A New York parent spoke with Fox News Digital on Thursday about emails that show a teachers union president criticizing parents who protested books at school board meetings, dismissing the efforts as motives to "promote fascism, exclusion, and ignorance."
Lauren Fox, a parent of three students in Orchard Park Central School District [OPCSD], shared emails sent by the Orchard Park Teachers Association president Adam Ziccardi last year--that insisted that all members in the OPCSD not engage with Fox and other parents who protested books, including the teachers of Fox's children.
"I was recently made aware that Lauren Fox (OP resident and a teacher at Iroquois) and/or Steve Barlette (local jester) made a pass at our recent BOE meeting to ban books and/or curriculum," Ziccardi wrote to members on October 13, 2022.
"I expect our teachers, particularly humanities teachers and media specialists, will be on the receiving end of inquiries into curriculum, reading lists, and any other ‘controversial’ item that has already been addressed in the middle of the last century about public school education and opportunities. I have no doubt they are simply making noise to gain a foothold in the media and to create an issue where there is none. After all, 'There's no such thing as bad publicity.' PT Barnum. Similar to PT Barnum, too, our local patriotic pundits serve only to fatten their GoFundMe account utilizing the free publicity," the email from Ziccardi stated.
"Make no mistake, they are not patriots, nor freedom fighters. They only seek ink on a page...and a few dollars to help their ‘cause.' Frankly, I am offended that they use American Freedom as a theme while they promote Fascism, exclusion, and ignorance as desirable traits," the email continued.
The OPTA president's mass email was retaliation against Fox who has been vocal at school board meetings about books she deems inappropriate.
Fox, who teaches music at Iroquois Middle School, withdrew her membership from OPTA last year. Furthermore, she has protested over 20 books, including the most notable "This Book Is Gay," which has been subject to parental pushback nationwide, ranking 9 among the most banned books in the U.S., according to Vanderbilt University.
Fox told Fox News Digital on Thursday that a whistleblower forwarded Ziccardi's scathing email to her shortly after it was sent out.
"There were many whistleblowers because there are so many of the members of the OPTA who feel bullied," Fox told Fox News Digital who also added that AFFT helped her leave OPTA.
Since the Orchard Park Central Board of Education elections are coming up, Fox on April 21st alerted a group called Americans For Fair Treatment [AFFT] about the OPTA president's email.
According to AFFT's website, they are a non-profit that "educates public employees about their rights in a unionized workplace and connects these employees with all available resources to defend those rights."
OPTA did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.