A text message sent out to staffers of a middle school in Wake County, North Carolina is promoting the upcoming “Black Lives Matter In Schools” week of action.
Staffers at the West Cary Middle School were sent a text message by Assistant Principal Charlesa Peoples with information about the week of February 4th being “Black Lives Matter In Schools” week of action.
“Yes, I know all lives matter,” wrote Peoples in the text message. “But the week of February 4th is focused specifically on our black students ok?
“And if we don’t see why this is important, we are part of the problem,” Peoples wrote.
The text message sent to West Cary Middle staffers also informed teachers that they could obtain materials such as the “13 guiding principles of Black Lives Matter” from the “Teaching Tolerance” website, which is a project of the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The “13 guiding principles” have been assigned to activities throughout the week of action:
Monday: Restorative justice, empathy and loving engagement
Tuesday: Diversity and globalism
Wednesday: Trans-affirming, queer-affirming and collective value
Thursday: Intergenerational, black families and black villages
Friday: Black women and unapologetically black
The website BlackLivesMatterAtSchool.com provides a ‘starter kit’ for teachers and a full description of the 13 guiding principles. The site also includes a flier and a list of demands that includes ending zero tolerance, restorative justice, fewer school resource officers, mandating black/ethnic studies, and hiring more black teachers.
A worksheet where two people answer questions in order to score each other’s “white privilege/bias” was also handed out to teachers at the middle school. A screenshot of the worksheet was sent to Battleground State News:
Staffers who sent the materials to Battleground State News wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal. Staffers said that West Cary Middle has become a “culture of intimidation.”
Battleground State News reached out to both the Principal of West Cary Middle School and Wake County Public Schools. Neither responded to our request for comment.
We shared our information on the Black Lives Matter week of action with the News and Observer. The paper also reached out to Wake County Schools and they responded:
But Lisa Luten, a Wake schools spokeswoman, said neither the school district nor West Cary Middle is planning any Black Lives Matter At School events.
“The email was intended to make faculty aware of the national event so that if students individually participated, teachers would have the information necessary to support their students,” Luten said. “The materials linked in the email were provided as an ‘FYI’ and were not intended to be prescriptive or compulsory.”’
In the last year, Wake County Public Schools hired former Teaching Tolerance staff member Lauren Mascarenaz to join the district’s Office of Diversity Affairs. The department of four’s budget and staff salaries total a staggering $574,647 a year. Mascarenaz was hired in 2018 to be the “Director of Equity Affairs for Coaching and Leadership.” Her salary alone is $85,000.00.
The Teaching Tolerance website’s front page currently features the Black Lives Matter In Schools week of action as a place to “learn more about how you can join social justice educators from Philadelphia to Seattle in affirming and centering black lives in your classroom, school and beyond.”
The stated goal of Teaching Tolerance is to create social justice activists beginning in grades as early as Kindergarten and the organization, for decades, has been achieving that goal through offering ‘free’ curriculum to teachers nationwide.
The latest batch of ‘free’ materials is a set of Common Core-aligned “Social Justice Standards.” These Common Core-aligned materials were a part of the Teaching Tolerance’s Perspectives for A Diverse America, described as “a literacy-based curriculum that marries anti-bias social justice content with the rigor of the Common Core State Standards.”
Google, whose GSuite for Education has come under fire for privacy issues and mining student information, recently dropped $250,000 into Teaching Tolerance in order to ‘redesign’ their website.
The SPLC has been sued several times over the last five years for defamation over the targeting of conservative figures and groups and placing of them on the organization’s now infamous “hate map.”
SPLC ‘s “hate map” was used in 2012 by the would-be mass shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins, to target the Family Research Council headquarters. Corkins was sentenced to 25-years in 2013 for the attempt which wounded a security guard.
In June of 2018, the SPLC settled a suit for $3.375 million after admitting to falsely labeling to Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation as “extremist.”
The Center for Immigration Studies filed a RICO suit in January of 2012 against the SPLC. According to the press release by the Center for Immigration Studies is seeking “damages and an injunction prohibiting Cohen and his colleague, Heidi Beirich, who heads the group’s “hate group” project, from repeating the false claim that the Center is a hate group.”
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A.P. Dillon is the North Carolina Bureau Chief for The Tennesee Star and a reporter at Battleground State News. Follow A.P. Dillon on Twitter. Email Tips to [email protected].
Photo “Teacher Presentation” by Jim Martin 4 Schools.