A Sarasota, Florida school board member who ran for his office in 2020 pledging “no hidden agendas” told a woke-supporting crowd that he supported them, bragging that he was “working from the best strategic spot because we’re working from the inside.”
Thomas Edwards, who tweeted in 2017, “I view Trump, his regime, his supporters, and his voters as Nazis,” was elected to his position in 2020.
Edwards was taped telling a crowd of woke supporters, “I just wanted to give a little reassurance that here in the state of Florida, there are school board members that are woke. We‘re here! (applause) And we’re working. We have your backs.”
“You need to know we have your backs and we’re working from the best strategic spot because … we’re working from the inside,” he boasted. “We’re working from the inside. And it’s, from my point of view, I’ve spent not quite two years to earn credibility and to earn trust and that is a long, slow process. But I’m not the only one in the state of Florida. And I need to tell you so that you feel a little better, there are coalitions forming to protect you.”
“Here in Florida, there are school board members that are woke. We are working from the best strategic spot because we’re working from the inside.” – @sarasotaschools board member pic.twitter.com/TPqmBfghQe
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 7, 2022
In an April, 2022 op-ed in the Herald-Tribune, Edwards accused the GOP-led Florida legislature of “stoking the flames of a culture war,” then attacked Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for “trying to disguise what they are doing as protecting the rights of parents.”
“The Stop WOKE Act – yet another law supported by the governor and passed by the Legislature – is highly offensive to teachers and administrators,” Edwards declared.
Edwards claimed that Florida’s conservative politicians “clearly” appeared to have “an alternative motive for providing ‘solutions’ to parents’ rights problems that don’t exist, allowing books to be banned and imposing measures to sue school districts.”
“Do these laws simply serve as a way to attack public education and increase the expansion of for-profit charter schools? Have they been designed to simply help elected officials win re-election and boost their future political ambitions?” he wrote.
In July 2020, campaigning for the school board position, he wrote, “To have real change we must do two things: a) positively affect the education of our students, and b) replace ineffective, divisive, incumbent officials. Replacing Eric Robinson removes the drama, divisiveness and hidden political agendas from the school board, allowing me to utilize my consensus building skills to heal the relationships with our community, our teachers and the union.”