Teachers unions and associations have become woke. That’s true even in the hard sciences.
Instead of “mother,” “father,” or “biological parent,” use terms created by students like “gene-givers,” “biological life transmitters,” or “storks,” urges the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) in a new “gender-inclusive” guide.
In the guide, the world’s largest science teachers association urges teachers to “Show students that myriad, naturally occurring families exist, such as same-sex swan couples.…On our website, we have compiled a Queer Species Database with hundreds of instances of diverse sexual behavior, sex, and gender.”
Also warned against are the terms “mother,” “father,” “male,” and “female,” notes law professor Jonathan Turley. Instead, teachers are advised to refer to “people with ovaries” and “people with testes,” or refer to people by their chromosomes.
These admonitions, if enforced by “harassment” or “hostile environment” policies, would violate teachers’ and students’ free speech rights, says Turley, who teaches at George Washington University:
“We have already seen successful litigation challenging mandatory pronoun usage, including the recent litigation involving a teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia. Yet we have also seen new cases, including the charging of three high school students for not using preferred pronouns.”
Teachers’ unions also avidly promote woke ideology. For example, the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers’ union in America, approved New Business Item 39, which resolved to promote and defend critical race theory (CRT). However, after this resolution drew criticism, the NEA deleted all evidence of it from its website.
This happened around the same time that Randi Weingarten, president of the second-largest teachers’ union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), was claiming that CRT wasn’t anywhere near K-12 schools.
“Let’s be clear: Critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools or high schools,” she insisted. “It’s a method of examination taught in law school and college that helps analyze whether systemic racism exists — and, in particular, whether it has an effect on law and public policy.”
Meanwhile, Detroit’s school superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, said critical race theory was deeply embedded in his school system: “Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory, especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. We were very intentional about…embedding critical race theory within our curriculum.”
These school districts are not alone. Twenty percent of urban school teachers report having discussed or taught critical race theory with K-12 students, as have 8 percent of teachers nationally, according to an Education Week survey. The Seattle public school district has employed a critical race theorist who applies the controversial theory to school policies and practices as part of the district’s efforts to embed it in elementary schools.
“Unequivocally, critical race theory is taught in K-12 public schools,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher, who wrote a research paper detailing numerous instances of school districts openly using the phrase “critical race theory” in curriculum plans.
“Less than half of high school students in St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) are proficient in math or reading but” soon all of them “will be required to take a Critical Ethnic Studies (CES) course before they can graduate,” reports the Center of the American Experiment:
“The graduation requirement will first apply to the class of 2025, who will take the one semester class as 10th graders in the 2022-2023 school year, according to school communication.
“Course concepts will include: identity, intersectionality, race, dominant/counter narratives, racism, white supremacy, racial equity, oppression, systemic oppression, resistance and resilience, social/youth-led movements, civic engagement, hope and healing, and transformation and change.”
Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department.
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