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Educators in Lawrence were encouraged to attend a race-based, segregated “Auditing” session being conducted by a radical left-wing, racist group called BlackPrint.
According to their website, BlackPrint teaches and encourages the teaching of “White Privilege” (that White people are inherently racist and enjoy privileges in society other races don’t enjoy).
BlackPrint first conducts an “audit” of the “feelings” of non-white teachers about race and racism, and then offers school districts “professional development” courses (teacher training) to change the “culture” in the classroom. BlackPrint is paid for their services by the district through grants.
Using the philosophy that only white people can be racist, PlackPrint calls their teacher trainings, and “audits” “anti-racism” while glorifying anti-white culture and vilifying “European colonization”.
TEACHERS COMPLAIN ABOUT SEGREGATION
Christopher Markuns of the Lawrence Public Schools sent out an email (HERE) encouraging teachers “of color” to attend a town hall type session at the South Lawrence East School on November 20th. White teachers were not invited nor allowed to attend.
Several teachers in the Lawrence School system contacted The Valley Patriot asking for anonymity for fear that they will lose their jobs for speaking out.
“We give our hearts and souls to these kids no matter what their race is,” one teacher said. “This kind of discrimination and segregation should not be allowed anywhere in education. I’m not white, but I want to know, is the Lawrence Public Schools going to ‘audit’ white teachers and staff to see how they feel about race and racism? Or how they may be treated differently because of their race? If I even ask that question at work I will lose my job.”
Another teacher emailed The Valley Patriot saying;
“The following e-mail was sent to ALL Lawrence Public School Employees from the LPS Administration. However, as noted, in this email, the only employees invited to this event are “Educators of Color”.
Many feel this is discrimination against one race by excluding “white-skinned Educators”.
We are requesting that you publish and bring this to the public’s attention to hopefully end this divisive behavior and segregation.
We would be extremely grateful if you could be a voice to get this information out for us to the public as we wish to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from our administration.”
Professional development topics listed on BlackPrint’s website include:
“Competency-Based Grading Is an Equity Issue” citing how grading a child based only on their competency is racist.
“Whiteness Studies – An Overview to Centering Whiteness – A comprehensive overview of Whiteness Studies tracing the political and economic history of the invention of ‘whiteness’ and analyzing the cultural practices in art, music, literature, and popular media that create and perpetuate ‘whiteness.’”
“White Supremacy in District Public Schools – A crash course on and graphic representation of White Supremacy in District Public Schools. Although White Supremacy is often exclusively associated with groups like the KKK, the session examines the construct through the collective ideas that value whiteness over the cultures of people of color, especially those of African descent, and how this status quo manifests itself in District Public Schools.”
“Critical Race Theory in the Visual Arts” – a teaching practice committed to an education that leads to action, reflection, and three forms of knowledge:
1. Technical-analytical thinking for Math, Science, STEM;
2. Practical-synthetic thinking for ELA, Writing, Social Studies;
3. Emancipatory-Socio-political and racial consciousness.
“On White Supremacy Culture” – A theatrical exploration of Jones’ and Okun’s brilliant definition of the phenomenon along with a guided reflection period about school/system practices that infuses historical framing.
“Becoming White: A Critical Reading Webinar” – An examination of the social, economic, and political process of becoming “white” through analyses of the Irish Catholic and Southern Italian immigration experiences, respectively.
“Applying The BlackPrint Racial Equity Tool
“Decolonizing Data for Equitable Outcomes”
“On the Construction of Race” – A critical exploration of some of the important characters, events, motives, and themes in Europeans’ construction and imposition of racial hierarchy.”
SCHOOL DISTRICT CLARIFIES BLACKPRINT’S ROLE
The Valley Patriot reached out to Chris Markuns, Manager of Communications for school district and confirmed his email was authentic.
“To grow in any area, you have to understand where you’re starting from,” Markuns told The Valley Patriot.
“It’s fairly self-evident that in the area of race and equity, that means getting the honest perspectives and experiences of people of color. This is a confidential opportunity for them to provide those, and help provide an important baseline for the many conversations to come.”
Teachers “of color” will be paid to attend the BlackPrint “audit” (per their contract) but that the funding comes from a grant that won’t cost money out of the school budget.
Since white teachers are not allowed to attend, they are also excluded from the extra pay that teachers “of color” will receive for attending the “audit”.
Markuns pointed out that BlackPrint is not doing any kind of teacher training, [as of yet] but merely asking educators “of color” about their experiences and how the schools can be more active in “anti-racism.”
He added that this is not part of the curriculum, but a way to audit how the teachers “of color” feel about race and their treatment in the Lawrence Schools based on race.
The Valley Patriot has learned from sources in the Superintendent’s office that there are no plans to ask white teachers how they feel about the way they are treated based on their race.
Incoming District “B” School Committeeman Santiago Reyes Cruz, Jr. said that when he takes office in January, he is going to do what he can to stop the practice of focusing on race of any kind in the Lawrence public Schools.
“First of all, you will notice in that email that everyone attending has to sign a non-disclosure agreement,” Reyes-Cruz, Jr. said.
“That means no transparency, anyone who attends is prohibited from telling parents, administrators, or anyone else what is discusses by, or with BlackPrint during this “audit” of teachers ‘of color’. I think we all know why that is. They are hiding their real agenda. Racism is racism,” Reyes-Cruz said.
“Why are we focusing on race? What they should be focusing on is, why our kids are not being educated the way kids in Andover and North Andover are being educated.”
“Focusing on race doesn’t help us achieve that goal, it creates excuses for failure and distracts us, while our schools continue to fail the children of Lawrence.”
“We are either going to follow the example of Martin Luther King or we’re not. We should not be spending a dime, grant or not, on our differences. It’s very divisive and it doesn’t help our community heal or make advancements, it puts us against one another. We should be looking for ways to bring people together and focus on what we all have in common; our love for our community, and our love for the freedoms this country affords, our love of all our neighbors, Black, White, and Latino.”
Tom DugganTom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor.
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