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November 16, 2021 40 min

This episode contains strong language.

A new battleground has emerged in American politics: school boards. In these meetings, parents increasingly engage in heated — sometimes violent — fights over hot-button issues such as mask mandates and critical race theory.

Suddenly, the question of who sits on a school board has become a question about which version of America will prevail.

We visit the school board meeting in Central Bucks, Pa., an important county in national politics, where the meetings have been particularly wild.

Guest: Campbell Robertson, a national correspondent for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • Since the spring, a steady tide of school board members across the country have nervously come forward with accounts of threats they have received from enraged local parents.
  • Republicans are heading into the 2022 midterm elections with what they believe will be a highly effective political strategy capitalizing on the frustrations of suburban parents still reeling from the devastating fallout of pandemic-era schooling.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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