by Diane Rufino, November 17, 2021
“Whoever controls the education of our children controls the future.” — Wilma Mankiller
North Carolina’s state constitution, in Article IX, section 1 (“Education Encouraged”), reads: “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, libraries, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
The state constitution, just like the US Constitution, assigns powers to the government and serves the citizens of North Carolina by setting boundaries and limitations on its government, as well as by listing the ways it will serve them. Since I moved to North Carolina, I have taken notice of the phrase “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, libraries, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged” and thought to myself ‘What a great state!’ That is certainly the kind of education I expected for my children in the public school system.
Why haven’t the General Assembly, the NC DPI, and local school boards read that provision and why hasn’t it guided their decision-making? Looking at what is going on in NC schools and what is coming down the pipes to be included in the classrooms, it’s certainly clear that they all have completely ignored that promise to the citizens of North Carolina.
It’s not enough to think of liberal/progressive indoctrination in our public school systems as only Critical Race Theory. In fact, there are so many different forms, so many distinct ways to get the same progressive teaching to our children. For example, there are panoramic surveys, identity surveys, data-mining surveys, equity indoctrination, social emotional learning lessons (SEL), health classes on alternative life styles and alternative sex education, diversity education (diversity lessons), lessons on such progressive social issues as transgenderism, gender fluidity, pronoun choice, and the list goes on.
Remember, the brains of school-age children have not finished developing. They can’t process, analyze, appreciate, or comprehend the consequences of the adult topics that are being forced on them through progressive policies, doctrines, and teachings. The mere suggestion of socially progressive issues to , especially regarding racism and transgenderism, to a child or teen can cause them confusion and send them questioning their biological identity and their role in society (as defined by what people two centuries ago did to one another). In education, we hear about education standards and how they must align with a child’s brain development. That’s because we want our children to be able to absorb the particular lesson, process it, and learn it. How does the teaching of racism, transgenderism, gender fluidity, alternative sex education, panoramic surveys, social emotional learning align with a young child’s brain development and ability to process?
Children are supposed to receive their grounding, their foundation, during their formative, school-age years, from their parents, their families, their church, and yes, from the permanent and unchanging laws of science, in particular Biology.
What are these different progressive education policies, practices, doctrines, teachings?
Critical Race Theory –
Christopher Rufo, who works with the Heritage Foundation and is an expert on the subject, describes Critical Race Theory (CRT) this way: “Critical race theory is the idea that the United States is a fundamentally racist country and that all of our institutions including the law, culture, business, the economy are all designed to maintain white supremacy. And the critical race theorists argue that all of these institutions are in a sense beyond reforming, they really need to be completely dismantled in order to liberate the oppressed people.”
Simply put, Critical Race Theory states that U.S. social institutions – the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system – are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race. CRT teaches that white society created such systemic racism for their own advantage.
Critical Race Theory is a policy or plan to have educators and administrators in our North Carolina public school system emphasize RACE and how racism is inherent and prevalent in our society and in our country as a whole – whether intentional, unintentional, direct, subtle, incidental, or systemic. And by emphasizing it and teaching it to our children, they are indoctrinating them also to focus on race and to see things in terms of race. We’re talking about children whose brains are not yet fully developed and who are especially vulnerable and susceptible to what is taught to them. As we all know, discrimination and racism go back to the days of slavery and then the Jim Crow era, and apparently to progressives and Democrats, the discrimination still continues. In fact, they say, it’s now engrained into our system.
Inherent in Critical Race Theory is the notion that whites are “privileged” in this county and therefore somehow bad; they are seen as “oppressors” who overwhelmingly benefit in our society. And blacks continue to be victims of discrimination and systemic racism; they continue to be the oppressed.
This, in essence, is what Critical Race Theory is all about…. A system, a society comprised of “oppressors” and the “oppressed.” Whiteness is bad, blackness confers victimhood. Some inherently benefit from this system and others inherently are discriminated against. This is what is being promoted in our public schools, at least in certain ones (certainly all the ones in the Wake County School system), but it is looking like the policy will catch on with other school systems in the state. I don’t see what good the policy does or what good it could possibly achieve.
In our state of North Carolina, CRT a plan to have educators and administrators in our public school system emphasize RACE and how racism is inherent and prevalent in our society and in our country as a whole – whether intentional, unintentional, direct, subtle, incidental, or systemic. And by emphasizing it and teaching it to our children, they are indoctrinating them also to focus on race and to see things in terms of race. We’re talking about children whose brains are not yet fully developed and who are especially vulnerable and susceptible to what is taught to them.
School policies, and especially new “Biden era” curriculum standards (social studies, for one) include its teachings or depending on the state, include elements of CRT, which most school board members have never taken the time to read through. CRT is being taught in North Carolina public schools, to varying degrees, depending on the school system. Wake County is the worst.
I find this next part is particularly offensive and subversive:
Critical Race Theory gives educators the ultimate authority to encourage students to “view problems and issues through the lens of race” and therefore takes the task of raising our children and influencing them away from their parents and puts them in their hands. It is an insidious policy that is based on self-shaming, continued victimization, and hatred and shame for our country.
Some people – and I’m talking about Democrats, progressives, Marxists, leftists, the Black Lives Matter movement – see racism everywhere. The idea that America is fundamentally flawed because some people harbor racism in their hearts and minds and that this equates to systemic racism is ridiculous. It’s absolutely preposterous and demeaning to white people and insulting to our system of laws and our history of judicial rulings. We, as Americans, have abolished slavery, abolished segregation, and have gone as far as to institute affirmative action policies in almost all areas of education and business. Back in the 1860’s, we adopted the Reconstruction era constitutional amendments (13th, 14th, and 15th), in 1953, the Supreme Court handed down the Brown v. Board of Education ruling ending school segregation, and in the 1960’s, Congress passed civil rights legislation – the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That’s a history of a country recognizing its past sins and wanting to do the right thing. This is what should be taught and emphasized in our schools.
I love this comment that one parent gave: “My parents always told me that it doesn’t matter whether people like you; it matters whether or not the law protects you, and it does.”
And I also love the remarks that US Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) gave last night following President Biden’s address to Congress. He said: “America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different types of discrimination, and it’s wrong to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.”
Rep. Scott also said: “We embrace traditional American values. We love people, not parties. We love the content of one’s character, not the color of one’s skin. Our nation stands in greatness because we fought back against the darker angels and we believed in the better angels. I wish the Democrats would look in the mirror and ask themselves: ‘Would they put up with such conduct from anyone other than themselves?’ If they aren’t willing to police themselves, don’t look to the other side.”
Teaching Critical Race Theory in the North Carolina public schools is not a product of any bill or policy adopted by the NC General Assembly or by an executive order issued by Governor Cooper. It is a policy that was initiated, embraced, and adopted by teachers themselves. From what I’ve read, it was adopted by teachers in the Wake County School system last year. (I should mention that a form of Race Theory was officially articulated back in 1989).
If you want an eye-opener regarding Critical Race Theory and how it has made its way into North Carolina’s public school system, check out this informative article, titled “Subversive Education,” written by Christopher Rufo on March 17 of this year for City Journal:
North Carolina’s largest school district launches a campaign against “whiteness in educational spaces.”
Last year, 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.”
The February 2020 conference, attended by more than 200 North Carolina public school teachers, began with a “land acknowledgement,” a ritual recognition suggesting that white North Carolinians are colonizers on stolen Native American land. Next, the superintendent of Wake County Public Schools, Cathy Moore, introduced the day’s program and shuffled teachers to breakout sessions across eight rooms. Freelance reporter A.P. Dillon obtained the documents from the sessions through a public records request and provided them to City Journal.
At the first session, “Whiteness in Education Spaces,” school administrators provided two handouts on the “norms of whiteness.” 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.”
And so, the Wake County Public School district adopted an official EQUITY IN ACTION plan.
The Equity in Action plan encourages teachers to override parents in the pursuit of antiracism. “Equity leaders [should] have the confidence to take risks and make difficult decisions that are rooted in their values,” the document reads. “Even in the face of opposition, equity leaders can draw on a heartfelt conviction for what is best for students and families.” In other words, the school should displace the family as the ultimate arbiter of political morality.
The equity plan outlines this new ideology in chart format, announcing the district’s commitment to a series of fashionable instructional techniques, including “color consciousness,” “white identity development,” “critical race theory,” “intersections of power and privilege,” and “anti-racist identity and action.”
The equity program in the Wake County Public School System is a massive enterprise. Founded in 2013, the district’s Office of Equity Affairs has now amassed a $1 million annual budget and hosts an ongoing sequence of school trainings, curriculum-development sessions, and teacher events. In 2019, for example, the office hosted a series of “courageous conversations” about race and a five-night discussion program about the podcast Seeing White, which asks listeners to consider how “whiteness” contributes to “police shootings of unarmed African Americans,” “acts of domestic terrorism,” and “unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring.”
According to Wake County Public Schools, the purpose of these programs is to achieve “equity,” which it defines as “eliminating the predictability of success and failure that correlates with any social or cultural factor.” This is naïve, at best. Cultural traits such as family environment, transmitted values, and study habits have an enormous influence on academic outcomes. The radical-left educators believe that this is an injustice. They see their job as leveling cultural differences, grouping students into the categories of inborn identity, and equalizing outcomes.
The administrators have the logic backwards. Rather than seek to level cultural factors, they should seek to uncover and then cultivate the cultural traits that lead to academic success across all racial groups. Despite all the recent focus on racial issues in education, the greater disparity in student outcomes today is, in fact, related to social class. As Stanford’s Sean Reardon has shown, the class gap in academic achievement is now twice as large as the race gap—precisely the opposite of what it was 50 years ago.
This news should suggest an opportunity to school administrators. They could pursue educational strategies that help struggling students of all racial backgrounds. Sadly, rather than seizing this opportunity, teachers in Wake County are busy planning conference presentations on “toxic masculinity,” “microaggressions,” “peace circles,” and “applied critical race theory.” North Carolina might be a red state, but in its largest county, the school system has fully bought in to the latest progressive dogmas.
[**** City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank].
Parents across the U.S. should not assume that their local district is immune to these trends. The new political education is spreading everywhere.
There are many problems with Critical Race Theory. I will address only a few of such problems:
1). Critical Race Theory is a racist doctrine that is being incorporated into the classroom to do nothing more than perpetuate racism, division, suspicion, and hatred among our next generation of American citizens.
2). Critical Race Theory is a policy that amounts to INDOCTRINATION in the public school system. The school system was never meant to be a place that indoctrinates our children; it was never meant to supplant the role of the parents or the family in the upbringing of their children or the impressions of their minds. The role – the ONLY role – of the school system is to provide children an honest and accurate education.
3). A Critical Race Theory Plan (or whatever the name they choose to give it) transforms the primary goal of a teacher – from basic education to mind control. It gives teachers too much opportunity to shape a student’s views on social and political issues rather than being one who strictly instructs in the core subjects. Again, “whoever controls the education of our children controls the future.” How does it become the school’s job to perpetuate racism and teach children to “view problems and issues through the lens of race?”
4). Critical Race Theory has no place in our taxpayer-funded schools. All white people are not racists and hardly anyone is a white supremacist, and not all black people are oppressed and discriminated against. How dare our public schools teach racism to our children (again, while they are still at a vulnerable age). The truth is that success in life is based on a lot of things, such as a stable home life, having two committed parents, study habits, ambition, support from parents, who the child associates with, morals and values, peer pressure, drug usage, access to technology, and yes, even religion…. but the color of one’s skin isn’t really one of them. How can we ever hope to teach true equality to our children and take pride in the fact that we have been able to overcome discrimination and segregation over the many years by all legal and constitutional means possible when we plan to teach that it will never be possible because of structural racism. We can’t have it both ways.
(5) Mr. Derrick Wilburn, the founder and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, and a devout Christian, addressed a local school board regarding Race and Critical Race Theory on August 12 and made the perfect case against racism and against the incorporation of Critical Race Theory in the school system. These were his remarks:
“I’d like to begin my comments this evening by reading a quote which, in essence, is the genesis of the whole black lives matter, critical race theory, social justice discussions we are having in our country today. Quote: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Colin Kaepernick, 2016.
I am the direct descendant of the North American slave trade. Both my parents are black, all four of my grandparents are black, all eight of my great grandparents were black, all 16 of my great great greats were black. On my mother’s side, my ancestors were enslaved in Alabama, and on my father’s side, my ancestors were enslaved in Texas. I am not oppressed. I’m not oppressed, and I’m not a victim. I’m either oppressed nor a victim.
I travel all across this country of ours, and I check into hotels and I fly commercially, and I walk into retail establishments, and I order food in restaurants. I go wherever I want whenever I want. I am treated with kindness, dignity, and respect literally from coast to coast.
I have three children. They are not oppressed either, although they are victims. I’ve taught my children they are victims of three things: their own ignorance, their own laziness, and their own poor decision making. That is all.
We are not victims of America. We are not victims of some unseen 190-year-old force that floats around in the ether. Putting Critical Race Theory into our classrooms is taking our nation in the wrong direction. Racism in America would, by and large, be dead today if it were not for certain people and institutions keeping it on life support. And sadly, sadly, very sadly, one of those institutions is the American education system.
I can think of nothing more damaging to a society than to tell a baby born today that she has grievances against another baby born today simply because of what their ancestors may have done two centuries ago. There is simply no point in doing that to our children. And putting Critical Race Theory into our classrooms, in part, does that. Putting Critical Race Theory into our classrooms is not combating racism; it is fanning the flames of what little embers are left. I encourage you to support this resolution. LET RACISM DIE THE DEATH IT DESERVES.”
As the group Parents Defending Education says: “We are so proud to defend what we do, because it is simple. We believe that schools should teach children that the child that they are sitting next to, no matter their color, their religion, or their identity, is a person just like them, and that they are their friend, and we need to be nice to them.”
(6). The teaching of Critical Race Theory is unconstitutional according to several constitutional principles and theories. It violates the Fourteenth Amendment (“Equal Protection” Clause), the First Amendment (“compelled speech”), and violates the NC state constitution as well (Article I, sections 1, 5, 14, 19). Additionally, CRT is inconsistent with civil rights laws, specifically the Civil Rights Act (1964). Finally, it is inconsistent with the key phrase in the Declaration of Independence – “all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights.”
According to the legal opinion of Montana’s Attorney General, teaching a theory that holds whites are inherently racist and blacks are systemically discriminated against by them is unconstitutional (Equal Protection Clause) and violates the federal Civil Rights law. For that reason, he believes there is comprehensive justification for banning teaching the theory in schools. And 25 other states agree. They’ve introduced bills or taken other steps to prevent CRT from being taught in their public schools.
CRT clearly discriminates “on the basis of race, color, or national origin,” in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and various sections (Article I) of the NC constitution. Training programs, teachings, or assignments which force students or employees to admit, accept, affirm, or support controversial concepts such as privilege, culpability, identity, or status, constitute “compelled speech,” which is something the First Amendment forbids the government from forcing people to do.
If a public institution such as a school tries to restrict people’s speech or behavior, it may be also a First Amendment violation.
But don’t think that concerned parents haven’t become “mamma bears” over this issue and that concerned citizens haven’t joined in for the fight against the dishonest and perverse indoctrination of our next generation. As of the end of August of this year, statistics tell their story:
- Eight states (Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, New Hampshire, Arizona, and South Carolina) have passed legislation. Interestingly though, none of these state bills actually mention the words “critical race theory” explicitly, with the exception of Idaho.
- The legislations mostly ban the discussion, training, and/or orientation that the U.S. is inherently racist as well as any discussions about conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression. These parameters also extend beyond race to include gender lectures and discussions.
- Nearly 20 additional states have introduced or plan to introduce similar legislation.
- North Carolina attempted to pass such a bill – TWICE – and finally did on May 12 of this year (H.B. 324) but Governor Roy Cooper, acting against the voice and will of the people, vetoed it.
- State reps in Montana and South Dakota have denounced teaching concepts associated with CRT.
- The state school boards in Florida, Georgia, Utah, and Oklahoma introduced new guidelines barring CRT-related discussions.
- Local school boards in Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia also criticized CRT. (Opposition continues to grow)
You can find a summary of this legislation, we well as a summary of the actions of state school boards and local school boards against CRT, at the end of the article referenced at this link: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/07/02/why-are-states-banning-critical-race-theory/
Meanwhile, back in August, a group of Republican attorneys general from 20 states sent the Biden administration a 10-page letter chastising federal officials for using two grant programs as “a thinly veiled attempt at bringing into our states’ classrooms the deeply-flawed and controversial teachings of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project.”
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) is trying to prevent the Biden administration from forcing the U.S. military from incorporating elements of what he characterizes as critical race theory in its training programs and 30 House Republicans, led by North Carolina’s own Rep. Dan Bishop, have also signed onto an effort to ban Critical Race Theory from training for the armed services and federal employees.
The origins of these push-back efforts go back to President Donald Trump, who warned about the implementation of such a divisive policy during his final months in office, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer. The Trump administration called CRT “un-American” and sought to ban its influence from the federal government.
Critical Race Theory has become adopted by almost every and any agency or department, or group, that associates itself with public education as well as with the government. For example, the APA (American Psychology Association) has this statement on its homepage: “On October 29, 2021, the APA Council of Representatives passed three resolutions which include acknowledging and apologizing for APA’s role in promoting and perpetuating racism and racial discrimination in the U.S.; the role of psychology and APA in dismantling systemic racism in the U.S.; and advancing health equity in psychology.” [ https://www.apa.org/about/apa/addressing-racism ]
Have the collective lost their minds? Sanity apparently has left the country.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) –
First came the denouncements of school district diversity, equity and inclusion programs, critical race theory, panoramic and other progressive identity surveys. Now, and rightfully so, suspicions are being directed at social and emotional learning.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the “warm fuzzy” of education. Is an education practice that integrates social and emotional skills into school curriculum. SEL is also referred to as “socio-emotional learning”, “social and emotional learning”, or “social-emotional literacy” National University explains it this way:
As an educator, some of the worst things you can hear a student say is, “This is stupid,” or “Why are we learning this?” Think back to when you were in school and the subjects that caused you the most frustration. You’d likely find some common ground with your students in wishing you were given clear reasons why something was important and how learning a subject or skill would benefit you now, as well as years later. That frustration and finding constructive ways to deal with emotions and interact with one another in respectful ways are just a few of the guiding principles behind social emotional learning.
Social emotion learning, if you believe what the progressive education gurus tell you, helps school officials find out about students’ emotions and social awareness in order to help them manage in the public education setting. How do school officials gather this information? They pass out a survey, a series of very personal questions asking about the child’s outlook, emotional status, gender status, home life, religious status, relationship with mother, relationship with father, inquiring if there is both a mother and father, asking how much time he or she spends alone at home without a parent in the house, asking if daddy hits mommy, asking if the child has been abused by a parent, asking if there is a gun in the house, asking if the child has had sexual relations and if so, with how many partners, asking if the student needs to speak to a counselor, etc. The questions, aside from being very (and unnecessarily) probative, intrude most directly on a child’s right to privacy and the right of his or her parents to safeguard the information that the public school (and by extension, the government) collects. (Violation of privacy and a violation of parental rights). But the questions don’t stop with an inquiry as to the child’s emotional and psychological well-being. They ask unacceptable questions about sexuality and gender (unacceptable for the age and development of school-age children) as well as questions that can be used to report the child and the family to the departments of social services and to the local law enforcement agencies.
Social and emotional learning, which is essentially a program of in-school psychological training, has become the major vehicle for teaching the tenets of Critical Race Theory and the LGBTQ agenda.
The good news is that parents have woken up. They have realized that these SEL questionnaires and surveys are nothing more than a progressive’s way of using “identity” surveys as a cover for their agenda to push and “progress” social norms to the next generation. Some say schools are overstepping by teaching these concepts, a lament shared on T-shirts worn by protesting residents at a recent Cherokee school board meeting that proclaimed,
One parent attended a school board meeting with a tee shirt that read: “I don’t co-parent with the government.”
Give a progressive school board an inch and it will take a mile. Give government an inch and it will take a mile. We all know their long-term goal – to replace the role of the parent with that of the school system and with teachers, and to replace common sense, moral, family values with the values of progressivism.
Why are parents opposing such SEL policies? Many see them for what they are. Many refer to them an “a dangerous experiment, a dangerous social experiment. And most are opposed to their inclusion in their children’s education because they believe that while the time the education system gets to educate and prepare children for higher education and/or to go out in the world to become a meaningful and productive member of society is short enough, there should be no time to teach about feelings and no time for indoctrination. Teachers should be focusing on what public schools were intended to do – teach CONTENT. That’s what parents expect. They don’t send their children to school for social-emotion-psychological nurturing. School isn’t about group therapy. As a parent from Georgia explained: “I don’t send my child to school to learn someone else’s definition of morals, values, empathy.”
Apparently, funding often plays a big part in SEL policies. Funding comes from federal COVID-19 Schools Relief package. Many school districts will plan to increase their emphasis on social emotional learning in order to get federal dollars. Follow the money !
The bottom line is that SEL inquiries are outside the scope of acceptable assignments for school-age children. It is not the role of a school system to question a child’s mental or emotional well-being, to teach morality, to shape a child’s character, to emphasize sex, or to introduce confusion regarding a child’s gender and sexual orientation. All of these issues belong at home with the parents, with the family, and yes, even with the church.
Panoramic Surveys –
Panorama Surveys, which are a series of carefully-designed questions, are designed to pull students’ information together in one report apparently to give the school system insight into their individual identity, their emotional status and vulnerability, and psychological status and vulnerability for the purpose of helping to “improving student outcomes.” The explanation sold to parents and to the community is that Panorama surveys provide a valid and reliable way “to measure and improve social-emotional learning (SEL) in the public school system.” Social emotion learning is addressed below.
Such surveys are being given to students in public schools all across the country, including in North Carolina.
Sloan Rachmuth, founder and president of Education First Alliance, NC stands firm on this fundamental parental right: “No parent should ever fear unlawful surveillance of their families in public schools, especially from those charged with educating and caring for their children – yet that is exactly what’s happening.”
The NC Department of Instruction (NCDPI) has partnered with NC Health and Human Services (NCHSS) in operating the insidious program known as “Social Emotional Learning” (SEL) which has been explained above. SEL and Panorama have an incestuous relationship; SEL requires invasive Panorama Surveys to be administered to 1.5 million public school children via a software program attached to their student identifier number. Children are asked questions about their happiness, their satisfaction with their classes, with their teachers, their assignments, their sexuality, race, nationality, and about their lifestyles and safety at home. As if these series of questions aren’t enough, school-age children are also asked to complete a psychiatric evaluation.
On its website, Education First Alliance explains Panorama in North Carolina schools:
NC’s version of SEL is deceptively named, however. Upon closer inspection of how the program works, the “learning” part of SEL is partly on the part of the students and partially on the part of the school state who are using questionnaires to peel copious amounts of private information out of school-aged children, all in the name of tailoring their classroom experience.
According to CASEL’s program literature, the program contains critical race theory teachings such as avoiding “White racial entitlement and dominance,” prioritizes developing student and parental “critical social awareness,” and cites problems with teachers being “middle-class White women.“
[The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), which is the State School Board, announced in June 2020 that it would be partnering with The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to “meet the SEL [social emotional learning] needs of students and staff.”
Children are protected by gross invasions of privacy by Federal and State Laws which require parental notification and consent prior to student surveys data collection is supposed to be aggregated. Yet that has not always happened in the many school districts across North Carolina. In Pitt County, for example, many parents were never notified prior to schools giving Panorama Surveys. In one case, a parent called the principal to opt their child out of these surveys and after the principal agreed, she coerced the child into taking the survey the following day. The message given? The school system knows, moreso than the parents, know what is best for their child.
In other cases, school Superintendents have lied to elected school board members – giving them a FAKE survey to conceal their nefarious plans.
Education First has submitted the following questions to the NC DPI, which to date, have not been answered:
- Why are children’s data identified and attached to their student ID?
- Why are Principals using coercion and dishonesty to make students take these surveys?
- Why is a foreign organization with ties to the Chinese government paying for these surveys?
- Why is NC Department of Health involved with collecting mental health data of public school children?
- Will NCDPI force medical or psychological treatment on white children to achieve its equity goals?
- Since some districts are not allowing parents to object to surveys, will schools give drugs to children without the knowledge of parents?
Sloan Rachmuth and Education First Alliance are asking parents and concerned citizens to join them in calling on the NCDPI and the NC General Assembly to STOP funding the Panorama Survey program and to fully dismantle it. And to do the same for the SEL Program and the Office of Equity Affairs (Durham County). Panorama, SEL, and the Office of Equity Affairs comprise North Carolina’s “Child Spying Program.”
The millions spent on these confusing, borderline useless, and non-essential programs would be far better spent by investing in the actual purpose of public education – actual EDUCATION !! Another thought is to use that money to invest in gifted student education. We always hear about diversity in education, as if that criteria is of supreme importance, yet we never hear about investment in STEM programs or “gifted student” education. STEM programs and programs for more gifted students are the gold standards of public education.
Equity & Inclusion Programs (Advancing Racial Equality and Social Justice) –
We have all been taught that the United States stands for Equality. It’s addressed in our Constitution, through its many amendments. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Robert Kennedy Jr, fought very publicly for equality in the 1960’s. Some even believe that each was assassinated because of their activism. Equality implies tolerance and acceptance. It implies a color-blind approach to everything.
Equity in education is the process of reforming practices, policies, and procedures at the school and district levels to support academic fairness and inclusion and ensure that every child has the resources, teachers, interventions, and supports they need to be successful. Equity is giving specific resources and support to disadvantaged students to bring them up to the same opportunity level as their peers. Equity is determined on a student-by-student basis. As Dr. Keith Bell explains: “In more simple terms, ‘those who need more get more.”
Equality, on the other hand, refers to the principle that every student receives the same access to education, the same resources, teachers, and support needed to be successful. Equality is providing the same opportunities to all students.
Equity is not the same as equality. The West Hartford Public School System (WHPS) in Connecticut (a very progressive state) explains why it stresses equity over equality. “The fact is tolerance is not justice. It isn’t a sufficient description of the work we do or of the world we want.”
The website of WHPS states as its “Vision for Equity and Anti-Racism”:
We, the members of West Hartford Public Schools, dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of equity. Equitable schools are those that value and honor ALL in our community as unique individuals capable of maximizing their true potential. We make a solemn promise to identify and dismantle all elements of systemic racism and historical inequities. We vow to clear paths, with a relentless duty to those in traditionally marginalized groups. We pledge to partner with ALL families in the service of the success of each child.
Most of the student groups who apparently cannot receive or appreciate the same opportunities as their peers are minorities and those who come from a broken and impoverished home. The most commonly-referenced underserved student groups are students who are from ethnic and/or racial minority backgrounds (mostly blacks and Hispanics), low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, or those who are first-generation English Language Learners (ELL) – again mostly Hispanic. Other groups apparently needing “equity” in education include LGBT students, foster students, transgender students, students whose parent(s) don’t have a college degree, students in remote rural areas, students who have no access to computers, and more.
Equity is applied not only to disadvantaged children, to children from disadvantaged families (if there is even a family) and to mal-adjusted children (socially, psychologically, and gender-wise), which would be classified under the banner of “Opportunity Gap,” but also to those groups of students who suffer an “Achievement Gap,” including low graduation rates.
As should be evident from this article and overview of the various progressive doctrines in our nation’s public school system, many are inter-related. They support each other. For example, The Panoramic, or Identity, Surveys adopted by The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) includes five social, emotional learning (SEL) competencies (categories) to organize students’ intrapersonal and interpersonal knowledge, skills, and abilities. CASEL views these competencies as “interrelated and integral to the growth and development of students.” In 2019, CASEL updated the definition of each competency to explicitly address SEL as a lever for creating equitable learning environments and fostering healthy development for all children, adolescents, and adults.
It’s hypocritical that when it comes to “equity in education,” schools are happy and content to rely on parents who have been college-educated to supplement their child’s education (so they can spend more on the “less-fortunate” students) yet at the same time view informed and concerned parents as nuisances and “potential terrorists” who should be kept under the surveillance of law enforcement.
Where are the additional opportunities and the investments in “accelerated” students and other gifted students?
Finally, to understand the push of such Panorama surveys in the public school system, follow the money. (Go to the reference and link at the end of the article).
LGBTQ Agenda –
Over the past 10-15 years, there has been a movement to teach children in the public school system to be tolerant of and to be respectful of gay and lesbian individuals. It’s a movement that LBGBTQ activists call “queering the schools.” While the teaching of tolerance and respect are good and Christian ideals, incorporating the “gay” agenda in doing so strains the understanding of parents of school-age children. And especially when such policies are now going down to the elementary school level.
Parents resent the school’s attempt to undermine the role of parents in the socialization of their children. They resent the school’s attempt to undermine the biblical values they teach at home. They resent the school’s attempt to force acceptance of progressive thinking on them.
From an article in the City Journal (“Queering the Schools,” 2003):
At a high school in prosperous Newton, Massachusetts, it’s “To B GLAD Day”—or, less delicately, Transgender, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian Awareness Day. An advocacy session for students and teachers features three self-styled transgendered individuals—a member of the senior class and two recent graduates. One of the transgenders, born female, announces that “he” had been taking hormones for 16 months. “Right now I am a 14-year-old boy going through puberty and a 55-year-old woman going through menopause,” she complains. “I am probably the moodiest person in the world.” A second panelist declares herself an “androgyne in between both genders of society.” She adds, “Gender is just a bunch of stereotypes from society, but I am completely personal, and my gender is fluid.” Massachusetts is the most advanced state when it comes to educational equity for LGBT people, and that despite its being largely Catholic and having a Republican governor
Only in liberal Massachusetts could a public school endorse such an event for teens, you might think. But you would be wrong. For the last decade or so, largely working beneath public or parental notice, a well-organized movement has sought to revolutionize the curricula and culture of the nation’s public schools. Its aim: to stamp out “hegemonic heterosexuality”—the traditional view that heterosexuality is the norm—in favor of a new ethos that does not just tolerate homosexuality but instead actively endorses experimenting with it, as well as with a polymorphous range of bisexuality, transgenderism, and transsexuality. The educational establishment has enthusiastically signed on. What this portends for the future of the public schools and the psychic health of the nation’s children is deeply worrisome.
This movement to “queer” the public schools, as activists put it, originated with a shift in the elite understanding of homosexuality. During the eighties, when gay activism first became a major cultural force, homosexual leaders launched a campaign that mirrored the civil rights movement. To claim their rights, homosexuals argued (without scientific evidence) that their orientation was a genetic inheritance, like race, and thus deserved the same kind of civil protections the nation had guaranteed to blacks. An inborn, unchangeable fact, after all, could not be subject to moral disapproval. There ensued a successful effort to normalize homosexuality throughout the culture, including a strong push for homosexual marriage, gays in the military, and other signs of civic equality.
Leading the movement to introduce the radical view of sexuality, promoted by “Queer theorists,” into the public schools is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network (GLSEN, pronounced “glisten”), an advocacy group founded in 1993 to promote homosexual issues in the public schools. It now boasts 85 chapters, four regional offices, and some 1,700 student clubs, called “gay/straight alliances,” that it has helped form in schools across the country. GLSEN seeks to transform the culture and instruction of every public school so that children will learn to equate “heterosexism”—the favoring of heterosexuality as normal—with other evils like racism and sexism so that they can and sometimes will grow up pondering their sexual orientation and the fluidity of their sexual identity.
To help get the LGBT message across to younger children, GLSEN offers teachers an array of educational products, including such early-reader books as “One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads” and “King and King” and “Asha’s Mums.” As far as teaching aids go, a 1999 book, “Queering Elementary Education” with a foreword by GLSEN executive director Kevin Jennings, offers essays such as “Locating a Place for Gay and Lesbian Themes in Elementary Reading, Writing and Talking.”
Rutgers English professor Michael Warner, a leading “intellectual” on Queer Theory, asserts that categories like “heterosexual” and “homosexual” are part of “the regime of the normal” that needs to be replaced, just as every progressive policy seeks to do – erase the “normal.” To overturn the old dichotomies of hetero/homo and even male/female, Warner encourages continuous sexual experimentation. What a novel concept to teach to our children! (sarcasm)
The City Journal article continues:
One of the major goals of GLSEN and similar groups is to reform public school curricula and teaching so that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender—or LGBT—themes are always central and always presented in the approved light. GLSEN holds regular conferences for educators and activists with workshops bearing titles such as “Girls Will Be Boys and Boys Will Be Girls: Creating a Safe, Supportive School Environment for Trans, Intersex, Gender Variant and Gender Questioning Youth” and “Developing and Implementing a Transgender Inclusive Curriculum.” Every course in every public school should focus on LGBT issues, GLSEN believes. A workshop at GLSEN’s annual conference in Chicago in 2000 complained that “most LGBT curricula are in English, history and health” and sought ways of introducing its agenda into math and science classes, as well. (As an example of how to queer geometry, GLSEN recommends using gay symbols such as the pink triangle to study shapes.)
For comprehensiveness, nothing beats a GLSEN-recommended resource manual distributed to all K–12 public schools in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The manual presents an educational universe that filters everything through an LGBT lens. Lesson ideas include “role playing” exercises to “counter harassment,” where students pretend, say, to be bisexual and hear hurtful words cast at them; testing students to see where their attitudes lie toward sexual “difference” (mere tolerance is unacceptable; much better is “admiration” and, best of all, “nurturance”); getting students to take a “Sexual Orientation Quiz”; and having heterosexual students learn 37 ways that heterosexuals are privileged in society. In turn, principals should make an “ongoing PA announcement”—once a week, the manual says—telling students about confidential support programs for LGBT students.
Two videos come particularly highly rated by gay activists and educators as tools for making primary school queer-friendly. Both films strive to present homosexuality in a favorable light, without saying what it actually is. It’s Elementary, intended for parents, educators, and policymakers, shows how classroom teachers can lead kindergartners through carefully circumscribed discussions of the evils of prejudice, portrayed as visited to an unusual degree on gays and lesbians. In That’s a Family, designed for classroom use, children speak directly into the camera, explaining to other kids how having gay and lesbian parents is no different from, for example, having parents of different national backgrounds.
GLSEN even provides lesson plans for the promotion of cross-dressing in elementary school classes. A school resource book containing such lesson plans, Cootie Shots: Theatrical Inoculations Against Bigotry for Kids, Parents, and Teachers, has already been used in second-grade classrooms in California. A children’s play in the book features a little boy singing of the exhilaration of striding about “In Mommy’s High Heels,” in angry defiance of the criticism of his intolerant peers:
They are the swine, I am the pearl. . . .
They’ll be beheaded when I’m queen!
When I rule the world! When I rule the world!
When I rule the world in my mommy’s high heels!
Some of the LGBT-friendly curricular material aimed at older children is quite sexually explicit. The GLSEN-recommended reading list for grades 7–12 is dominated by such material, depicting the queer sexuality spectrum. In Your Face: Stories from the Lives of Queer Youth features a 17-year-old who writes, “I identify as bisexual and have since I was about six or seven. . . . I sort of experimented when I was young.” Another GLSEN recommendation, Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology, has a 16-year-old contributor who explains, “My sexuality is as fluid, indefinable and ever-changing as the north flowing river.”
Some of the most explicit homosexual material has shown up in classrooms. An Ohio teacher encouraged her freshman students to read Entries From a Hot Pink Notebook, a teen coming-out story that includes a graphic depiction of sex between two 14-year-old boys. In Newton, Massachusetts, a public school teacher assigned his 15-year-old students The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a farrago of sexual confusion, featuring an episode of bestiality as one of its highlights. Such books represent a growth industry for publishers, including mainstream firms.
As part of its effort to make the public schools into an arena of homosexual and transgender advocacy, GLSEN works assiduously to build a wide network of student organizers. It looks for recruits as young as 14, who in turn are to bring on board other students to form gay/straight alliances or other homosexual-themed student clubs at their schools. Glancing over the biographies of 2002’s student organizers reveals a uniform faith among them that experimenting with a range of homosexual behaviors serves the cause of civil rights.
The LGBTQ movement, gay/straight alliances, and GLSEN have become quite efficient about using the issue of “safety” and demanding “safe spaces” to silence opponents. Having a history of gay and lesbian individuals being bullied at school has allowed groups like GLSEN to command the upper hand in debates on “tolerance” in the school system. What they demand they usually succeed in getting.
At the urging of these groups, schools across the country have also established “safe” rooms for homosexual or sexually confused students, as if they might not be safe from “hate” and “intolerance” elsewhere in the school. In these rooms, identified by inverted pink triangles, students can discuss same-sex attraction or anxiety about sexual orientation with teachers or counselors, who promise a nonjudgmental and sympathetic hearing. Students who drop by for private discussion about their sexual confusion will often be referred, without parental knowledge, to local chapters of gay and lesbian organizations.
In the minds of many adults and parents, homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle, a choice of which gender to be romantically and sexually involved with; it’s a matter of free choice. This may explain why many parents are opposed to such aggressive policies in the public school system, even beginning with elementary school – they see such advocacy as a form of recruitment. Even more frustrating to them is the fact that schools that claim to have the best interests for student education in mind have no problem seeing funds going to programs teaching about the LGBTQ agenda when so many public schools fail even to produce minimally literate and numerate graduates. They are equally frustrated that so much emphasis is being placed on such “tolerance” programs and lessons especially when all the evidence suggests that the incidence of self-labeled homosexuality and bisexuality in the population is in fact quite minuscule. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, only 4.5% of adult Americans identified as LGBT with 5.1% of women identifying as LGBT, compared with 3.9% of men. (4.5% + 3.9%) ÷ 2 = 4.5% ]. And according to a poll taken in 2016 by the Williams Institute, an estimated 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as transgender
The article ends by asking these questions: “How many parents, even those not just tolerant of homosexuality but actively sympathetic toward homosexual rights, would really want their teenage children to be seeking out a “unique expression” of sexuality (let alone with their school’s help) or learning how to “fist”? How many would want their kindergartners—just figuring out their identities and desperately needing clear-cut categories like “boy” and “girl” to make sense of them—to engage in “non-traditional role play,” so that they grow up with warm feelings about transgendered people? Or their elementary school boys and girls exposed to sexual themes that they aren’t old enough to understand and that are likely to fill them with anxiety? Parents might well brush off an old-fashioned word and describe it all as, well . . . perverse.”
The bottom line is that with all the gender identity, transgenderism, gender fluidity, and LGBTQ polities, school systems will likely have to create a more gender-inclusive classroom environments.
A definition and explanation of “transgenderism” from the Planned Parenthood website reads:
Some people feel that the sex (gender) they were assigned at birth doesn’t necessarily match their gender identity, or the gender that they feel they are inside. These people are often called “transgender.”
Transgender is about gender identity and not biological gender. Transgender is a term that includes the many ways that people’s gender identities can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. There are alot of different terms transgender people use to describe themselves, including the simplified term “trans.”
Transgender people express their gender identities in many different ways. Some people use their dress, behavior, and mannerisms to live as the gender that feels right for them. Some people take hormones and may have surgery to change their body so it matches their gender identity. Some transgender people reject the traditional understanding of gender as divided between just “male” and “female,” so they identify just as transgender, or genderqueer, genderfluid, or something else.
When people’s assigned sex and gender identity are the same, they are called “cisgender.”
“Gender dysphoria” is another facet of this issue. Gender dysphoria is a term that psychologists and doctors use to describe the distress, unhappiness, and anxiety that transgender people may feel about the mismatch between their bodies and their gender identity. A person may be formally diagnosed with gender dysphoria in order to receive medical treatment to help them during their “transition.”
Psychologists used to call this “gender identity disorder.” However, the mismatch between a person’s body and gender identity isn’t in itself a mental illness (but it can cause emotional distress), and so the term was changed to reflect that.
One’s “transgender identity” is different from sexual orientation. People often confuse gender identity with sexual orientation. But being transgender isn’t the same thing as being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Gender identity, whether transgender or cisgender, is about who you are inside as male, female, both, or none of these. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight describes who you are attracted to romantically, emotionally, and sexually. A transgender person can be gay, lesbian, straight, or bisexual, just like someone who’s cisgender. A simple way to think about it is: Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with. Gender identity is about who you are.
Of course, we all remember or should remember an important lesson from Biology class and that that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) contains the blueprint for our identity. It codes for all our traits – our gender, our facial features, our body type, our height, our hair color, eye color, the shape of our nose, the overall the health of our body…. everything. It directs us through all the various phases of our life – our development in the womb, our growth through our childhood years, puberty and beyond. It eventually enables us to reproduce and ultimately, it signals our bodies to age and then to wind down. It is a brilliant system and I believe, is direct evidence of intelligence and the intent of our Creator. So when you hear people say that their “gender identify” doesn’t coincide with their biological gender or that they want to change their gender, that they believe there are more than two genders or we can change back and forth between genders (gender fluidity), just remember that one’s gender identity is permanently encoded in one’s DNA; it is stamped at birth – There are only 2 genders. If a person has sex chromosomes XX, then she is a female. If a person has an X and a Y chromosome, then he is a male. A person may want to change the window dressing, they may want to dress differently, change their voice, add body parts they weren’t born with, etc but it does NOT change their biological sex. That is forever coded in their DNA. Science cannot ignore the information in one’s DNA. Transgenderism and gender fluidity conflict with the defined and permanent laws of nature and biology, and so, to teach these progressive social developments to our children in school is intellectually dishonest, unethical, and confusing.
Even understanding DNA and knowing the biology regarding gender, and disregarding its natural laws, schools continue to teach transgenderism – even to children as young as kindergarteners. Parents of West Hartford Public Schools (WHPS) in Connecticut informed Parents Defending Education (PDE) that the kindergarten reading list in the school district includes the progressive book “Introducing Teddy,” a book described at Amazon.com as one that “introduces the youngest readers to understanding gender identity and transition in an accessible and heart-warming story about being true to yourself and being a good friend.” Furthermore, the parents complained that Hartford district officials will not allow children to be opted out of the curriculum. In other words, they have usurped the authority of the parents to have a say in what is being taught to their children.
The list of kindergarten books at WHPS also includes “Pink Is for Boys” and “Let’s Talk About Race.”
The reading list for 4th graders includes book “When Aiden Became a Brother,” which is full of gender (specifically, transgender) theory. Aiden, as a child, is convinced that he was born with the wrong gender. In the book, he concludes that his inner self doesn’t coincide with his biological gender and the author celebrates his transition” – his ‘coming out’ to becoming a big brother. It is written convincingly for children, and parents are incensed that such a book has been approved for their young children to read. Parents Defending Education contends that both books are confusing and manipulative and play to a progressive agenda.
As Breitbart News commented: “Teaching elementary students that their parents assigned them their gender at birth but may have gotten it wrong because anatomy is separate from gender is an obscene example of adults using ideology to confuse and manipulate children’s minds. The fact that parents are not permitted to opt their children out of this content based in gender ideology is so sinister, it’s hard to believe it’s even legal.”
Gender Fluidity and Pronoun Choice –
Someone who is “gender fluid” is a person whose gender identity (the gender they identify with most) is not fixed. It can change over time or from day-to-day. Such individuals believe that gender is non-binary, meaning that not all humans fit squarely into either the male or female category. Gender, then, is different from biological sex, which refers to the genitalia with which you are born.
Fluidity, therefore, is a form of gender identity or gender expression, rather than a sexual orientation.
As mentioned above, gender fluidity conflicts with the defined and permanent laws of nature and biology, and so, to teach these progressive social developments to our children in school is intellectually dishonest, unethical, and confusing.
Progressive health lessons (including alternative life styles and alternative sex education) –
Children and teenagers confront a barrage of information and situations related to sexuality. Guidance from families and schools is key in fostering teenagers’ healthy sexual development and responsible behavior. Far more adolescents are sexually active now than was the case in recent decades. Fifty-six percent (56%) of boys and 50% of girls aged 15-19 report having had sexual intercourse. Every year, nearly one million teenage girls become pregnant, and about 80% of those pregnancies are unintended. Rates of sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS infection, are on the rise among teenagers. The progressive organization, Planned Parenthood believes that comprehensive sexuality education in public school health classes can be critical in giving young people the information and skills they need to make responsible decisions and to protect themselves. By “comprehensive sexuality education,” the ACLU means a thorough, accurate curriculum that examines such subjects as human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior and health, including changing norms in our quickly “progressing” society.
Many states sponsor some form of sexuality education through laws, regulations, or recommendations. At present, 19 states require that schools provide sexuality education, and 34 states require instruction about sexually transmitted diseases and/or HIV/AIDS. Although these statistics suggest that sexuality education is widespread in American schools, the quality and comprehensiveness of this education vary considerably. In some places, teachers of sexuality education are prohibited from mentioning topics such as intercourse, masturbation, abortion, homosexuality, or condoms. Currently, only five percent of American students receive truly comprehensive sexuality education.
Diversity & Inclusion –
As mentioned above, equality has given way to “equity” in the US public school system. Following the death of George Floyd last year (May 25, 2020), schools have begun to focus on promoting diversity and inclusion. For example, in Ohio, school districts currently use a program for students centered around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, referred to as the “JEDI program.” It was designed with great help from one of the state’s diversity centers. Most recently, Ohio parents have expressed their opposition over the program, arguing that it is “controversial and political,” which is inappropriate for the public school education of children. They say the program supports the teachings of Critical Race Theory, which they are also very much against.
The following excerpt regarding Diversity & Inclusion comes from the US Department of Education, which we all should know is an unconstitutional government entity:
A growing body of research shows that diversity in schools and communities can be a powerful lever leading to positive outcomes in school and in life. Racial and socioeconomic diversity benefits communities, schools, and children from all backgrounds. Today’s students need to be prepared to succeed with a more diverse and more global workforce than ever before. Research has shown that more diverse organizations make better decisions with better results. The effects of socioeconomic diversity can be especially powerful for students from low-income families, who, historically, often have not had equal access to the resources they need to succeed. Additionally, Congress recently highlighted the importance of this priority in its “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) through its inclusion of this priority particularly for Charter Management Organizations.
In light of this growing body of research on socioeconomic diversity, ED has undertaken new efforts to support this prioritization in a number of ways:
- The Department’s Investing in Innovation, Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities Program, Magnet Schools Assistance Program and Charter Schools Program competitions each include a focus on fostering socioeconomic diversity in schools.
- The Department published a new supplemental priority for discretionary grant programs that support socioeconomic diversity strategies in the future, starting with fiscal year 2016.
- The Department has solicited feedback on supporting socioeconomic diversity as a strategy to turnaround low-performing schools through its School Improvement Grants program.
- Socioeconomic diversity is now a focus area of the Department’s Equity Assistance Centers. These regional centers provide technical assistance to school districts to promote equal educational opportunities.
- These efforts build on President Obama’s Stronger Together proposal—a voluntary program to support the development, implementation, and expansion of community-driven strategies to increase socioeconomic diversity in America’s public schools.
- The Department will significantly expand funding to a number of distressed communities across the nation through implementing comprehensive cradle-to-college-and-career Promise Neighborhoods
- The Department published Improving Outcomes for All Students: Strategies and Considerations to Increase Student Diversity [PDF, 360KB], an action-oriented summary of considerations when embarking on efforts to increase student diversity, starting with possible steps to consider when conducting a diversity needs assessment and planning for implementation. Potential diversity strategies and a few examples from the field are included, as well as thoughts on efforts to sustain an inclusive environment once diversity strategies are being implemented.
Recognizing the cross-sector nature of this work, ED has also partnered with the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Transportation (DOT) to help state and local leaders increase diversity in their schools and communities, and narrow opportunity gaps:
- In a joint letter issued by all three agencies, state and local leaders are called to work together in community-led efforts to promote and support socioeconomic and racial diversity in ways that create real economic mobility and provide access to opportunities for every child in every community. Working together with local education, transportation, and housing and community development agencies, communities can help create and sustain access to high-quality educational opportunities; decent, safe and affordable housing; and well-connected public transportation networks and safer streets.
- The agencies also hosted an interagency listening session for education, housing, and transportation leaders at the U.S. Department of Education’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The session addresses the need for increased diversity in our schools and neighborhoods, and challenges and opportunities for creating this. http://edstream.ed.gov/webcast/Play/afc380b8183d4d418b18af9fbd3ace8b1d
These recent efforts build on the series of steps to promote strong and diverse schools and early learning programs that ED has taken during the past several years, including:
- Investing in programs that support diverse schools (Opening Doors, Expanding Opportunities Program, Magnet Schools Assistance Program, Charter Schools Program, and Preschool Development Grant program selection criteria);
- Issuing guidance in conjunction with the Department of Justice explaining how K-12 educational institutions can lawfully pursue voluntary policies to achieve diversity or avoid racial isolation within the framework of Titles IV and VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and current case law; distributing guidance and a letter on the voluntary use of race to achieve diversity in higher education concerning the implementation of Fisher and Schuette; a letter to educational leaders of institutions of higher education to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion or national origin and create safe learning environments; and guidance about ensuring students have equal access to educational resources without regard to race, color, or national origin.
- Resolving complaints and compliance reviews related to racial discrimination at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels through ED’s Office for Civil Rights, which has included reviewing university admissions plans for compliance with Title VI, as well as resolution agreements with school districts to increase equal access to criteria-based schools.
[Source: https://www.ed.gov/diversity-opportunity ]
Pornography in Books available to school-age children –
In recent months, there has been a shocking departure from the age-appropriate books in elementary school libraries, middle school libraries, and high school libraries to the progressive gender-obsessed, transgender, same-sex, hyper-sexualized, violence-themed, and even pornographic books. The departure from age-appropriate reading material to borderline pornographic reading material (including depictions) is all done in the name of “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Parents currently do not have a say on what is offered to their children in these libraries, which is, in itself, a huge issue. It is an undisputed fact that there are reports from all over the country of the sexually explicit and pornographic content that is being disseminated to children through the public education system.
How and why is this happening? What we are realizing is that libraries and even classroom “required reading” assignments have become the new outlets and venues for the American Library Association (ALA), the nation’s largest association of librarians. The ALA, which receives funds of about $17 million, publishes one of the most widely used “diversity” book lists, and school librarians and school officials use that list to buy books.
Virginia parents, for example, have expressed outrage at what they call pornography in their children’s library books and have expressed that anger at board meetings. One parent read excerpts and showed pictures from selected books, one of which showed a fourth-grade boy performing oral sex on a grown man. These parents have had some success and some books were eventually pulled (pending a “thorough review,” of course). But other offensive books, such as “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe and “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, are still available in school catalogs in several Virginia counties. Maryland public schools also have such books on their library shelves.
In 2016, Virginia’s Governor McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have prevented students from having to see such sexually explicit material in schools. The so-called “BELOVED bill,” which was named after a parent passionately objected to the sexually-explicit content in the novel of that name (authored by Toni Morrison), would have allowed parents to review and opt out of engaging with sexually explicit books that might be shown to their children. McAuliffe at the time called the bill “unnecessary” and said the matter would be resolved by the Virginia Board of Education. In 2017, however, the state board rejected a similar proposal to allow students to opt out of engaging with sexually explicit reading material. That’s Virginia for you.
An even more offensive book, one that has outraged parents nationally, is titled “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe. It is so sexually graphic that a parent could not read excerpts from it or even describe it in detail on a radio interview because of FCC guidelines. It is meant to be an autobiography about the author’s “journey of self-identity,” which, according to the description, includes “bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction.” When a Virginia parent raised concerns to her child’s county school superintendent, he defended the book in an email, likening it to art – specifically, to Michelangelo’s artwork “David” – and contrasting it with Playboy magazine.
The books of concern today contain graphic sexual images and descriptions of sex between children, teens and even adults and minors. Some are graphic novels that look like comic strips. The content is pornographic and represents a disturbing agenda by activists that targets youth, hiding behind seemingly virtuous and innocuous words such as “diversity” and “inclusion.”
North Carolina must not accept what Virginia has accepted.
NC Lt. Governor Mark Robinson believes he has a responsibility and the duty to protect all people, but most importantly, our children in the public school system. On October 11, at the Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, Robinson spoke these bold words: “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like it that I called it filth, come see me and I’ll explain it to you.” He was referring to the reading material available for 7thgraders. At the STAND UP FOR AMERICA rally in Raleigh last month, Lt. Gov. Robinson again echoed those views and added: “It’s filth, you and I know it. I don’t understand why they don’t understand it.”
So, what is the “filth” that our Lt. Governor has been speaking out against? If someone were to display some of the images from schoolbooks used for teaching in Michigan, for example, he or she would be arrested. In North Carolina, if students were to mimic what is being taught to them in their progressive health (sex education) classes, they would be guilty of a felony. If a person were to speak the words contained in the books that are available to students today, he or she be asked to stop since children were present. If it’s not appropriate for polite society, why is it appropriate to teach children?
The books “Forged in Fire” (addressing pedophilia, child rape) and “All American Boys” (very poorly-written and full of the F*** word and other curse words) are required reading for 8th grade students at Ayden Middle School, in Pitt County, NC. I’ve looked at several of the excerpts from these books and it is mind-blowing that adults, and especially individuals tasked with the responsible education of North Carolina children, would allow them, let alone even consider them as “appropriate” for middle-school reading assignments. I’m sure there are even worse books in the more “progressive” school districts, such as Wake county and Mecklenburg county.
Again, after reviewing all the progressive, offensive, perverse, vile, disgusting, and inappropriate material allowed in our North Carolina public schools, I have to ask 2 questions: (1) WHY? With the limited time the school system gets our children for the purpose of giving them a proper education, why do the state school board and local school boards think it’s valuable to misappropriate that time on progressive subjects, on resurrecting racism, and on indoctrination that fight against parents and family values and make it so hard for them to raise decent young men and women? And (2) How do such subjects and indoctrination coincide with the NC state constitution’s education mission to “forever encourage” religion, morality, and knowledge in education?
Finally, I say to the members of the NC Department of Instruction and to all the offending local boards of education: “SHAME ON YOU.” I say the same to our dishonorable governor Roy Cooper: “SHAME ON YOU, GOVERNOR COOPER!” You can all do better, and you must.
Christopher F. Rufo, “Subversive Education,” City Journal, March 17, 2021. Referenced at: https://www.city-journal.org/critical-race-theory-in-wake-county-nc-schools [City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank.]
Diane Rufino, “The Teaching of Critical Race Theory in Schools is Unconstitutional, ForLoveofGodandCountry’s Blog, September 14, 2021. Referenced at: https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2021/09/14/teaching-of-critical-race-theory-in-schools-is-unconstitutional/
Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson Addresses House Committee on the Judiciary, BreitbartNews (YouTube) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTvKswJjves&ab_channel=BreitbartNews
North Carolina Constitution, Article IX (“Education Encouraged” – https://ncleg.gov/Laws/Constitution/Article9
Michelle Cordero, “How Critical Race Theory is Dividing America,” The Heritage Foundation, October 26th, 2020. Referenced at: https://www.heritage.org/progressivism/commentary/how-critical-race-theory-dividing-america [Includes a podcast interview and a full transcript of that interview}
Srivats Lakshma, “What is SEL? Parents Push Back Against CRT’s “Trojan Horse,” Saying it Promotes Suicide,” November 16, 2021. Referenced at: https://meaww.com/social-emotional-learning-what-is-parents-push-back-crt-trojan-horse-explained
PANORAMA, 21 Quick Questions to Check-in on Your Students’ Well-Being in 2021-22 – https://www.panoramaed.com/blog/21-questions-check-in-student-sel-wellbeing
SEL Activities for Middle School – https://www.panoramaed.com/blog/social-emotional-learning-activities-middle-school
“Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools.” Human Rights Campaign. Referenced at: https://www.hrc.org/resources/schools-in-transition-a-guide-for-supporting-transgender-students-in-k-12-s (you can download a copy of the brochure from this site)
Derrick Wilburn addresses School Board on Race and Critical Race Theory, YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2fGVbMYp54&ab_channel=DerrickWilburn
Dr. Susan Berry, “Transgender: Connecticut Parents Report Kindergartners Taught Gender Ideology Without Opt-Out,” Breitbart, November 18, 2021. Referenced at: https://www.breitbart.com/education/2021/11/18/transgender-connecticut-parents-report-kindergartners-taught-gender-ideology-without-opt-out/
“Essentially Child Pornography” (addressing reading material for young children in Ohio schools), NBC News, September 15, 2021. Referenced at: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/essentially-child-pornography-ohio-mayor-asks-school-board-resign-over-n1279277
“Pornographic ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education’ in Massachusetts Public Schools,” Massachusetts Family Institute, January 17, 2020. Referenced at: https://www.mafamily.org/pornographic-comprehensive-sexuality-education-in-massachusetts-public-schools/
Josh Christenson, “Virginia Public School Books Contain Images Too Pornographic for TV,” The Washington Free Beacon, October 25, 2021. Referenced at: https://freebeacon.com/campus/virginia-public-school-books-contain-images-too-pornographic-for-tv/
Sanzi, “School Officials Must Pull Porn From Library Shelves,” The Valley Breeze, October 27, 2021. Referenced at: https://www.valleybreeze.com/opinion/school-officials-must-pull-porn-from-library-shelves/article_5c120a9c-365d-11ec-b199-f7ad31594170.html
Editorial, “NC Lt. Governor is Spot On Criticizing the ‘Filth’ in Public Education,” American NewsHub Triangle, October 30, 2021. Referenced at: https://trianglenewshub.com/breaking-news/nc-lt-governor-is-spot-on-criticizing-the-filth-in-public-education/ [North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson stands by LGBTQ+ ‘filth’ comments amid controversy]
“Stop North Carolina’s Child Spying Program,” Tell Legislators to DEFUND NC Department of Instruction & NC Health and Human Services spying program in our classrooms!,” Education First Alliance. Referenced at: https://www.edfirstnc.org/petition
Marjorie King, “Queering the Schools,” The City Journal magazine, spring 2003. Referenced at: https://www.city-journal.org/html/queering-schools-12411.html
Panorama Education (Provider and funder of Panoroma Surveys) – https://defendinged.org/report/panorama-education-inc/?gclid=CjwKCAiA1uKMBhAGEiwAxzvX9zAt7dR-A4EsYEws9V9QssWXU86OYbdaMexFSCRj3Q8TjNGacCKwTRoC2EQQAvD_BwE
“Diversity and Opportunity,” US Department of Education. Referenced at: https://www.ed.gov/diversity-opportunity
Rashawa Ray and Alexandra Gibbons, “Why Are States Banning Critical Race Theory,” Brookings, August 2021. Referenced at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/07/02/why-are-states-banning-critical-race-theory/