Idaho’s McGeachin meets with former President Trump to talk indoctrination in schools

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin met with former President Donald Trump earlier this week. They talked about claims of indoctrination in Idaho’s schools, her campaign announced Wednesday.

The meeting, held Monday at Trump Tower in New York City, was centered around “the radical left’s attempts to indoctrinate America’s schoolchildren with some of the most toxic and anti-American theories ever conceived,” a news release from McGeachin’s campaign for governor said.

The meeting came just a few days before the second meeting of the task force the lieutenant governor created looking into claims of indoctrination in Idaho’s schools.

McGeachin could face incumbent Gov. Brad Little in the primary next spring, and Trump remains influential in GOP politics. Little hasn’t declared his intent to run for re-election.

“It was an honor to meet with President Trump and in turn thank him for his unwavering leadership and commitment to put America first and keep America great,” McGeachin, who has long supported Trump, said in a statement.

McGeachin, who announced her run for governor earlier this year, said she told the former president she was “working to uphold the principles he espouses and to support his ongoing efforts to elevate the inspiring truths of America’s history.”

According to the news release, Trump saw McGeachin’s earlier appearance with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and called her to “praise her performance.” Trump is known to watch Fox News, and Carlson was a fervent defender of Trump throughout his presidency.

Claims of indoctrination and critical race theory in schools have been a central issue for Idaho legislators and public officials in recent months. During the legislative session, state lawmakers passed a bill that took aim at certain discussions about race in classrooms and cut millions in funding to universities in an attempt to target social justice programs.

McGeachin’s indoctrination task force was formed earlier this year and held its first meeting last month.

The task force is scheduled to meet for the second time Thursday, and will meet two more times over the summer. The task force is expected to examine K-12 education and higher education, and then make recommendations.

So far, the task force has not cited any specific examples to support their claims of indoctrination of students.

Earlier this month, Rep. Priscilla Giddings, who co-chairs the task force, submitted a public records request to the Boise School District asking for a number of materials, including those related to English Learners and AVID programs, as well as any materials, books, curriculum or assignments using Nikole Hannah Jones’ 1619 project or the 1776 project.

Becca Savransky covers education for the Idaho Statesman in partnership with Report for America. The position is partly funded through community support. Click here to donate.

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