School officials burned out by 'bananas' MAGA parents who think they're trying to inject kids with microchips: survey
Thousands of Trump supporters gather at the Supreme Court to show their support for President Trump after the election. (Shutterstock.com)

Educators endured a "rough as hell" school year after returning from Covid-19 lockdowns, thanks to culture-war battles fought by conservative parents against them.

School administrators all over the country report feeling burned out by tension and division, with more than two-thirds of principals reporting "substantial political conflict" with parents and community members, according to the results of a new survey reported by NPR.

"We had a group of parents that went bananas on us on the masking, and believed that we were encouraging kids to get a shot that surely had a microchip in it because the government wanted to control their brains," said one Nevada principal, a registered Republican in a mostly conservative area who said parents had cast a chill over classroom discussions. "You can't [use newspapers] anymore. You can't use CNN because the parents will go nuts on you. You can't use Fox because it's so out there. It's hard to teach kids about what's going on in any kind of context, because there is no context anymore."

Nearly two-thirds of principals, or 64 percent, say parents or community members objected to information presented in classrooms, and the report nearly tripled in politically divided "purple communities" between 2018 and 2022.

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"The only way I think we're going to get out of a situation like this is teaching kids, and maybe even the greater public at large, what is good information," said a Nebraska principal.

About a quarter of principals, or 23 percent, in those purple communities reported that district leaders, including school board members, placed limits on teaching or learning about race and racism, which was higher than in both red communities, 17 percent, and blue communities, 8 percent.

"My superintendent told me in no uncertain terms that I could not address issues of race and bias," said one Minnesota principal. "He told me, 'This is not the time or the place to do this here. You have to remember you are in the heart of Trump country and you're just going to start a big mess if you start talking about that stuff.' "

Another principal from Ohio recalled how a group of angry parents were unable to find evidence of critical race theory in his school's curriculum, so they accused him of teaching the topic "undercover."

"We are trying to weather this storm and see if we can get through it," that principal said. "[My staff] has become scared ... worried that ... if I talk about the Civil Rights Movement and Jim Crow, am I going to be accused of telling White people they are bad?"