Friday, April 16, 2021

Putting Teachers In The Hot Seat

What are teachers to do when compelled to attend "hate whitey" training--or worse, when their students undergo "hate whitey" training?

I am a teacher at Grace Church High School in Manhattan. Ten years ago, I changed careers when I discovered how rewarding it is to help young people explore the truth and beauty of mathematics. I love my work.

As a teacher, my first obligation is to my students. But right now, my school is asking me to embrace “antiracism” training and pedagogy that I believe is deeply harmful to them and to any person who seeks to nurture the virtues of curiosity, empathy and understanding.   

“Antiracist” training sounds righteous, but it is the opposite of truth in advertising. It requires teachers like myself to treat students differently on the basis of race. Furthermore, in order to maintain a united front for our students, teachers at Grace are directed to confine our doubts about this pedagogical framework to conversations with an in-house “Office of Community Engagement” for whom every significant objection leads to a foregone conclusion. Any doubting students are likewise “challenged” to reframe their views to conform to this orthodoxy. 

I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology. But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.  

When (not if) it comes to my school, I've decided how I will react--and you know I'll have some fun!

Update, 4/20/21The teacher has been fired--well, "removed of his teaching duties".


Ellen K said...

The problem is that many believe they are safe from this. They live in conservative small towns and suburbs and they really don't experience this type of academic stridency on a daily basis. These are the same folks who blow off voting in local city council and school board elections which is where baby autocrats start their quest for power. People need to wake up, go to school board and city council meetings. They need to ask questions and be public about it because the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease. A fine example right now is a guy who is running for our city council was jailed for campaign fraud when running for mayor two years ago. His campaign mantra is "Diversity matters"-it's on his glossy signs. I don't get where a guy who owns a couple of convenience stores has the cash to run such a glitzy campaign for a smallish Dallas suburb. I have my suspicions. The roots of this nonsense run DEEP. Pay attention, stay informed and VOTE.

Anonymous said...

I live and teach in a conservative small town suburb, and I fully expect this to happen here within the next few years. (We have a very progressive guy in charge of curriculum at our district office.)

I look forward to your report when you have to endure this. I plan on taking notes!