Does ‘A Place Inside of Me?’ Teach Kids to Resent Police?

Some parents have objected to Zetta Elliot’s pro-BLM book “A Place Inside of Me,” suggesting it foments fear and resentment of police. This video looks at two approaches for teaching the book: one which deals with addressing the numerous sources of violence in urban communities and helping kids process such violence while advocating for solutions; and one which solely focusses on violence by police, an approach Elliot takes with the book. Thanks for watching.

US Olympic Committee Allows Political Protests and Kneeling During Anthem

by Christopher Paslay

The USOPC has bowed to pressure from activists groups, and has placed a political agenda ahead of the interests of American athletes during the US Olympic trials.

According to an article in American Greatness: 

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said this week they will not sanction athletes for raising their fists or kneeling during the national anthem at Olympic trials, despite a decades-long policy banning protests at the official games.

The USOPC released a nine-page document Tuesday about the sort of ‘racial and social demonstrations’ that will and won’t be allowed.  Holding up a fist, kneeling during the anthem and wearing hats or face masks with phrases such as “Black Lives Matter” or words such as “equality” or “justice,” will be permitted, according to the document.

This decision goes against International Olympic Committee rules, however.  According to “Rule 50 Guidelines” developed by the IOC Athlete’s Commission: 

As athletes, we are passionate about our sports and achieving our sporting performance goals. For each and every one of us, that passion continues into everyday life, where we advocate for change on issues of great importance to us and our world. That desire to drive change can naturally make it very tempting to use the platform of an appearance at the Olympic Games to make our point. 

However, all of us are here at the Olympic Games because, one day, we dreamt of being an Olympian, and maybe even an Olympic champion. The unique nature of the Olympic Games enables athletes from all over the world to come together in peace and harmony. We believe that the example we set by competing with the world’s best while living in harmony in the Olympic Village is a uniquely positive message to send to an increasingly divided world. This is why it is important, on both a personal and a global level, that we keep the venues, the Olympic Village and the podium neutral and free from any form of political, religious or ethnic demonstrations. 

If we do not, the life’s work of the athletes around us could be tarnished, and the world would quickly no longer be able to look at us competing and living respectfully together, as conflicts drive a wedge between individuals, groups and nations. That is not to say that you should be silent about the issues you care deeply about, and below you will find a list of places where you can express your views at the Olympic Games. 

Where are protests and demonstrations not permitted during the Olympic Games?

At all Olympic venues, including:

  • On the field of play
  • In the Olympic Village
  • During Olympic medal ceremonies
  • During the Opening, Closing and other official Ceremonies

The USOPC doesn’t seem to care about this, however.  They’ve bowed to pressure from activists groups which want to put a political agenda ahead of the interests of American athletes during the US Olympic trials.  

Whether the USOPC will place political activism over honest athletic competition during the actual Olympic Games — promoting Black Lives Matter instead of celebrating America’s Olympians — remains to be seen. 

Discussing Critical Race Theory with Deb Fillman on ‘The Reason We Learn’

Deb Fillman, a homeschooling parent of three, online educator, and former classroom teacher with an MSed from the UPENN Graduate School of Education, hosts a YouTube channel called “The Reason We Learn.” Deb has 10 years of experience homeschooling, tutoring, and teaching online, and runs a tutoring service to help families develop customized education experiences for their children in grades K-12. Yesterday, Deb invited me on her podcast, where we discussed Robin DiAngelo, Critical Race Theory, and the future of public education in America. 

GoFundMe Removes Loudoun County Parent Group for Opposing Critical Race Theory

According to the Washington Free Beacon: “GoFundMe bowed to pressure from progressive activists and deactivated a fundraiser affiliated with a group of Virginia parents fighting the infusion of critical race theory in Loudoun County Public Schools. Scott Mineo created his GoFundMe in mid-March after members of a private Facebook group called Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County launched an intimidation campaign against a number of parent groups, including his Parents Against Critical Theory. The group compiled a list of parents, identified their spouses and employers, and called for members to find ways to shut down their websites.” Thanks for watching.

Haverford School District Stonewalls Parents on Specifics of ‘Equity Team’

by Christopher Paslay

Some parents of Haverford School District students are not happy with the lack of transparency surrounding the school’s Equity Team, and would like more information on members, their specific plans and objectives. 

In July of 2020, after the death of George Floyd, the School District of Haverford Township adopted a resolution supporting the development of an anti-racist school climate by the board of directors.

The resolution stated in part, “we must recognize that racism and hate have no place in our schools and society. However, we must understand that racism is systemic, and it is unconsciously and consciously rooted into our institutions, policies, and practices. Consequently, we acknowledge that we must look at our own school policies and practices through an anti-racist and equity lens to address traces of racism and inequity that still exist within our own school community.”

The resolution went on to establish the development of district-wide equity leadership teams, which, according to the resolution, “will be responsible for developing ideas and strategies to submit to SDHT administration and Board of Directors around equity.” 

The establishment of diversity, equity, and inclusion teams in American schools has become the latest educational trend.  And while there’s nothing controversial about assembling such teams (in some cases these teams do objective and meaningful work), there have been cases where school districts have used so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” to forward a political agenda, and usher in radical, identity politics aimed at indoctrinating students rather than educating them.     

Such was the case last year in North Carolina.  The Wake County Public School System, which serves the greater Raleigh, North Carolina area, held an equity-themed teachers’ conference with sessions on “whiteness,” “microaggressions,” “racial mapping,” and “disrupting texts,” encouraging educators to form “equity teams” in schools and push the new party line: “antiracism.”

According to an article by Christopher Rufo, the first session of this equity-themed conference was called, “Whiteness in Ed Spaces,” where school administrators provided two handouts on the “norms of whiteness.” The article stated:

These documents claimed that “(white) cultural values” include “denial,” “fear,” “blame,” “control,” “punishment,” “scarcity,” and “one-dimensional thinking.” According to notes from the session, the teachers argued that “whiteness perpetuates the system” of injustice and that the district’s “whitewashed curriculum” was “doing real harm to our students and educators.” The group encouraged white teachers to “challenge the dominant ideology” of whiteness and “disrupt” white culture in the classroom through a series of “transformational interventions.”

Parents, according to the teachers, should be considered an impediment to social justice. When one teacher asked, “How do you deal with parent pushback?” the answer was clear: ignore parental concerns and push the ideology of antiracism directly to students. “You can’t let parents deter you from the work,” the teachers said. “White parents’ children are benefiting from the system” of whiteness and are “not learning at home about diversity (LGBTQ, race, etc.).” Therefore, teachers have an obligation to subvert parental wishes and beliefs. Any “pushback,” the teachers explained, is merely because white parents fear “that they are going to lose something” and find it “hard to let go of power [and] privilege.”

While the School District of Haverford Township has not embraced such radical and polarizing ideas, Haverford High School’s so-called “Student Equity Team” did recently send out an anonymous survey—not open to parents—asking students if they “have experienced implicit forms of discrimination like microaggressions,” and if students are confident that they know what a microaggression is.

Some parents of Haverford High School students have found this concerning, being that children in high school have no real understanding of microaggressions, and even if they did grasp the complexity of this, it wouldn’t matter; the concept has been thoroughly debunked by science. In 2017, Emory University psychology professor Scott O. Lilienfeld published a paper titled, “Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence,” which argued that the microaggression research program (MRP) “is far too underdeveloped on the conceptual and methodological fronts to warrant real-world application.”

The paper also recommended the abandonment of the term “microaggression,” and called for “a moratorium on microaggression training programs and publicly distributed microaggression lists pending research to address the MRP’s scientific limitations.”

Concerned parents did reach out to Haverford High School about the anonymous Student Equity Team survey, and were told by school officials that the Student Equity Team hoped to get more honest responses from students by keeping the survey anonymous. School officials did ultimately show the survey to concerned parents, and explained the survey results would go to Haverford High School administrators and the Teacher Equity Team to review; the purpose was to look for areas to improve at Haverford High School, and to bring in training to address such areas.

But not all parents are happy about the survey, and the Haverford School District Equity Team in general. The leader of a local parent group expressed frustration at the lack of transparency by the School District, especially involving the details of their so-called “Equity Team.”  The parent group leader stated that they still have no idea who is on this equity team, or what exactly they are working to implement in the school—even after the parent group made numerous requests and filed “right to know” documents. 

Is the School District of Haverford Township’s equity team approach the same as the Wake County Public School System? Will Haverford Township’s equity team strive to end the achievement gap by educating students with rigorous academic skills, or by indoctrinating them with identity politics?

This remains to be seen.  Perhaps if the School District of Haverford Township were more transparent with their Equity Team, and responded more appropriately to parent requests for information, none of this would be an issue. 

Grace Church School’s Newspeak Dictionary

Grace Church School, a New York City private academy that charges $57,000 a year, has published a guide sent to students and parents that encourages them to alter their speech to conform to gender neutral language, including pushing students to stop referring to their parents as “mom” and “dad.” The guide, titled “Grace Inclusive Language Guide,” actually excludes language in an effort to redefine terms according to progressive identity politics. Thanks for watching.

BLM Protesters Bully Young Cheerleaders

As cheerleaders headed into a competition Saturday at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville, protesters for racial justice harassed and bullied the young girls, shouting chants laced with profanities and accusing them of “white privilege.” Adult organizer Carmen M. Jones, when asked if she was out of line, doubled down on her racist and inappropriate behavior.

Exposing Corwin’s Socialist Math Textbook Series

by Christopher Paslay

Using math class to push a political agenda is flat out wrong, and Corwin’s book, High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice, has no place in a high school math classroom.

Corwin Press, a professional development book publisher, is no longer interested in producing academic material designed to teach children how to think, rather, has set their sights on teaching students what to think. The company, which was established in 1990, has taken a hard left turn over the past five years, so much so that the publisher has abandoned any pretense of objectivity, and has openly embedded its political agenda into much of its material.

In January, they posted so-called “free resources to help educators process the Jan. 6th riot at the Capitol,” which provided links to agenda-driven activist groups like Black Lives Matter, whose aim was to indoctrinate school children in polarizing identity politics. 

Now Corwin is promoting a new series of math textbooks aimed at indoctrinating high school students in radical leftist politics, textbooks that replace objective, linear math with socialist propaganda. A book titled High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice, is one such example.

The Introduction to the book, titled “Why is Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice Critical?”, states “Whether we talk about it or not, our students regularly experience the impacts of social privilege, power, and activism every day.” This introduction reveals the true motive of the book, which is first to indoctrinate teachers and students in progressive social justice activism, and to ingrain in them a willingness to accept socialism and the political agenda of the left. 

The book is divided into three parts. Part I, titled “Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice,” provides a foundation for using math to promote activism, which focusses on so-called “equitable mathematics,” and helps teachers design lessons that will allow students to broach controversial topics and have difficult conversations. These chapters also help educators create activities that encourage students to investigate, understand, and reflect on social questions to “empower themselves into action.” 

Part II, called “Social Justice Mathematics Lessons,” incorporates actual math into activities, but does so by structuring it around progressive causes and leftist political agenda. Chapter 6, for example, discusses border crossings, climate change, income inequality, and intersectionality and the wage gap, among other things. Chapter 7 delves into citizenship issues, policing and systemic racism, prison populations, and immigration. Chapter 8 touches on gerrymandering and food injustice. 

The third and final part of the book, titled “Next Steps,” helps teachers spread the social justice mathematics message by designing lessons in their own classrooms, and by encouraging them to get active. 

The book, which makes no bones about indoctrinating students in identity politics and a progressive socialist agenda, is completely inappropriate for a math classroom. Using it in a high school setting not only assumes parents are willing to exchange rigorous math for activism, but that these parents agree with the positions Corwin takes on the issues. 

What if parents, after thinking critically on such topics, believe America’s borders should be secure, and that illegal immigration should be discouraged? What if parents, after educating themselves on both sides of the argument, believe climate change is cyclical, and not the man-made catastrophe it’s being made out to be? What if they believe income inequality has more to do with choices, priorities and family structure, and less to do with so-called systemic racism? What if parents believe all immigrants should come through legal ports of entry, and follow a lawful path to citizenship? 

What if they support America’s police, and believe the idea of systemic racism by law enforcement is erroneous or overblown, and that prison populations are based on crime, and not implicit bias? What if parents, after critically analyzing all sides of the topic, felt these ways on the issues, and wanted to raise their children to think critically about such issues themselves? 

The tragedy, of course, is that these children won’t learn how to think critically about any of this—not if they are using material from Corwin Press. Why? Because Corwin is more interested in teaching children what to think, not how to think.  

Using math class to push a political agenda is flat out wrong, and Corwin’s book, High School Mathematics Lessons to Explore, Understand, and Respond to Social Injustice, has no place in a high school math classroom. Period. 

The fact that Corwin is promoting such agenda-driven material, light on academic rigor and heavy on activism, should be concerning to all parents. The fact of the matter is, Corwin Press is no longer a publisher of objective, academic books. The company has gone full-blown woke, as is evidenced by their new “Deep Equity Consulting Service,” which preaches that the achievement gap, graduation rates, and disproportionate discipline outcomes are “symptomatic of institutional biases and norms that must be directly challenged through systemic, ongoing, and authentic work.”

By “authentic work” they mean indoctrinating students over educating them, and focusing on systems over people. In short, Corwin cares more about influencing politics than they do about actually teaching your kids academic skills, which should make every parent very concerned.