The Biden administration is playing a dangerous game after issuing guidance for school reopening that promoted a radical activist group and their destructive plans for America.
The Biden admin pushed the radical pro critical race theory group’s handbook that advocates for educators to “disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression.”
The Department of Education linked to the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s “Guide for Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning “ in its handbook intended to help schools reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic and recommend how they should spend billions of dollars they collectively received through the American Rescue Plan.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network’s website includes links to various materials and media that include language often associated with critical race theory, though the group shies away from using the exact phrase so that people don’t realize what they’re really up to.
“Abolitionist Teachers” should “[b]uild a school culture that engages in healing and advocacy. This requires a commitment to learning from students, families, and educators who disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression,” the group states in its guide.
Critical race theory advocates have argued that the doctrine is not being taught in public schools and that opponents’ complaints are overwrought. But a number of the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s board members and associated activists are current or former educators who push for race-related reform in public schools.
While the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s mission statement is vague, its rhetoric elsewhere indicates that it aims to overhaul schools to prioritize racial awareness.
“Abolitionist Teaching Network’s mission is to develop and support those in the struggle for educational freedom utilizing the intellectual work and direct action of Abolitionists in many forms,” the group’s website states.
But in the materials referenced by the Department of Education, the group outlines how “Abolitionist Teachers” should guide students toward “Abolitionist” social and emotional learning.
In addition to finding educators committed to disrupting Whiteness, the guide states that teachers should remove “all punitive or disciplinary practices that spirit murder Black, Brown, and Indigenous 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 Indigenous children.”
It also states that the standards for such learning are “are rooted in Eurocentric norms” and don’t “empower, love, affirm, or free” those children.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network’s guide also lists abolitionist teachers’ “demands,” which include “[f]ree, antiracist therapy for White educators and support staff.”
Additionally, it states that teaching and learning standards, as well as teacher evaluations, should be “grounded in the pursuit of Black, Brown, and Indigenous liberation, criticality, excellence, and joy.”
The network “is dedicated to not creating new schools or reimagining schools, but destroying schools that do nothing but harm Black and brown children,” co-founder Bettina Love said during a welcome webinar.
Love also noted that the network would “create a national database of antiracist school counselors, therapists and lawyers.” She said her group planned to pay its “activists in residence” to travel around the country and “go into schools or communities and do the work of dismantling.”
Love, who also chairs the board of directors, said. “I want us to be feared.”</em
The Abolitionist Teaching Network started only in 2020, according to its LinkedIn page. It’s unclear why it was linked in the Department of Education’s guidance, though Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten, while serving as the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, hosted Love.
The American Rescue Plan provided $122 billion for the Department of Education to distribute to state agencies, which would subsequently disburse funding to local school systems. The local education agencies must use at least 20% of the provided funding to address learning loss through programs that consider “students’ academic, social, and emotional needs,” the rescue plan states.
The Department of Education’s handbook, which guides local school systems on how to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, hyperlinks to the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s guidance in one section.
“Schools are microcosms of society; therefore, culturally responsive practices [and] intentional conversations related to race and social emotional learning … are the foundation for participating in a democracy and should be anchor tenets in building a schoolwide system of educational opportunity,” the handbook states, with a portion hyperlinked to the Abolitionist Teaching Network.
Author: Tyler Watson