President Joe Biden celebrated “International Social Emotional Learning Day” Friday, saying, “I believe the government has a responsibility to support you.”
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) — an in-school “psychological training” for children — is a vehicle for injecting critical race theory into classrooms.
“One of the things we have gained during this time is a renewed understanding of how important it is to see one another, hear one another, and take care of one another, especially in times of challenge and need,” the president’s March 11 proclamation reads. “That’s what International Social Emotional Learning Day is all about.”
SEL claims it teaches empathy, “advances educational equity,” and “can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.”
Indeed, in a study published by the Pioneer Institute, pediatrician Karen Effrem and attorney Jane Robbins wrote that “education decision-makers look toward probing students’ psyches rather than instilling academic knowledge.”
Breitbart News reported,
In February, Robbins wrote at the Federalist that SEL champions such as the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) are now “brazenly trumpeting an even more troubling aspect of SEL: the opportunity to turn impressionable students into leftist activists.”
Robbins also wrote that the indoctrination into critical race theory has now become, “expressly, the goal of social-emotional learning.” She observed that CASEL CEO Karen Niemi now asserts SEL “helps students ‘move from anger to agency and then to action,” primarily in the cause of anti-racism.
To truly heal, learn, and grow together, we must address students' social, emotional, and mental health needs. The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges, but we have the resources & strength to build back better & help our children succeed.
— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) March 10, 2022
“SEL is the Trojan horse through which critical race theory and gender ideology is injected into children’s heads,” Parents Defending Education (PDE) President and Founder Nicole Neily said. “After two years of disruption and learning loss from the pandemic, schools should be using every minute to help students catch up and get back to a sense of stability. Since 2018, SEL has had a destabilizing effect on children’s mental health and that must be stopped.”
Biden’s statement on Twitter continues:
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the heroic lengths to which teachers and paraprofessionals have gone to educate, support, and comfort our Nation’s children. And while the love, support, and compassion our young people need will always come from parents, educators, community members, and friends — I believe that our government has a responsibility to support you.
Yet Democrat leadership throughout the pandemic has needlessly placed draconian restrictions on children, such as “virtual learning” and masking, that have led to skyrocketing rates of youth anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
Indeed, in the middle of 2020, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged school officials to open schools for in-person learning, warning of spiking depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation among children.
Breitbart News reported on a study conducted by Attorney General Vivek Murthy:
Even Biden’s Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, pointed out that depression and anxiety symptoms for youth around the world doubled during the pandemic, and clinical data also revealed that “suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for adolescent girls and 4% higher for adolescent boys compared to the same time period in early 2019.”
“Pandemic-related measures … made it harder to recognize signs of child abuse, mental health concerns, and other challenges” children were facing given the “reduced in-person interactions among children, friends, social supports, and professionals such as teachers [and] school counselors,” Murthy’s study stated.
Biden also touted the American Rescue Plan Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) plan, which claims to have allocated $122 billion “to help meet the mental health, social, emotional, and academic needs of our students,” but in reality injected funding for diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives into school districts across the country.
“My Administration is committed to continuing our work with leaders and educators across our Nation to integrate social and emotional learning into America’s schools, organizations, and communities,” Biden’s letter concluded.
“Social Emotional learning sounds nice and perhaps it used to be. But in 2018 CASEL changed the definition of SEL to make it a lever for equity and social justice, more about the collective and less about the individual child’s development of important life skills,” PDE Director of Outreach Erika Sanzi said in a statement Friday. “Lessons on sexual and gender identity, racial identity and social justice activism in the earliest elementary grades are part of SEL programming. Proponents claim it is research and evidence based but it isn’t. On the contrary, we see consistent deterioration in the emotional health of students and staff forced to participate in these programs.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.