Indiana University newspaper covers AIM investigation
April 24, 2023
MARTINSVILLE—The battle over public-school curriculum has returned to Martinsville after administrators across the state were secretly filmed while discussing their hesitance to use certain phrases to describe curriculum, such as critical race theory and social-emotional learning.
The group that filmed the administrators is Accuracy in Media, a national organization founded in 1969 that has become known for promoting conspiracy theories and misinformation. The organization is led by Adam Guillette, who founded the Florida chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, and was formerly vice president of media group Project Veritas, which has been criticized for subpar journalistic ethics and deceptive editing.
In the video, Jenny Oakley, Director of E-Learning and Literacy for the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, said the district asks textbook companies to avoid certain phrases so it doesn’t set off red flags for the community. She said the community would support the content in the textbooks but may be turned off by the phrasing.
Oakley’s husband, Justin, said his wife did not know she was being recorded and believed she was talking to parents, not members of AIM.
Oakley never explicitly mentions critical race theory or social-emotional learning in the video, but the video is edited in a way that implies she is talking about those topics.
The video gained traction because people believed it was evidence that schools were deceiving parents about curriculum. Last week, the video was aired on Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime.