JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle Public Schools teaching radical BLM, anti-police lessons to K-5 students

Jan 31, 2021, 9:54 AM | Updated: Feb 2, 2021, 9:58 am
Catharine Blaine K-8 School...
Catharine Blaine K-8 School.

Seattle Public Schools will spend the week promoting Black Lives Matter lesson plans to students. Teachers have the green light to editorialize the content to their captive students.

Educators are told that no matter their student’s age, “they’re not too young to talk about race.” In fact, “silence about race reinforces racism.” They’re even warned that “treating everyone the same may be unintentionally oppressive.”

With that in mind, lesson plans have kindergartners “experience discrimination.” It indoctrinates elementary and middle schoolers into believing that Black people are “systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” in this country. They even learn to blame and distrust the police.

There isn’t a hint of ideological diversity in any of the lesson plans.

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Black Lives Matter lesson plans in Seattle are radical

Black Lives Matter at School Week runs Feb. 1 through Feb. 5. Each school gets lesson plans and resources, though schools can craft their own approach to the curriculum, if they choose to do it at all.

The intent of the week is to “affirm the demands of the Black Lives Matter at School Movement.” The political movement was created by a coalition of leftist activists to teach kids as young as pre-kindergarten to be adherents to social justice causes. Included in their “demands” is replacing school resource officers with counselors and mandating left-wing ethnic studies courses.

On the surface, the movement’s guiding principles are mostly uncontroversial. For example, teaching empathy and respect is laudable. But a deeper dive into the curriculum that Seattle schools will teach shows the intent is clear: It’s to forward a leftist political agenda.

Parents should discuss these issues with their kids. Instead, progressive teachers offer the instruction.

Some teachers, even those who support the movement, think the lessons and approach go too far. Some feel pressure to wear BLM political gear to school. If they don’t, they fear a chastising. Several teachers reached out to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to express dismay.

For this article, I will focus on the K-5 lessons. All the lesson plans are available at the Seattle Public Schools page and the Seattle Education Association Center for Racial Equity.

A day of demands and restorative justice

It’s clear that Seattle teachers are allowed to give their own opinions in the classroom. Guidance from the school acknowledges their contract allows them the academic freedom to explore controversial topics the BLM lessons provide. Do you trust progressive teachers with this content?

The elementary lessons on “The Day of Demands, including Restorative Justice, Empathy, Loving Engagement” introduce students to a number of radical views. Here are some:

  • “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.”
  • Any incarceration of Black people “is an act of state violence.”
  • “Black queer and trans folks bearing a unique burden in a hetero-patriarchal society that disposes of us like garbage and simultaneously fetishizes us and profits off of us is state violence.”
  • That illegal immigrants are “relegated to the shadows is state violence.”

Then students get a viciously anti-police curriculum.

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Seattle students taught to distrust and fear police

Students get misleading “stats” without context — or access to the context. Indeed, the goal seems to teach students to distrust police.

Students learn, for example, that “unarmed Black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015.”

The source is Mapping Police Violence, an activist website by DeRay McKesson and others.

Students don’t see the circumstances of the deaths. Consequently, they’ll learn to blame police. Indeed, they’re told departments fail “to require officers to de-escalate situations, where possible” and they don’t “require officers to exhaust all other reasonable means before resorting to deadly force.”

The lessons even compare police of 2020 during the BLM protests and riots to officers unleashing dogs on innocent Black men in the 1960s.

‘Treating everyone the same may be unintentionally oppressive’

The curriculum centered on diversity and globalism is mostly harmless. Students learn about different cultures in an age-appropriate way. That’s a good thing.

But perhaps the lessons were too reasonable. It turns out, there are some radical perspectives in the diversity lessons. Did someone flag the lessons as not left-wing enough?

Students learn to respect one another in diverse communities. But treating people equally? Nope: “Treating everyone the same may be unintentionally oppressive.”

There is some context provided.

Although every person is unique, some of us have been mistreated or oppressed because we are a member of a particular group. If we ignore these present-day or historical differences, we may fail to understand the needs of those individuals. Often people are afraid that recognizing differences will divide people from each other.

But will a K-5th grader understand this? Assuredly not. How could they at their age? Even if a teacher tries, this seems above their skill level.

In the lessons around “Intergenerational, Black Families, & Black Villages,” students are encouraged to become activists. Indeed, they’re encouraged to march, tying the lessons specifically to the BLM movement.

Fourth and fifth graders are asked, “How have past and present movements challenged systems of oppression?” The goal is to teach students how to push back at what BLM considers oppressive (e.g., jail, immigration laws).

Speaking of diversity…

Though the lesson plans rightfully celebrate diversity, they provide no diversity of thought. But maybe that’s by design.

There’s no nuance. There’s no presentation of anything that criticizes BLM activism of 2020. The riots and violence? Not mentioned. There’s certainly no criticism of some of the extreme positions BLM activists take. The lessons merely normalize them. The lessons present BLM as good and police as evil. That is neither a helpful nor honest message.

Schools should provide balance, according to a memo by Seattle Public Schools. But are they? Hardly. The memo explains:

Ensuring Intellectual Balance. Ensure that students are exposed to the full range of perspectives on any issue considered. Solicit a wide array of opinions about discussed issues, and expose students to a best case, fair hearing of competing points of view.

But no balance exists. There’s no curriculum provided in the resources that ensure anything resembling it.

Parents should take note: If you want a more balanced approach to any of the topics, you should be ready to provide it on your own. And if your student is in remote learning, you should consider monitoring the instruction.

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 and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: Seattle Public Schools teaching radical BLM, anti-police lessons to K-5 students