Unsanctioned Philadelphia Teachers Group Pushing Black Lives Matter Curriculum Faces Complaints

Black Lives Matter San Francisco (Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty)
Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty
Philadelphia, PA

An unsanctioned teachers group in the Philadelphia School District is pushing a Black Lives Matter curriculum on children but is facing skepticism and complaints for its efforts, a report says.

Reception is cool among some for the proposed liberal activist curriculum being pushed by a teachers group called the Caucus of Working Educators, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The teachers group has plans to promulgate the Black Lives Matter scheme on kids from the very youngest to the oldest students in the district.

But some teachers are standing in opposition to the drive to indoctrinate kids in Black Lives Matter propaganda, among them Christopher Paslay, an English teacher at Swenson Arts and Technology High School.

Paslay was critical of the plan, saying Black Lives Matter, “challenges nuclear families, and our justice system. I don’t think kids should be taught that Western society is perpetrating a war on black people.”

The school district is also not standing behind the activists’ plans. The new classes are not being sanctioned or mandated by district officials. They are also not being recognized by the Philly Federation of Teachers.

John McNesby, president of FOP Lodge 5 in Philadelphia, is also critical of teaching children from the perspective of the anti-police BLM movement.

“We don’t agree with it. We think there’s a lot better subjects that could be taught,” McNesby said.

Still, organizers say that teaching about the “13 tenets of the Black Lives Matter movement” is an important goal.

“We have to validate our students’ experiences,” said Charlie McGeehan, an English and history teacher and member of the Caucus of Working Educators. “Many of my students have had negative experiences with police officers. To ignore that is to deny their reality in a way that doesn’t make sense.”

Teaching the tenets of BLM is fraught with pitfalls, though. Due to the fractious nature of the movement there are competing versions of the guidelines or principles of the movement. Some suggest there are seven principles, other groups count ten solutions, another group insists there are 12 guidelines, while still others claim to have as many as 13 guiding principles.

Regardless, H. Lee Whack Jr., a district spokesman, stressed that the liberal activist group’s plans are not sanctioned by the Philadelphia Schools.

“However, the district encourages teachers to responsibly engage students around pertinent issues to develop critical thinking skills and a respect for the exchange of ideas,” the paper reported. “The district regularly encourages schools to look to current-event topics for appropriate teaching content that is also aligned with grade-appropriate standards.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.