Paul Rossi, former mathematics teacher at the private, prestigious Grace Church School in New York, who resigned from his post to "challenge the repressive ideology" prevalent in elite American schools, has come under fire by the National Association of Independent Schools for sharing their "anti-racist" teacher training online.
"I was just locked out of my account twice and received a DCMA strike as a result of a complaint by Myra McGovern, Media VP at @NAISnetwork," Rossi reported on Twitter, "for sharing a clip from one of their Kindergarten teacher trainings."
"What is NAIS trying to hide?" Rossi questioned.
NAIS claimed Rossi was in violation of copyright when he shared videos and screen grabs from their 2021 People of Color Conference.
The material has been taken down from Twitter, but Rossi has shared it on pro-free speech alternative GETTR, where it is still visible. The People of Color Conference, which went on for five days, featured educators explaining how, essentially, to implement critical race theory in their classrooms and curriculum.
"In 'Small Activists, Big Impact: Cultivation Anti-Racists and Activists in Kindergarten,'" Rossi wrote, educators "learn how to 'build upon the mindset of a kindergartener' in order to transform them into social justice warriors."
The first slide Rossi shares shows an educator explaining how easy it is to manipulate kindergarteners into believing in her form of activism. It reads:
"Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. The first three terms are the standard. My favorite part of the year is when we talk no [sic] just about injustices, but what we can do about it. Kindergarteners are natural social justice warriors!"
The educator, Traci Allen, says that "Kindergarteners, I want to say to you that kindergarteners, are natural social justice warriors."
"I see this all the time on the playground, 'that's unfair, and this is why it's unfair, and these are the reasons it's unfair.' And I think if we just built upon the mindset of a kindergartener, that is fantastic. You can get them to do fabulous things in the social justice realm," Allen instructs.
"Bree Picower's Six Elements of Social Justice," the second slide in Allen's presentation, shows these 6 elements in social justice: "self-love and knowledge," "respect for others," "issues of social injustice," "social movements and change," "awareness rising," and "social action." These come from Picower's 2012 article "Using Their Words: Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum and Design for the Elementary Classroom," published in the International Journal of Multicultural Education.
"I thought about how could I frame the work where I'm hitting all the core topics and domains. Like how," Allen continued, "I can't just jump in and say 'we're gonna do this, and we're gonna.' They have to have a foundation in which the work is built upon. So they can see—you can see also, as an educator, how really there's this transformation period that happens with kindergarteners, and a lot of kids are, y'know, in the beginning, being 5 and 6, the mindset is a very self-centered mindset: 'me, me, me,' just me thinking, right?
"So, we have to think about, y'know, how can we start with, y'know, yeah 'think about yourself, think about your identity, think about who you are. And then we're going to move, we're gonna slowly move," Allen said, before launching into praise of Picower's article and how it helped her "frame" her year about what she hopes to "accomplish in a year with kindergarten students."
Rossi shared another excerpt from the NAIS People of Color Conference, jumping ahead from kindergarten to senior year. The videos were removed from Twitter at the demand of NAIS, but remained up on the GETTR platform.
These slides, on "Race in America: Creating an Anti-racist Humanities Course that Directly Tackles Racialization", creators of an honors course show off their CRT-based curriculum, featuring Kendi's SFTB & "Critical Race Theory: An Introduction," show how educators can implement critical race theory in praxis in upper grades.
"Creating a Curriculum," is the title of the first slide presented by educators to their peers. It asks, "What books would be effective at the high school level?" And that question is answered thusly: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive history of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi and White by Law, by Ian Haney Lopez.
Richard Delgado's Critical Race Theory: An Introduction is suggested, which was referenced by James Lindsay, an outspoken critic of critical race theory, as he explained to Dr. Phil and his panel just how insidiously and obviously critical race theory has been disseminated into primary and secondary education in the US.
Additional source material for the high school course would be Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, by Beverly Daniel Tatum. And a final project suggestion is that students "find a way to meaningfully synthesize the information of the class."
Timothy Poole describes these books, such as Delgado's, described as "a fantastic book that really gives a great sense of critical race theory and gives a lot of personal ways to connect to these ideas that the students tend to really like when we get there." This as educators, politicians, and pundits assure American parents that critical race theory is not being taught in schools, that's it's merely taught as part of broader frameworks in legal graduate programs.
Tatum's book is described as "a fantastic sociological look at just how this stuff continues to work in the day-to-day now, moving beyond the history of things, looking at the what's actually happening in an individual's life [sic]."
"And so that was sort of the curriculum we put together," the teacher went on, describing the course they had taught to high school students on critical race theory. "And then after that, we allow students to go on and figure out where their interests in race and racialization lie, and so they then have to find more reading on their own that is directional for what they want to achieve and all of that leads to a final culminating project where they try to find a way to really synthesize what we've been talking about by the end of the year."
Ladarius Drew chimed in to say of the student projects, "hold your horses, we'll discuss that later."
Meanwhile, the National Association of Independent Schools, which accredits private schools in the US, is intentionally teaching teachers how to teach critical race theory in the upper grades, and how to implement and practice it in the lower grades. And they don't want the average parent to know about it.
In the realm of public schools, parents who have offered complaints about the implementation and teaching of critical race theory in public education have been called extremists, and Biden's Department of Justice has promised to investigate them.
The 2021 NAIS Online People of Color Conference ran from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3. "Together nearly 7,700 adults and students gathered to share with and learn from one another," NAIS wrote of the conference on their website, "with the guiding theme of Reckoning with Impacts, Rolling with Just Intent. Keynote speakers and workshop presenters informed and inspired. And networking and wellness events gave us space to connect." The recordings of the conference, they note, would be "available to attendees in the conference platform until January 6."
While these videos were taken down, Rossi, and a group calling themselves "Undercover Mothers," have hundreds more hours of footage from the conference.
Myra McGovern was reached for comment.
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