Deceitful School Administrators Subverting Parents, State Laws

The pro-family organization, Accuracy in Media (AIM), has been busy exposing the intentional undermining of parents’ wishes and state legislatures using investigative journalism reminiscent of Project Veritas. Most recently, AIM posted an undercover video on Twitter of Utah public school administrators and union officials bragging about the presence of CRT and social-emotional learning (SEL) in every school. “We just don’t tell the parents,” one official admitted.

In the video, teacher specialist Letitia Vigil explains how her team coaches teachers to “frontload some of those conversations that, you know, might be considered CRT or white privilege.” We teach them how to “name things and how to talk about things.”

Michelle Love-Day, director of culture and diversity, told the AIM journalist what educators would do in the event that, as the interviewer put it, “a stupid CRT law” is passed. Love-Day explained that “it just goes back to the local education association. There are loopholes.” For example, she disclosed that they “don’t do an opt-out” prior to the visits; “[we] just go out, meet the kids, work with them. We operate like a math department, and then we give [the parents] a letter saying, ‘we were in your school and this is what we talked about.’”

In other words, parents are told that their children were exposed to CRT and other propaganda after the fact, and how much the letters actually reveal is unclear. But one question parents might logically ask is what right do these people have to come out and “work with” their children on non-academic and controversial topics without their prior knowledge or consent.

A third administrator then appears in the video, laughingly beaming as she boasts: “We have a teacher at the high school and his name is Isaac. When all of this stuff happened (presumably the BLM riots), he had a Black Lives Matter flag, great big one. And he was just loud and proud. And even after the board said, you know, you can’t have a flag bigger than the American flag. I mean, it was huge.” Giggling joyfully, she explains that when the school board told “Isaac” to take the flag down, “he was like, ‘no.’ I’m not going to. Whereas other teachers were fearful, right? He was like, ‘write me up. Fire me. What are you going to do?’” The clear implication here is that the school board backed down in the face of Isaac’s defiance, due at least partly to the fact that he “had tenure.”

Finally, the video reveals that at least one high school — West Jordan — has an “elective” course on social justice for seniors that the students don’t tell their parents about. “It was a required class, English 12,” an administrator explains in the video. Executive Director Sarah Roberts of the Ogden (Utah) school district bragged that she came up with an alternative to the “woke curriculum” for students whose parents object. She slyly confides to the AIM journalist that “It is still an SEL curriculum,” and that she told the unsuspecting parents: “So how about your child do this and this and this during that time, that sounds fantastic.” While she concedes that the alternative curriculum is not exactly the same as the CRT curriculum, “it meets the same objectives.”

In the last few seconds of the video, the AIM investigator speaks briefly to teacher Katrina Kennedy, who confides that she is frustrated that “you can’t ask for pronouns, they made that law. But I still did and a lot of the high school teachers I know, especially in the English department, still did because we were like, ‘this is bullcrap.’”

Not just in Utah

As may be expected, the AIM video prompted an outcry on Twitter. One user posted a URL and invited parents to access it and take a stand “against radical public-school administrators.” Another tweeted: “These people are evil at a level that I used to think was just fictional. It’s actually unsettling that they sincerely see themselves as the good ones too.” School choice activist Corey A. DeAngelis tweeted “Good thing Utah legislature just passed school choice.”

But conservatives and supporters of parents’ rights know these abuses are not confined to Utah. In Ohio, where lawmakers are considering a ban on the teaching of CRT, AIM investigative videos reveal school administrators claiming that “bans on the teaching of Critical Race Theory won’t stop them.” In one video, an administrative assistant tells the AIM investigator: “We trick them [parents]. You know; we trick them.” This admission about deceiving parents is followed by a hysterical giggle.

An Ohio public school executive director of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) in Columbus told AIM investigators that “there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” assuring them that “there will be a way” [around any law that may pass].

As in Utah, these administrators indicate that CRT can be hidden in social-emotional learning, noting: “SEL is a good way to sneak CRT into classrooms.”

AIM reports that many schools are teaching CRT through the online education platform Newsela, which “is notably connected to the Left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as revisionist historian Howard Zinn, and the debunked New York Times 1619 Project.” AIM has found that Newsela is being used “in countless classrooms across the country already.” (Look for more on Newsela in the March issue of Education Reporter.)

Sad results of CRT and SEL

Fox News reported that in the notoriously liberal city of Chicago, high school teacher and “Equity Team” member, Heather Marie Godbout, posted a video excoriating conservatives and parents who demand a voice in how their children are educated. She trumpeted her opposition to, among other things, “traditional grading policies — because grades get ‘conflated with other things that aren’t actually learning, like effort or work ethic,’” whatever that means.

She continued: “All you right wing conspiracy theory nut jobs who seem to think the teachers are out here just indoctrinating children into some sort of woke agenda that you can’t actually define, I’m just going to come clean. I am, in fact, indoctrinating your children.”

All this indoctrination not only results in confused, frustrated, and troubled children, but in uneducated children. The organization American Greatness cited a report from Wirepoints, an independent, nonprofit research company, which “analyzed student performances across 649 public schools in Chicago during the 2021-2022 academic year.” Wirepoints found that “22 schools saw zero students who could perform grade-level reading, while another 33 schools had a zero percent passing rate for grade-level math.”

The report showed that, throughout the state of Illinois, “only one out of every 10 students” can perform math at grade level. Only one of 10 students in 622 schools can read at grade level. While teachers’ unions and administrators continue to blame the pandemic for such sorry results, it could not be clearer that woke indoctrination has taken the place of any attempt to provide actual academic instruction.

As American Greatness noted, despite the abysmal performance of its public schools, Chicago school officials and teachers’ union leadership “have dismissed or covered up these poor performances. Of the 33 schools with no students proficient in math, seven were given a rating of ‘commendable’ by the Illinois State Board of Education. The state board also gave ‘commendable’ ratings to six of the 22 schools with no students who can do grade-level reading.”

Is school choice the answer?

Fed up and discouraged by the endless subterfuge, trickery, secrecy, and lies from their public schools, many parents have sought alternatives. One father living just outside Austin, Texas, battled his children’s school administrators with letters, visits, and appearances before the school board, all to no avail. He and his wife began a thorough search of the area and found what they consider a good charter school where their children are learning academics rather than propaganda. While remaining vigilant, the couple is satisfied that their children are in a good place.

Another choice for many is homeschooling, which continues to grow and expand into new areas. The 74 reported on February 2nd that homeschooling is “less religious and conservative, more focused on quality,” which means that even progressive and liberal parents are fed up with the ongoing failure of the public schools to educate their children.

The article cited an Outschool survey, which questioned 622 homeschool families last August. Among its findings: One in four new homeschoolers are “starting from scratch” with children ages three to five years, and that there is a “strong skew [among] both new homeschoolers and Covid homeschoolers toward left of center political views.”

The survey also showed that parents who began homeschooling during the pandemic are more likely to return their children to public schools than those who began homeschooling pre-Covid, but that there is no guarantee any of these children will ever go back.

The bottom line is that homeschooling remains a viable alternative for families across the political spectrum who recognize and reject the increasing failure of public schools to do anything but propagandize and indoctrinate, while failing utterly to educate.

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