The Biden administration’s advice for reopening schools promoted a radical activist group’s manual that advocates that educators “disrupt whiteness and other forms of oppression.”
The Department of Education linked the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s “Guide to Racial Justice and Social and Emotional Learning” in its manual to help schools reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic and to recommend how they should spend the billions of dollars they collectively received through the US bailout.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network website includes links to various documents and media that include language often associated with critical race theory, although the group avoids using the exact phrase.
“Abolitionist teachers” should “[b]forge a school culture that engages in healing and advocacy. It requires a commitment to learn from students, families and educators who disrupt whiteness and other forms of oppression, ”the group says in its guide.
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Critical supporters of racial theory have argued that the doctrine is not taught in public schools and that the complaints of opponents are exaggerated. But a number of the Abolitionist Teaching Network board members and associated activists are current or former educators pushing for race-related reform in public schools.
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While the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s mission statement is vague, its rhetoric elsewhere indicates that it aims to overhaul schools to prioritize racial awareness.
“The mission of the abolitionist education network is to develop and support those who struggle for educational freedom by using the intellectual work and direct action of abolitionists in many forms,” the group’s website says.
But in documents referenced by the Education Department, the group describes how “abolitionist teachers” should guide students towards “abolitionist” social and emotional learning.
In addition to finding educators committed to disrupting whiteness, the guide says teachers should remove “any punitive or disciplinary practices that result in the murder of black, brown, and native children.”
The guide notes that social and emotional learning “can be a covert form of policing used to punish, criminalize and control black, brown and native children.” It also states that the norms for such learning are “rooted in Eurocentric norms” and do not “empower, love, assert or release” these children.
Social and emotional learning is essentially how people develop identities, emotional management, and various social and interpersonal skills, according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network’s guide also lists the “demands” of abolitionist teachers, which include “[f]ree, anti-racism therapy for white educators and support staff. . “
The network “is not dedicated to creating new schools or reinventing schools, but to destroying schools that only harm black and brown children,” co-founder Bettina Love said in a welcome webinar .
Love also noted that the network “would create a national database of anti-racist school counselors, therapists and lawyers.” She said her group planned to pay her “activists in residence” to travel across the country and “go to schools or communities and do the dismantling work.”
“If you don’t recognize that white supremacy is in everything we do, then we have a problem,” said Love, who also chairs the board. “I want to be feared.”
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Another co-founder and board member, Brandelyn Tosolt, described herself as a “white teacher educator”. She said during the webinar that she had “a significant history” of “trying to help other white teachers trouble their internalized white supremacy and anti-darkness.”
The abolitionist education network only started in 2020, according to its LinkedIn page. It is not clear why he was linked to the Department of Education guidelines, although Assistant Secretary Cindy Marten, while she was superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, hosted Love, Fox News previously reported.
As first reported by Manhattan Institute principal investigator Christophe Rufo and confirmed by Fox News, Love hosted a diversity training for managers and principals in September 2020. During the training, Love said that schools do not view black people as human and are anti-black. Love also said that schools are “murdering in spirit” black students.
“Spiritual murder” is “a slow death, a death of the spirit, a death based on racism and intended to reduce, humiliate and destroy people of color,” Love wrote in a 2019 article.
Marten gave Love a glowing introduction to diversity training, Fox News previously reported.
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The US bailout provided $ 122 billion for the Department of Education to distribute to state agencies, which would then provide funds to local school systems. Local education agencies must use at least 20% of the funding provided to tackle learning loss through programs that take into account the “academic, social and emotional needs of students,” the bailout says.
The Department of Education handbook, which guides local school systems on how to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, contains hyperlinks to the abolitionist education network guidelines in one section.
“Schools are microcosms of society; therefore, culturally appropriate practices [and] intentional conversations related to race and social and emotional learning… are the foundation of participation in a democracy and should be foundational principles in building a system of school-wide educational opportunities », Says the manual, with part linked to the abolitionist education network.
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The textbook’s introduction notes that schools now have the funding to help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic “and for whom the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities.”
“A district or school-wide approach… that responds to the trauma of COVID-19 and is grounded in equity can help all students feel seen and valued,” the manual continues. “It is important for educators to recognize that social and emotional skills can be expressed differently across cultures, especially as young students of color live, witness, and make sense of historic moments in American history and in their place in this one. “
Neither the Department of Education nor the Abolitionist Teaching Network responded to Fox News requests for comment.