USA: OPS buys 8,000 diversity manuals
Awwww – isn’t this sweet? The biggest school district of Nebraska – the Omaha Public Schools – has wasted $130 000 of American stimulus money to buy ‘diversity’ books for all their teachers, administrators and staff members. Just what is written in this ‘diversity’ book you may well ask? Well, apart from stating the obvious, that Whites are the product of White privilege, other wonderful topics covered are historical oppression in schools including racism, sexism, homophobia and “ableism,” defined by the authors as discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities. The authors of this masterpiece – all former teachers (!) – write that their intent in the book is “to prepare educators to unshackle themselves from tradition and become facilitators for reconciliation of historical injustices.” With lunatics like these allowed to roam freely amongst civilised people, is there ANY hope that our children will turn out normal? And what does it say about the OPS school board, that they voted 11-0 to allow this indoctrination? Well, what it says to me is the following: get the hell out of Nebraska because it’s going to look like Detroit soon! I wonder if the OPS will buy real teaching books as exuberantly as they buy this rubbish? Or, is that too much to ask of our public servants – to do the job they’re employed to do and leave their bullshit ideology where it belongs…in the toilet?? If only I were a teacher and someone had given me a copy…..
The Omaha Public Schools used more than $130,000 in federal stimulus dollars to buy each teacher, administrator and staff member a manual on how to become more culturally sensitive.
The book by Virginia education consultants could raise some eyebrows with its viewpoints.
The authors assert that American government and institutions create advantages that “channel wealth and power to white people,” that color-blindness will not end racism and that educators should “take action for social justice.”
The book says that teachers should acknowledge historical systemic oppression in schools, including racism, sexism, homophobia and “ableism,” defined by the authors as discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.
The authors argue that public school teachers must raise their cultural awareness to better serve minority students and improve academic achievement.
The Omaha school board approved buying 8,000 copies of the book — one for every employee, including members of the custodial staff — in April. The decision to buy the book was made 11-0, with board member Mary Ellen Drickey passing on the vote.
Janice Garnett, OPS assistant superintendent of human resources, said she could not recall another time that the district had bought copies of the same book to give to every staff member.
Employees will be asked to read a couple of chapters each quarter and then meet in study groups to discuss the book using a study guide produced by the district, she said. For teachers, the study sessions will be a part of their professional development.
School board President Sandra Jensen said the district doesn’t endorse everything in the book, nor does she expect employees to adopt the authors’ positions. The book is intended to open a dialogue, she said.
“The purpose of providing this resource is to help staff see that people come from a multitude of different backgrounds which cause them to respond differently to the same set of facts, depending on their personal perspectives,” she said in a statement. “Recognition that one might have a certain perspective is critical to treating all people equally.”
Only those educators who acknowledge the existence of white privilege in America, that “white” is a culture in America and that race “is a definer for social and economic status” can reach proficiency, the authors contend. Those who score poorly on the worksheet are asked in the book what they will do “to align yourself with the values expressed.”
Jensen said the district will not use the book to evaluate or judge employees.
The book says teachers must overcome irrational fear of homosexuality and reject the “color-blind” approach to teaching in which teachers treat all children the same. Instead, the group identity of students of color should be recognized and esteemed, the authors say.
The authors ask readers to reflect on several hypothetical cases, including that of a gay “teacher of the year” afraid to post family photos of his male partner for his school’s Family Day, an African-American parent upset by a sixth-grade Early-American Day because African-Americans were enslaved in those days, and a principal whose attempt to reach out to Muslim students backfires when he announces over the intercom that students should welcome Muslims though they “might believe in violence.”
The authors — Franklin and Brenda CampbellJones and Randall B. Lindsey — all former teachers, write that their intent in the book is “to prepare educators to unshackle themselves from tradition and become facilitators for reconciliation of historical injustices.”
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