Given how many tears and anguished faces filled the room during a recent “community conversation” in Eureka, Mo., last week, you’d think someone had died tragically. Naw, it wasn’t really that deep. Just a bunch of white parents complaining about their kids learning about racism and how they feel hurt by the suggestion that they are racist if they push back against an anti-racism curriculum.
The drama started after parents in the Rockwood School District got a hold of a leaked memo to teachers instructing them to alter or hide elements of the curriculum from parents, according to KSDK-5 NBC.
“This doesn’t mean throw out the lesson and find a new one. Just pull the resource off Canvas [online learning platform] so parents can’t see it,” read the memo. It also advised avoiding words like “privilege,” “activist” and “democratic,” which, the instructor writes, have been triggering to parents.
Wow. You’d think this was porn or something.
Anyway, the school district asserted that “the email that was sent to teachers encouraging them to hide or alter content visible to parents was not reviewed or approved by anyone before it was disseminated by an individual staff member. It does not reflect the mission, vision and values of the district and is counter to the goals set forth in our strategic plan.”
On the one hand, I can see how parents would feel some type of way about a school district sneaking curriculum past them. But, I understand. The history of race and its lasting impacts should be taught in schools nationwide, but given how so many white people react to being reminded of racism, I get why you’d have to sneak it in there.
This response from one parent sums it up:
“What we’re concerned about is that there’s propaganda being taught, and we’re sending our kids there to be taught basic math, history, science,” said Kenneth Rosa, an organizer of the forum. Now, this man doesn’t have kids in the district anymore, but claims he is frustrated with the district and was triggered by the introduction of discussing race in the curriculum. Rosa says it is one-sided, and believes race conversations should be left out of the classroom. I guess he’d prefer to bring in a racist to balance everything out?
Then came this statement from a mom who felt so hurt by the idea that her kid was being taught about race that she pulled out the most powerful weapon white women possess: tears.
“She is one of the most innocent little girls in the whole world, and she has friends, Black and white kids in her classroom, and she doesn’t see any difference,” she said. “I have actually raised my kids to love people and accept people no matter what, and just because I do not want critical race theory taught to my children in school does not mean that I’m a racist, damnit,” she said to a standing ovation.
Well, the issue has become so controversial that the district confirms hiring at-home security patrols for some of their administrators who are getting death threats. Superintendent Mark Miles and Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Brittany Hogan are leaving their jobs at the end of the school year.
This curriculum issue isn’t the only thing to rock the Rockwood School District. Parents resisted plans to start the 2020 school year online and recently administrators caught criticism for removing the “thin blue line” altered image of the American flag from Eureka High School baseball hats.