Thursday, March 04, 2021


When teaching 20th century US History, I loved the subject, and I was given autonomy regarding how I taught it. One year, however, there was a bulge in students, and being a columnist, I was asked to pick up two writing classes in place of two US History classes, which went to another teacher. I supplied that teacher with materials and a syllabus, but she ignored them. Instead, she taught slavery based on the movie “Roots.” When I alerted the administration, nothing was done. She did what she wanted for the entire school year and fifty students didn’t learn 20th Century US History.

That experience made me wonder if anyone is really in charge of what gets taught in our schools. Then two weeks ago I read about David Flynn, who was the football coach at Dedham High School in Massachusetts until he was fired, but his firing had nothing to do with his coaching. He was let go because he complained about what his daughter was being taught in her World Geography and Ancient History class at Dedham Middle School. Flynn objected because what she was learning had nothing to do with World Geography or Ancient History.

“Instead,” according to the lawsuit Flynn filed against the school district, “the instruction concerned issues of race, gender, stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, and politics, among others. In one assignment, Plaintiff’s daughter was asked to consider various ‘risk factors’ and ‘mitigating factors’ that two people identified as ‘white’ and the other identified as ‘black’ – purportedly might use to assess each other on a city street. Included among the various factors were skin color, gender, age, physical appearance, and attire. ‘Black,’ ‘aggressive body language’ and ‘wrong neighborhood were among the ‘risk factors’ purportedly assessed by the person identified as ‘white.’ ‘White’ and ‘Police officer’ were among the ‘risk factors’ purportedly assessed by the person identified as ‘black.’”

Other parents whose children attended Dedham Middle School agreed with Flynn’s objections, but Flynn was summoned to meet with the district superintendent, middle school principal, and the athletic director to discuss his disapproval. They produced his letter to them, asked if he’d emailed it to other parents, then told him they would be taking the football program “in a different direction.” He only learned he was fired when the three officials released a letter to football players and parents stating:

Dave Flynn

”We are writing today and are sorry to inform you that Dave Flynn will not be reappointed as the Head Coach of Dedham High School football. We met with Mr. Flynn today because he has expressed significant philosophical differences with the direction, goals, and values of the school district. Due to these differences, we felt it best to seek different leadership for the program at this time.”

Gregory Manco

Lest you think Dedham High School anomalous, last week I read about Professor Gregory Manco’s experience at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. On his private Twitter account on which he wrote: “Suppose your great-great-grandfather murdered someone. The victim’s great-great-grandson knocks on your door, shows you a newspaper clipping from 1905, and demands compensation from you. Your response? Now get this racist reparation bull**** out of your head for good.” Then he said racial bias training, now ubiquitous in education everywhere, “divides us and *worsens* race relations.”

When some students found his tweets and reported him, the university responded saying: “We thank our students for bringing to our attention a possible violation of our values. The University launched an investigation into a report of bias. The faculty member will not be in the classroom or in a coaching role while the investigation is conducted.”

The university’s faculty handbook says extramural comments by professors should be “free from institutional censorship.” Not anymore I guess. I hope Manco sues.

Charles Negy

Then there is the unfortunate former Professor Charles Negy who was fired by the University of Central Florida in January for daring to tweet: “Black privilege is real: Besides affirm[ative] action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege. But as a group, they’re missing out on much needed feedback.”

These three men are but a few of many around the country who are being fired, suspended, disciplined, and sentenced to months of “diversity training” for articulating what millions of Americans think, but are afraid to speak about openly. No wonder. Is the United States emulating China with its “social credit system,” which which uses Big Tech to monitor citizens the way Big Brother monitored Winston Smith through a telescreen in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”

This is the world of woke. If I were to teach US History today the way I did for the twenty years of my career up to 2011, I’d be facing the same discipline as the men cited above. The handwriting was on the wall for me, but that’s a subject for another column.


Kafir said...

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as Racism are also in the forefront at Maine’s Department of Education.,Joint%20Statement%20of%20Commitment%20and%20Support%20for%20Diversity,and%20Inclusion%20in%20Maine%20Schools&text=We%20proudly%20and%20steadfastly%20support,in%20our%20schools%20and%20communities.

Approximately 2,500 years ago Socrates made the point, “The debate is lost when slander becomes the tool of the loser.” Nothing has changed.

cowboy ted said...

The Marxist takeover--the foundational truth is that they do not believe in God, they are against private property, and they hate Western civilization which has created the most patents, inventions, discoveries, and improved the quality of life immeasurably. In 50 years people will be stunned to see how America lost it's beauty, riches, freedom to a distinct minority of people who do NOT represent the majority opinion or truth for that matter. Where is John Gault?

Louise said...

Congratulations, Tom. You have created the echo chamber of your dreams.

CaptDMO said...

How so Louise?