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One Bellevue High School student was ready for his U.S. history class, but he soon discovered the class wasn’t what he signed up for. Instead, it was a radical history course taught through critical race theory, identity, and socialist lenses.
“Totally duped. And I worry about other parents who didn’t do the research that I did to get a real-life understanding of what ‘U.S. history’ class they’re taking,” the student’s mother, Michelle, told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
The student’s history teacher sent home a course syllabus. It names the course “Decolonizing U.S. History.” But the student’s schedule, provided to the Jason Rantz Show, labels it “U.S. American History.”
Michelle and her husband Cal took a deeper look at what was taught in this class. They were livid. And now, their son must take a course outside the school in order to graduate.
Rantz: Bellevue High School teaches critical race theory with intent to create activists
U.S. history switcheroo
Decolonizing U.S. History is not a traditional history course; it’s a far-left, agenda-driven analysis that teaches through a critical race theory lens.
The syllabus starts with a land acknowledgment, a left-wing public statement claiming they occupy stolen land. Educators use it to teach kids to be ashamed of the country in which they live.
It goes on to say the course will offer “a more complete history that is derived from … voices that have been historically and currently unheard and underrepresented.” During the course, the teacher warns that students must agree to “experience discomfort,” presumably from the anti-American perspectives of Howard Zinn, a socialist radical whose text is used for the coursework.
“The thing that just infuriates me is that history is important, and to learn history through the lens of an anti-American socialist, that’s not history. That’s indoctrination and propaganda,” the student’s father, Cal, told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
A copy of the Bellevue High School syllabus (Photo courtesy of the Jason Rantz Show)
This is required
A district spokesperson told the Jason Rantz Show that this history course is an elective. But Michelle says the principal told her it’s mandatory because her son, “has to have a year-long course in U.S. history in order to meet his requirements for graduation.”
“And when we met with the principal, we said, ‘We understand that. We’re happy to take a U.S. history class. We’re just not happy to take this one. So go find us something else that my son can take.’ No, this was not an elective. No. If that was what was told to you, that’s a surprise to me,” Michelle explained.
The course description online does not call the course “Decolonizing U.S. History.” Unless the course description is read carefully, you might not realize it’s a left-wing propaganda course.
The online catalog lists the course as “United States History” and offers a description framing the course around “decolonizing” the subject in order to “prioritize previously unheard stories and experiences of and the impacts of events and policies on historically and currently marginalized groups.” Those groups include “indigenous peoples,” “Black,” “Latinx,” and, oddly, both “transgender and gender-nonconforming people” and “LGBTQ+.”
The district did not clarify why the principal said the course is a requirement when the district labels it an elective. The spokesperson did not explain why the course syllabus title doesn’t match the catalog title.
Meeting the principal
When Michelle and Cal met with the principal, the meeting was cordial. But they said the principal seemed eager to want to debate the course material with them.
“When we met with the principal, he had the textbook in his hand, and he eagerly wanted to open up the book and debate Howard Zinn and we had to kind of short circuit that one,” Cal said. “And we presented it as no, that’s a done decision. Howard Zinn is in the rearview mirror. My son’s not taking this class.”
The parents know the importance of history. And they want a course free of propaganda.
“Frankly, I don’t want to have to, every night, unpack what the district poured into my son’s head and have to then reteach proper U.S. history,” Cal explained. “I want my son to know that George Washington was an amazing leader and did some amazing things … I don’t want my son learning George Washington was evil, he had slaves, period. Full stop.”
Michelle said the principal “was a little baffled” at their pushback. Ultimately, he informed them that their son must take a course outside of the school to graduate.
“After speaking with our Social Studies Curriculum Developer, I learned the only way [your son] will be able to meet his graduation requirements is to take and earn a full credit in U.S. History. Since you are choosing to have [him] removed from the course we offer, you will need to enroll him in an approved course outside the district and request the credit be added to his transcript. I’ve attached the form for requesting approval for outside learning credits and the list of state-approved providers can be found here,” the principal told Michelle and Cal, according to an email shared with the Jason Rantz Show.
A lesson to pay close attention and be your kid’s advocate
Michelle and Cal are coming forward because they don’t want other parents to go through a similar experience.
“I went right to the district website and looked up the history courses and their complete, detailed analysis of what the course was going to be. And that’s where I discovered what this class was. But you know, that’s a whole step that a lot of parents just won’t take,” Michelle said.
To help get the word out, she’s part of an online parenting group. She said that district moms and dads are unhappy with the left-wing agenda the district schools are taking. Some, she said, pulled their kids from the public schools. They either put them in private education or left the district altogether.
The district doesn’t hide its left-wing agenda.
Five schools in the Bellevue School District teach “Race in the United States” as an elective. The curriculum for the class is the same across all schools.
According to the course descriptions, these classes teach students, “themes of social construction of race, movements as a catalyst for change, culture inclusion, institutionalized racism, and equity and social justice policy.” The classes aim to give students the tools to discuss left-wing views on race and use progressive world views to be leaders in the community.
“They’re molding young minds into a warped, incorrect, agenda-driven version of socialist history, which I don’t want my son doing,” Cal said.
Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.
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