A lengthy email from a counselor in Plano Independent School District (PISD) sent to colleagues contained three attachments including, among other things, a list of overtly Marxist media for use in classrooms, and a study guide for those “trying to become better allies.”
The attachments highlight materials like The 1619 Project (which claims America’s history is based on racism and slavery), talking points concerning the deaths of George Floyd; Breonna Taylor; and Ahmaud Arbery; and suggested reading lists including Marxist and Communist literature.
The email was first reported on by Texas Scorecard.
Dianne Evans, the PISD special education counselor that sent the email to two of her colleagues (Sian Flores and Amy Henry), said the attachments came from a webinar entitled Understanding the Black Experience in America: Be the Change You Want to See in the World. This webinar was presented by Dr. Marva Robinson, a clinical psychologist in the St. Louis, Missouri area.
The first attachment, titled Discussing Community Trauma in Response to Killings and Mistreatment of Black and Brown Americans, which details two scenarios in which counselors can discuss various talking points concerning the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Michael Brown, among others.
The first scenario offers bullet points to discuss with a patient should they bring up “the subject of rioting, or police killings, or mentioned any of the common names of black and brown people seen in the media.” The other scenario encourages the counselor to give their clients “the space to talk about this,” referring to “recent community traumas.”
This document also has a list of “things to be mindful of,” including the use of words such as “incident, event, or misunderstanding” in lieu of words like “killings or murders or death” when discussing the points enumerated earlier.
The second attachment, titled Justice in June, lays out three itineraries readers can do in 10, 25, or 45 minutes each day to “become more informed” about “becoming an active ally to the black community.” The itineraries offer links to media readers are encouraged to read or watch each day of June. Some of these include links to The 1619 Project, reading chapters from the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, and the documentary, 13th.
The document also lists actions the readers can take. Some of these instruct readers to “reallocate city budgets by defunding the police” and “donate to anti-white supremacy work such [their] local Black Lives Matter Chapter.”
The final attachment is a list of a variety of literature, organized under headings like “Intro to Black Radical Politics,” “Black and Marxist Feminism,” “Prison Abolition,” and “On Revolution.”
Items on the list include Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara, a “beginner’s guide to marxism [sic],” Karl Marx and Frederick Engels’ The Communist Manifesto, Muammar Gaddafi’s The Green Book, State and Revolution by Vladimir Lenin, and study guides on Marxism and Leninism.
Responding to a press inquiry from Texas Scorecard about the email, PISD superintendent Sara Bonser said the district “can confirm that the webinar attended by the employee was not authorized, supported nor is it in use by Plano ISD [sic].”
It is not certain whether or not these attachments were shared with other staff or students at Plano ISD.
Read the full email:
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Sam Medley is a journalist at the Tennessee Star and Star News Network. You can follow Sam at Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Plano West Senior High School” by Ryan75025. CC BY-SA 3.0.