Nevada Family Alliance: That Body Cams for Teachers Group

Nevada is yet another state where folks are whipped into a frenzy about "Critical Race Theory," which they can't entirely identify and therefor consider to include , apparently, anything about equity, diversity, racism and US history. But the headline item is one particular proposal-- attaching body cameras to all teachers to make sure they aren't indoctrinating children. 

Who's behind this really terrible idea?

“You guys have a serious problem with activist teachers pushing politics in the classroom, and there’s no place for it, especially for our fifth graders,” Karen England, Nevada Family Alliance executive director, told Washoe County School District trustees Tuesday.

So who is the Nevada Family Alliance?

That turns out to be a little unclear. 

According to their Facebook page, they've been around since at least 2016. They joined Twitter in 2017. They have about 2,600 Facebook fans and 147 Twitter followers. They're generally referred to as a non-profit, but there doesn't appear to be a Form 990 on file with the IRS for them. The site offers no actual physical address.

Their website listed as, but that takes you straight to The "what we do" for the site includes Monitor & Research, Educate, and Act (although act is a little fuzzy--"We mobilize our network to impact the culture in real-time." Their issues are education, anti-LGBTQ+, and the whole constellation of Christianiat culture war stuff.

NFA has no particular clear understanding of what CRT actually includes. Rather, it's just a signifier of the large progressive plot, a chance to, as NFA puts it, take the "racial justice" ball and run with it:

Why? Because progressive activists in education can’t pass up a golden opportunity to indoctrinate our nation’s impressionable children with the victim/oppressor worldview.

 It’s as if they relish any chance to undermine parents’ efforts to rear children who are psychologically healthy, skilled in thinking critically, morally wise, and self-controlled.

And here they are, lumping it all together in just one paragraph:

Simply put, instruction in Critical Race Theory as presented in Black Lives Matter curriculum and The 1619 Project pushes American students down the road of hate. These poisonous classroom lessons immediately hook youth who are looking for meaning. The CRT revisionist telling of America’s history churns out angry activists who are eager to lead the effort to accomplish “social justice.” The twisting of true history causes students to feel unequal and undervalued, and then points them to the “oppressor” as a target.

NFA is particularly focused on Benchmark Advance textbooks being considered  by Washoe County schools. Says NFA's site, "Board President Dr. Angela Taylor has vehemently denied the Benchmark Advance curriculum contains ANY aspects of Critical Race Theory. Clearly, Dr. Taylor has not viewed the curriculum, or she does not know what Critical Race Theory is."

NFA offers links to these CRT lesson plans, though no explanation of how, exactly, these links prove NFA's point. The kindergarten units include "social justice guiding questions" which might be the trigger here, but the questions are scorchers like "How can the messages in stories make us feel safe and proud of who we are" and "What are small and large ways that people can help if someone is in danger?" in support of topics such as "Families are not all the same." I am not remotely well-schooled in CRT, but I do have to agree that somebody here  does not know what Critical Race Theory is, and it's probably not Dr. Taylor.

So who is this group, really?

Often when we dig into these groups, we find the usual web of professional advocates and money from, say, the Kochtopus (looking at you, Parents Defending Education). That doesn't seem to be the case here.

NFA's Twitter following is mostly folks; Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal group pushing to get public money for religious groups, hopped on late in the game. No other connections are readily noticeable.

In fact, there only seems to be one name associated with the group, and that's Karen England. But England has been a busy lady, and this is not her first rodeo. And yes, I noticed that her name is actually Karen. 

England (who doesn't have a LinkedIn account) has also served as head of California's Capitol Resource Institute, a non-profit that advocates for "religious freedom, life, the family, and parental rights" (she's right there on their home page). Their Form 990 history is spotty. Back in 2012, England was the Executive Director  drawing a salary of $27,600, about half what she was paid four years earlier. The chairman at the time was Tim LeFever. In the most recent 990 (2017) he and treasurer Richard Treakle are the only listed officers. In most years they ran through a couple hundred thousand dollars--average revenue $131K, with tens of thousands in assets (except for 2017, when they ended up $4K in the red). Most of their money was spent on publications and PR. In 2011, CRI tried to get a gay textbook law overturned. In 2015, they co-signed a letter from Mike Huckabee warning of the evils of a gay marriage ruling by SCOTUS. 

In addition to serving as member of the Board of Directors for Pacific Justice Institute, yet another religious anti-LGBTQ+ outfit, Tim Lefever is a politican, attorney, and co-owner of a real estate company, as well as member of the Board of Directors for Pacific Justice Institute, yet another religious anti-LGBTQ+ outfit; CRI for a while had offices in the same building as the real estate company. But that's just the company Karen England keeps. Before we get sucked too far down this rabbit hole, back to her.

England has worked against many issues, including sex ed, drag queen story hours, Clark County school district trans regulations (women will be assaulted in rest rooms), and student privacy (irony alert). "We need to take back the land that was given to us," she once said, referring to children. In 2012, she was National Coalitions Director for Rick Santorum's Presidential run. 

She was active for a while with the California Republican Assembly, a group for California's social conservatives, and boy, did she piss some folks off. And I mean other right wing Republicans, one of whom, Aaron F. Park, runs a blog that is mostly about right-leaning issues, but which also includes some scathing indictments of England (and LeFever) for fraud and bullying and failed initiatives and botched coup attempts, and calling her "either incompetent or completely corrupt." A blistering post entitled "Dear Nevada, Welcome to California's Night mare Known as Karen England" says, in part

Fraud is Fraud. No true conservative does the things Karen England does. I am of the opinion that Karen England is a charlatan and I will relate a body of evidence I have assembled from dealing with her up close. I have the battle damage to prove it, including a legal threat letter from her lawyer. (I note that her lawyer certifies in the letter that “Ms. England is NOT Mentally Ill”.)

England is also accused of sucking up to Tea Party members to build a power base, and of trading bribes for political endorsements by CRI. The rage just jumps off the screen; here's one last example:

Those of us that still care about the California GOP will be ten years cleaning up the trail of destruction she has left behind. If you are a liberal democrat, don’t pat yourself on the back. Nevada is a different state. It will see-saw between parties. Unless a dedicated group of good people from both sides of the aisle put down the issues and focus on the demonstrated pattern of personal and professional corruption – like a leech and a cancer, Ms. England will metastasize and you will all be in the cross-hairs yourselves.

That was in 2015. Park later reports with no small glee that England is not doing so well in Nevada.

Bottom line?

It seems entirely possible that Nevada Family Alliance is actually just Karen England and nobody else. It is entirely possible that hollering about indoctrination may be a sincere concern or it may be that she, like many others, smells an opportunity to gin up some attention and work her way into the big leagues. 

Here at the Curmudgucation Institute, where a broad range of members from across the broad range of places, believe, based on our many supporters and broad sampling of fronds from among the grass roots, that the idea of putting body cams on teachers is stupid, offensive, and a gross violation of student privacy, an issue that Ms. England claims to care about. Here at the Institute, located at a secret address that we aren't going to share, we also believe that Nevada Family Alliance is quite possibly a scam, and that Ms. England is, herself, full of it.