Rantz: School Board cuts music class over ‘white supremacy,’ ‘institutional violence’

Apr 23, 2023, 5:55 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2023, 3:25 pm

school white supremacy...

An Olympia School District board member cut music classes because they are examples of “white supremacy” culture that “caused significant institutional violence.” (Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show)

(Photo obtained by The Jason Rantz Show)

An Olympia School District board member cut music classes because they are examples of “white supremacy” culture that “caused significant institutional violence.” 

The district is expecting an $11.5 million budget shortfall and needs to make budget cuts. Music courses for 4th and 5th graders were on the chopping block, leaving students and their parents angry and concerned. In the end, the district cut band and strings from 4th-grade classes for a savings of roughly $537,000. But the cuts were not considered solely over budgetary concerns.

School Board Director Scott Clifthorne told concerned parents that music courses aren’t offered equitably across the district. He said some schools provide the courses at times that would require some students to miss “core instruction,” whereas others don’t. Rather than address this reasonable concern, he launched into a monologue to claim music classes are examples of “white supremacy” culture.

“We also know that there are other folks in the community that experience things like a tradition of excellence as exclusionary. And I don’t think that there are just one or two or 10 or 20 people that think that. But that’s not unique to elementary instrumental music. We’re a school district that lives in … is entrenched in … is surrounded by white supremacy culture. And that’s a real thing,” Clifthorne said.

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School music class is white supremacy in action, or is it?

Clifthorne explained that string and wind instrumental music isn’t “intrinsically white supremacist.” But in the next sentence, he said it is, in fact, “white supremacist.”

“There’s nothing about strings or wind instrumental music that is intrinsically white supremacist. However, the ways in which it is and the ways in which all of our institutions, not just schools — local government, state government, churches, or neighborhoods — inculcate and allow white supremacy culture to continue to be propagated and cause significant institutional violence are things that we have to think about carefully as a community. And I think that we have to do that interrogation. And we have to address the ways in which it creates challenges for administering the educational day for our elementary learners while we retain the program,” he said.

What does any of this mean beyond stringing together progressive buzzwords and phrases? Clifthorne did not respond to two requests for comment. 


Leaning into wokeness fails kids

The Olympia School District is seeing dwindling enrollment. They don’t realize it’s comments like that from Clifthorne that are responsible. This district has decided to lean unapologetically into woke culture that indoctrinates kids with far-left worldviews, rather than teach them basics. While this isn’t the only reason why parents find themselves dissatisfied with the schools, it’s foolish to pretend it’s not playing a role.

The Board appointed a radical Black Lives Matter activist to fill a vacant school board director position. Talauna Reed is known for railing against cops in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. She declared, “f*** the police” at a July 2021 rally in Olympia. She called nearby officers “pigs” and encouraged rallygoers to “tear s*** up” because only then will people pay attention to their cause. The Board ignored concerned parents who warned against the appointment.

Most recently, Centennial Elementary in Olympia established a 5th-grade BIPOC (“Black, Indigenous, People of Color”) student group that the principal admitted excluded white students. Race-based groups in public schools are illegal. The district dismissed concerns, telling students who feel discriminated against to file a complaint.

Like other districts, including Seattle and Bellevue, Olympia is suffering the consequences. They could drop their equity agenda — a term they redefined for political goals — and focus on English, math, history, and arts. Instead, they seem hell-bent on continuing to pursue a political agenda. They don’t seem to mind that it hurts kids and the music teachers. They are the latest victims of the woke radicals. 

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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