Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, took aim at “loser teachers” in remarks at a rally in Texas Monday.
“I love seeing some young conservatives because I know it’s not easy,” Trump told the crowd gathered in El Paso for a campaign rally for his father highlighting border security. “Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You can think for yourselves. They can’t.”
It’s not clear if the younger Trump was referring to teachers who have been protesting low salaries and stagnant education funding in states like Arizona and Oklahoma and districts like Los Angeles, or to something else. And while there have been surveys that show young people are increasingly drawn to socialism, there’s no clear evidence that’s because of changes in curriculum or the views of teachers.
The president’s son isn’t the first person with a connection to the administration to deride the supposed spread of socialism. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said last year that she worried that young people were willing to embrace ideas like socialism because of a lack of civics education in schools.
And this isn’t the first time that the younger Trump has spoken about K-12 education. In a speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016, he compared schools to “Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers” and took aim at Democrats for what he said was protecting tenured teachers at the expense of students.
He said at the time that the country needs to expand school choice—something his father’s administration hasn’t had much success on yet. Congress has rejected the president’s pitch for a competitive-grant program that would have funded vouchers and more. Lawmakers did, however, allow families to put up to $10,000 a year into 529 college savings plans for K-12 private school tuition.
Watch the younger Trump’s speech below. His remarks on teachers come at about the seven minute mark.
Related reading: Upon hearing Donald Trump Jr.'s claim that “loser teachers” are trying to “sell” students on “socialism,” educator Gina Caneva decided it was a bridge too far. Here’s her response: “A Lesson for Donald Trump Jr., From a ‘Loser Teacher’”.
Eric Trump, left, Donald Trump Jr., center, and Tiffany Trump applaud as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. --Andrew Harnik/AP
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