July 18, 2021 – Slinger, WI – Those who attended our June Slinger school board meeting or watched the video(s) posted on the Washington County Insider’s YouTube channel will remember that I called for an audit of our district curriculum as well as the materials and coursework associated with educator training.
The purpose was to bring to light any influences of critical race theory (CRT) or any related ideologies, whether they’re overt or subtle, implied or clearly stated. We also must be diligent to discover “points of entry” – places in our outlines or lessons where these ideologies can manifest in the classroom without actually being documented as part of the lesson. The purpose of all of this work is to protect and strengthen the presence of our community’s values in our school district’s educational environment.
I would be remiss if I didn’t first publicly thank Mr. Sievers, Mr. Curler and Mrs. Bock for their help in providing the materials we needed to get started. Mr. Sievers also took extra time to explain more to me about how we utilize Teachers On Call (TOC) for substitute teacher staffing. He also contacted TOC the day after the June board meeting to express our concerns about the training they required for our parent volunteers who wanted to become subs so our schools could stay open in the fall. And in less than a week, we had the course outlines I requested without the need for an open-records request. Our district cares enough about our students to be remarkably responsive. Thank you!
I’m happy to report we took our first step tonight in the auditing process. We have a group of volunteers who have committed to review 23 course outlines from our high school curriculum offerings. We met tonight to solidify our purpose, discuss our approach, divide into working groups and set up the cadence for the work and the potential follow-up. We’re going to learn a lot about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it as we get the work done – “laying tracks while the train’s moving,” as the saying goes. But we’re committed to the work, that’s for sure. We’ll be prepared to present our initial results at the July 26 board meeting.
This, however, is just the start of our journey in Slinger. Just since the June board meeting, we’ve seen other area school districts suddenly mired in a variety of scandals for the revolting and offensive material made available to their students, even at the grade school level.
I can’t speak for those districts, but I believe no staff, board member or administrator in Slinger School District would knowingly make such material available to our students. All the same, it’s our responsibility as parents, grandparents and concerned citizens to WORK WITH our district to ensure our kids are protected, our values are promoted, and our community is strengthened now and in the future. And if we discover such offensive material, I’m confident our school board and district administration will work with us to remove that content and put safeguards in place to prevent further offenses.
Finally, I have a call to action for those reading this message, whether you live in Slinger School District or not: Consider how you can get involved TODAY. What if all of us, as citizens, began to dig into the details of the curriculum our students are taught and the manner in which that content is delivered? We have seen how many different ways CRT, SLE, “anti-racism” and the like have entered public education, not to mention the onslaught we’ve seen on our children’s innocence.
I pray that we find very few issues in Slinger, if any, along these lines. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the districts in our county; sadly, we already know that’s not true. But it’s our shared responsibility to be SURE it’s rooted out. I pray that you agree and you’ll raise your hand to help today.
I think we have a fantastic school district in Slinger; I really do. But I also believe we’re all in a mode of discovery, a point in time where we’re waking up from our innocent ignorance about the destructive influences from federal and state governments, higher education institutions and media that can erode our values. Now that we’re waking up, we have to do the work. Together. All of us.
Slinger Parents United.
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