Home Headlines L.A. Teachers’ Union Under Fire for Racial Profiling of Critical Mom

L.A. Teachers’ Union Under Fire for Racial Profiling of Critical Mom

UTLA Los Angeles teachers union (Scott Heins / Getty)
Scott Heins / Getty

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the teachers’ union representing educators in the Los Angeles United School District (USDSA), attempted to profile the race of a local mother who criticized the union for opposing school reopening plans.

The mom, Maryam Qudrat, who is of Middle Eastern descent, says the union conducted “racial opposition research” on her.

Local Fox affiliate KTTV-11 reported Wednesday:

Maryam Qudrat says the teachers union asked her about her past media interviews, as well as her ethnicity and class status, as part of a “project” and now, she is crying foul.

Qudrat has a seventh-grader enrolled in LAUSD and for months, she had advocated for kids to return to in-person schooling and has given media interviews criticizing UTLA for refusing to reopen schools.

“I felt very targeted,” Qudrat said. “I think that they are very clearly case building, they are trying to collect data on folks like me who have been quoted in the LA Times, and they’re trying to say that if you are in favor the kids coming back to school, you’re racist.”

“I stood in the rain on strike with the teachers when they wanted to get their pay raise a couple of years ago,” Qudrat said. “And to see them now basically turning this way, it’s frankly scary the way they’re taking education, pinning white and Middle Eastern against black and brown.”

Qudrat provided an email from UTLA asking about her race. The union did not deny sending the email, and suggested that race was “a factor we could evaluate” in responding to criticism, though it said the email had not been officially authorized.

Minority parents are among those advocating for the reopening of schools, and opposing the teachers’ union’s demands:

TONIGHT: Some black parents in South LA are outraged after hearing UTLA’s president say that wealthy parents are behind push to reopen LA schools, & that reopening now is racist. They tell me she does not speak for them & they’re holding a reopening rally on Sat. in Watts @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/zdNeNYve0N

— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 3, 2021

Earlier this week, UTLA described a statewide plan for reopening schools as a plan to propagate “structural racism” because it would have punished schools that failed to begin reopening by the end of March. The union argued that minority communities are at greater risk from coronavirus; critics argue that the impacts of school closures hurst minority communities the most.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.