AG Derek Schmidt becomes first candidate for Kansas governor to sign ‘1776 Pledge to Save Our Schools’

1776 Action, Newt Gingrich call on all candidates to sign

TOPEKA – (June 21, 2021) – Attorney General Derek Schmidt today became the first candidate in the race for Kansas governor to sign “The 1776 Pledge to Save Our Schools” from 1776 Action, an organization inspired by former President Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission to help restore honest, patriotic education.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a supporter of 1776 Action, said: “I appreciate Attorney General Schmidt’s long-standing leadership for honest civics education which continues today as he makes this commitment to Kansas voters. Across the country, a rapidly-growing and parent-led movement is fighting back against radical K-12 curricula that slanders our history and undermines our nation’s fundamental value of equality under the law. Elected officials are the other half of the equation and they owe it to their constituents to take a clear position and act.”

Adam Waldeck, 1776 Action President, echoed Gingrich’s sentiment and called on all candidates in the Kansas governor’s race, in both parties, to sign the group’s pledge. 

“Our youngest generation should be taught to take pride in their country, to respect our founding principles of liberty and equality, and to have a sense of American history that is both truthful and inspiring,” Waldeck said. “We applaud Attorney General Schmidt for signing ‘The 1776 Pledge’ today, and we call on all candidates in this race, Republican and Democrat, to do the same.”

Schmidt, who in May joined 19 other attorneys general in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona challenging his department’s “thinly veiled attempt at bringing into our states’ classrooms the deeply flawed and controversial teachings of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project,” reiterated the importance of a proper civics education for our children.

“Throughout our history, America has focused on teaching our children about our founding documents and bedrock principles of freedom and equality for all, and if I am blessed to serve our great state as governor I will be a strong advocate for that remaining our focus,” Schmidt said. “We can teach our children the whole truth about American history, good and bad, without resorting to controversial and divisive political theories that leave kids believing they are inherently oppressors or victims or that discount the fundamental goodness of American freedoms and values.”

Schmidt has also long supported requiring Kansas students to pass a civics exam, modeled after the U.S. Citizenship test, as a requirement for high school graduation. Current Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka) vetoed legislation passed in April by the Legislature that would have implemented such a requirement.

1776 Action is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization launched in March to help restore honest, patriotic education in K-12 classrooms across America. In May, the group released its “1776 Pledge to Save Our Schools,” as a tool for parents to evaluate their relevant officials and candidates.