020 levels,” RNC Deputy National Press Secretary William O’Grady told Breitbart News.
🐘📈⚡️GOP enthusiasm is way up
With 98% of Pennslyvania primary votes counted, Republicans have HIGHER turnout than Democrats – the first time this has happened in a decade.
With 100% of North Carolina counted, there were nearly 150k more GOP votes cast than Dem votes.
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) May 18, 2022
“GOP enthusiasm is way up,” RNC Communications Director Nathan Brand tweeted Wednesday, referring to the results in both the Pennsylvania and North Carolina primary elections.
Election analysis from the New York Times rendered similar findings, with 759,554 GOP voters participating in the North Carolina U.S. Senate primary and 613,170 Democrats participating in the state’s Democrat U.S. Senate primary. Both Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) and former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Cheri Beasley (D) made clean sweeps in the primaries and will face off in the November general election.
O’Grady noted that “in counties Biden won in 2020, GOP primary votes were 169,210 or 182 percent higher than in 2018.” Former President Donald Trump won the state in 2020 against now-President Joe Biden, though only by a narrow margin of 1.3 percent.
North Carolina Democrat voters were clearly not as revved for this year’s primaries as they were in 2020, when they cast a total of 1,251,389 votes securing the Democrat nomination for Cal Cunningham in the U.S. Senate primary. GOP voters cast 776,291 ballots, slightly more than in 2022, and nominated now-Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) who ended up beating Cunningham in the general election.
While North Carolina still has more registered Democrat voters than Republican voters, registered unaffiliated voters have been growing exponentially over the past few years. In 2016, there were 2,736,124 Democrat voters, 2,099,551 GOP voters, and 2,076,361 unaffiliated voters, according to data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections. By 2022, registered Democrats fell to 2,493,492, GOP voters grew slightly to 2,198,612, and unaffiliated voters leaped more than 450,000 to 2,532,944, surpassing Democrats.
As expected, Unaffiliated voter registrants passed Democrats this week to make them the largest group of registrants in NC politics (~7600 more Unaffiliated than Dems). A #ncpol (1/11)
This was a slow build that picked up momentum recently, as the graph below indicates. pic.twitter.com/vXuEsJUarT
— Chris Cooper (@chriscooperwcu) March 19, 2022
The increase in unaffiliated voters is significant and indicative of a larger national trend — independent voters more and more are leaning and voting Republican as the Democrat Party loses itself catering the whims of the far-left. A Gallup poll in January 2022 found that by the end of 2021, the percentage of Democrat-leaning independent voters decreased by five points, and Republican leaners increased by four points.
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.
Jankowicz: ‘Ironic’ Disinformation Board Killed by Disinformation
Nina Jankowicz said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “All In” that the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board was disbanded because of disinformation.
Jankowicz was supposed to lead the now-dissolved board.
Jankowicz said, “All these sensationalized narratives about what people thought the board was going to do was completely wrong. It was a coordinating mechanism. It was meant to make sure that the very large agency that is the Department of Homeland Security, that people were talking to each other within it. Let me give you an example, FEMA, the agency that handles disasters and environmental issues, would often encounter misinformation about natural disasters. Let’s say an adversary like Iran or China would put out a false narrative like this is how you get out of the city, or this is where you can find disaster aid. That could put people really into danger, their lives into danger. That’s the sort of disinformation and misinformation that we were looking to support the department in addressing, to make sure they had best practices, and most importantly, to protect Americans’ freedom of speech, civil liberties, and privacy while we are doing all that work. So, every characterization of the board that you heard up until now has been incorrect, and frankly, it’s kind of ironic that the board itself was taken over by disinformation when it was meant to fight it.”
She continued, “I’ve been a really nuanced, reasonable person, again, as I said, I briefed and advised both Republicans and Democrats. I admired some of steps even the Trump administration took to combat disinformation.”
She added, “To say that I am just a partisan actor wildly out of context.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
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