This piece was published on Substack by Wesley Yang but the actual author is anonymous. And really can you blame them. Anyone who questions the woke absurdity happening in schools is asking to be targeted by the mob. What we do know is that this teacher is from a blue city in a blue state and teaches at a public school. We also know that, politically, he’s on the left.
I’m a leftist. Like, a big one. I hate capitalism, I support abortion on demand, and I unironically use phrases like “systems of oppression” and “the dominant culture.” The last big paper I put together for my undergraduate degree was on critical race theory, for the love of God! I’m not the sort of person who can be easily dismissed as a conservative crank. But plenty of my fellow leftists are still willing to try, on the grounds that anyone who thinks there might be any problem with DEI policies must necessarily be a slack-jawed MAGA troll.
The author opens by describing a summer school class he has been teaching. In his district, parents of kids who are falling behind can apply to free summer school classes to give them some extra class time. But teachers can also recommend students for the program and the kids recommended by teachers get priority. Parents whose kids are recommended can say no but usually just approve the recommendation. So at the start of this summer’s program, this teacher was supposed to have 11 students in his class. But on the first day only two students showed up and on day two he was down to one student. By week’s end, a few parents had withdrawn their kids but most simply did nothing.
The teacher found there were five kids on a wait list whose parents wanted to see them get extra help but when he asked about getting them in to fill the empty seats. He was immediately shot down because the district will not drop any student from a class even if they never show up. They won’t even contact the parent to ask if they plan to send their child because this is part of their “racial justice overhaul.”
Now, when I say the district is “not allowed” to do so, I don’t mean they’re forbidden by some state law or local ordinance. Rather, the district actively embraced this policy as part of their larger equity and racial justice overhaul, and even bragged about doing so in public-facing materials. Their explicit position is that requiring attendance for any district program unfairly victimizes children of color, as does factoring in attendance to any student’s grades during the regular school year. The administrator I spoke to seemed baffled that I would even ask. “I’ll let you know if any parents pull their kids out,” he told me, “but otherwise, your class is technically full.”
Again, this teacher had one child out of 11 showing up to class regularly but, for the sake of equity the other kids had to sit on the wait list.
He goes on to describe a couple of meetings where equity concerns were described in very blunt terms. For instance:
I once attended another meeting – lots of meetings when you’re a teacher! – where we were working to approve a new weekly schedule for students. When I said I was concerned that it would require leaving some sections of the curriculum untaught, a colleague said that might actually be a good thing, because most of our students are white and their test scores dropping slightly would help shrink the racial achievement gap in our state. Again, to clarify: I don’t mean my colleague had a a more nuanced approach to testing that a dishonest interlocutor could twist to sound like that. I mean my colleague literally spoke those words. (To be fair, one other teacher did speak up and challenge them this time, albeit very politely.)
Now, do those two anecdotes, no matter how explicitly I describe them, sound like something out of James Lindsay’s fever dreams? Yes! Are these things that did, in fact, happen? Also yes!
He concludes that the left has accidentally stumbled into a set of beliefs so crazy that to describe them accurately sounds like something made up, only they aren’t made up. He concludes, “I can’t keep pretending these ridiculous DEI schemes aren’t hurting the children we owe so much to. They are. It’s happening, right now.”
I suspect this is happening a lot more often and in a lot more places than the media cares to report. If you’re a public school teacher who has seen things like this, let me know on Twitter or via our tips line. I’d like to let people know about more of these stories.