JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle-area schools tell 2nd graders cops are racist, push left-wing activism

Sep 15, 2020, 8:00 PM | Updated: Sep 17, 2020, 11:24 am
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On a page for 2nd grade students in their virtual classroom, Discovery Elementary offered anti-police content. (Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

Two Seattle-area schools are using the Black Lives Matter movement to push anti-police curriculum to second graders. When asked why the content was chosen to begin with, districts haven’t been especially forthcoming.

Among the lessons being promoted, either in the virtual classroom or via third-party resources to parents, students as young as 7-years-old are taught that racist police routinely target innocent Black Americans but don’t suffer consequences because police cover for each other. Content also pushes far-left social justice causes as students are told to become social justice activists.

What’s worse, the schools only remove or revise the content after parents complain.

Teaching students cops are racist

A second grade teacher at Grove Elementary in Marysville posted a video animation to their online system.

The video is titled “Animation Series: Something Happened In Our Town.” Parents were supposed to watch the video with their kids. Later that week, the students were supposed to discuss the video in their virtual class with their teacher and classmates.

The video tells the story of a white officer shooting a Black man, as told through the experiences of a young white girl and a young Black boy.

While the story offers decidedly non-controversial lessons like people should be treated equally, it also forwards a not-so-subtle anti-police narrative that second graders are unlikely to understand in context.

When the white girl asks why police shot the man, she’s told by her sister, “The cops shot him because he was Black.” The girl’s mom says it was a mistake to shoot the man, noting that, “It was a mistake that is part of a pattern” where white people are treated well, but not Black people.

Next, a Black boy talks through the police shooting with his parents. The boy’s father notes that the officer “won’t go to jail.” The boy’s brother says, “Cops stick up for each other. And they don’t like Black men.”

A second grader will certainly take these messages as facts. They are not.

Grove principal, district didn’t say much

Neither the school’s principal nor the teacher responded to multiple requests for comment.

Instead, the school’s Director of Communications, Engagement, and Outreach emailed the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. While Jodi Runyon lived up to the outreach part, she wasn’t initially interested much in communicating or engaging. She explained that the video issue “was successfully addressed at the school level” and said they’d provide no further comment.

But she didn’t explain what, exactly, it meant to be addressed at the school level. How was the video vetted to begin with? Will it ever be shown again?

After two follow-up emails, I finally got a response, though Runyon told me she wasn’t withholding information.

“I was brief in my response because there really isn’t a story here, essentially, its a non-story,” she explained.

That usually means there’s a story.

She said the video was intended to be “an optional resource to build understanding in challenging times.” But after two parents complained, the teacher pulled the video. She says there was no “ill-intent” from the teacher and notes this happened toward the end of the last semester, when the school wasn’t just trying to figure out how to deal with the pandemic, but trying to figure out how to address social injustice.

Runyon says “there was no further discussion as the teacher addressed the parent’s concerns appropriately.”

Respectfully, that’s why this is a story. The video doesn’t seem to have been vetted. Pulling it shows it was inappropriate, which begs the question: Why was it put online to begin with?

Teaching kids to be activists supporting left-wing causes in Gig Harbor

There’s a similar controversy playing out in the Peninsula School District.

Gig Harbor’s Discovery Elementary posted resources online for second grade students to explore the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s under the heading “Black Lives Matter Instructional Library.” This was on the student’s virtual classroom account.

Many of the resources come in the form of books. Most of them are important and non-controversial. One, however, actively teaches your kids to become left-wing activists. The book? “A is for Activist,” read by Rage Against the Machine frontman Tom Morello.

The book instructs students that “environmental justice is the way!,” celebrates May Day demonstrations, teaches students to demand “no justice, no peace” and “no war,” and asks students, “Are you an activist?” It also encourages students to “Agitate! Organize!” and promotes “Workers rights!” and “Union. Union yes!!” The story ends by promoting Zapatista, a far-left socialist political and militant group.

In the video “Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights,” students are introduced to Colin Kaepernick. They’re encouraged to “take a knee.” They’re also told to organize a union and “strike.” They’re introduced to the concept that “white silence = violence.”

Teaching kids to promote ‘police free schools’

At the end of the instructional library, the school offers additional resources, recommending you not reach out to the content creators with too many questions. Instead, the school asks you to “listen, reflect & donate.”

Among those resources Discovery Elementary would like you to listen and donate to? The Woke Kindergarten YouTube host Ki.

On her page, the content creator published a series of 60-second stories. In one, titled “Rainbow Baby,” Ki uses colors to highlight protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. At the end, Ki uses a photo promoting “Police-Free Schools.” In another, “Good Trouble,” Ki uses a photo from March for Our Lives, telling students it’s an example of how you show people you care about their lives.

Discovery Elementary refuses comment

When I first asked about the content, the principal forwarded me to their communications director. But Aimee Gordon didn’t want to discuss how the content was vetted, whether it’s appropriate for second graders, or even if they confirm if they posted the content to begin with.

“We don’t have a comment for you on this topic,” she told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

I asked a series of follow-ups, then Gordon said she’d prepare a statement by 6:30 p.m. — 90 minutes later, no statement. If one comes, I’ll update this story.

I did learn, however, that the last page of the slide (asking for donations) has been removed and the virtual classroom image of a Black fist saying “Black Lives Matter” has been replaced with three fists of different skin colors and text “A Collection of Resources Teaching Social Justice.”

This is clearly inappropriate

The content at these schools is very clearly inappropriate for second graders. The content is not age appropriate, whether it’s given directly to kids or offered to parents as resources. Teachers should have the judgment to understand this. And it shouldn’t take parental complaints for the schools to realize it.

This should highlight the necessity to be actively involved in your child’s education, asking them what they learned and going over the material with them. When you see anything inappropriate, please screenshot it and email the show so we can review.

If you have a 17-year-old in a current events course, these discussions, with an objective teacher, can be valuable as teenagers are better at grasping context. But a second grader being told all cops are racist? They’re not going to take away anything other than the direct message that all cops are racist. That belief may suit the school administration or teachers, but it shouldn’t be thrust upon young children.

What’s next? Judging by some of this content, instead of giving students an A, they’ll get an ACAB.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Seattle-area schools tell 2nd graders cops are racist, push left-wing activism