Rantz: Parents livid as school’s BLM presentation teaches kids they’re racist

Oct 5, 2020, 10:27 PM | Updated: Oct 6, 2020, 7:20 am
skyline high school...
Skyline High School and their principal. (Screenshot from school's Facebook page)
(Screenshot from school's Facebook page)

Parents are up in arms as a high school showed students a one-sided presentation promoting Black Lives Matter and a progressive worldview.

But a number of parents are crying foul. One parent even said the material is so partisan that his biracial son’s takeaway was that he must be a racist.

Not only does the curriculum amplify far-left political beliefs on race, but they don’t hide the goal of creating social justice activists. And the school won’t even explain specifically who created nor who fact checked the curriculum.

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Black Lives Matter curriculum creates activists

Parents at Skyline High School in Sammamish are outraged by the Black Lives Matter presentation given to their children on Sept. 29. Grades 9-12 were offered the curriculum.

Among the nearly 40-slide PowerPoint, students are hit with a number of progressive political concepts like microaggressions and white privilege. They’re told of a country overwhelmed by systemic racism. If you don’t think you’re a racist, you’re taught that you’re most likely dealing with an implicit bias problem: You’re racist without even knowing it.

If you dare say you’re not racist, well, you’re wrong. Indeed, if you’re “confronted with inequity” (as defined by activists) and either disagree or don’t actively dismantle it, then you’re allowing systemic racism to thrive. After all, doing nothing “always favors oppression,” according to the presentation.

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Teaching kids to be activists

The presentation uses controversial Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to Be An Antiracist as a source. And in doing so, they actively push students to become social justice activists.

Skyline focuses its attention on being an “antiracist” — a term for people who actively combat systemic racism in society.

It’s not so much what you believe; it’s how you fight against systems others want you to fight. To that end, you must be active and pursue policies the political Left demand you tackle. If you don’t, then you’re a racist.

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Black Lives Matter

The presentation teaches students about the Black Lives Matter movement — not just the uncontroversial belief that Black lives matter. Indeed, you’re instructed not to say or believe “All Lives Matter” because it’s “harmful” and that, “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter” (a rather nonsensical claim).

How will you know whether or not you’re a true supporter of Black Lives Matter? When you pursue their antiracist policies — even if it means adopting a Marxist worldview.

The presentation then delves into a dishonestly framed conversation of police violence. To whomever presents the data, all police killings of Black people are unjust and driven by racism.

There’s no context presented in the PowerPoint, including how many of the suspects were armed. And, students are told, the data isn’t a result of crime. The implication is that it’s always about racism and that police use of force is never justified. Is that a reasonable message? Is it not possible to address racism without implying every cop is racist?

Issaquah School District offers useless statement

I asked Skyline’s principal a series of reasonable questions about the presentation.

I asked how many students (or what grades) were taught this presentation and by whom. Who compiled the information? Did it go through a fact check before getting in front of students? I even hoped for some sources on some of the statistics they used.

Principal Keith Hennig forwarded me to Donna Hood, Executive Director of High School Education. She offered me a statement that didn’t address any of the specific questions, but did imply to me they’re heroic for their work addressing racism.

As such, I’m making the editorial decision to withhold the statement; I’m not here to signal their virtue. Though they weren’t specific, they did acknowledge nameless social studies and English teachers compiled the presentation. If you’d like their statement, just ask the school for it.

A frustrated parent speaks out

A number of parents complained about the material to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. One father explained his son — who is biracial — had an alarming takeaway from the material. He’s a racist, apparently.

Tim spoke with school officials but was frustrated that they tried to convince him the presentation wasn’t about promoting Black Lives Matter, despite the presentation explicitly doing just that in the section titled, “Black Lives Matter.”

“They try to convince me that they’re not trying to educate the students on the BLM movement,” Tim explained to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “But they are, and, you know, when you tell kids and they come back and say, ‘Dad, Mom, I’m racist because I’m white,’ it’s like … hold on a second. We need to step back. Calling people names is not driving us together. It’s driving us apart.”

Especially upsetting to Tim is that the school didn’t communicate that the lesson was going to be taught.

“There was no communication to the parents to be prepped for the conversation,” Tim explained. “And I think that’s kind of the one thing, that all this stuff has to be implemented in a way that it’s reviewed by some parents.”

The problem at Skyline High School

This wasn’t about teaching kids; it was about indoctrinating them.

I think grades 9-12 are capable of meaningful conversations about current events, including BLM and the issues of racism and policing. But the conversations should be presented in objective ways, showing many sides of the many complex issues. The presentation by Skyline doesn’t come close to meeting any reasonable standard of fairness and objectivity.

The intent was to create social justice activists. But pushing what amounts to propaganda on captive kids isn’t what you should expect of any school. Students should be taught to think critically, not be taught to take the position of their woke social studies teacher.

I suspect the teachers chose to present one side of this issue because the other side may appeal to more students. Students would rightly be moved by messages that don’t label their every disagreement as racist. They likely also find context around police use of force useful.

Rather than reflect on their own politics and address a movement that too often needlessly villainizes all cops while pretending anyone who disagrees with them is a racist, they just ignore it and pretend it’s not there. That doesn’t sound like people who should be teaching your kids this lesson.

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: Parents livid as school’s BLM presentation teaches kids they’re racist