A shocking and concerning incident has come to light in Portland, Maine, where an elementary school reportedly encouraged fifth-grade students to participate in a Black Lives Matter protest. According to documents released by Parents Defending Education, a parental rights organization, Presumpscot Elementary School encouraged students to join the march last March, where they chanted “Black Lives Matter” through the streets of Portland.
“Using Black Lives Matter talking points and a ‘Pyramid of Hate’ for elementary students is not teaching leadership skills, it is promoting ideological indoctrination that doesn’t belong in the K-12 classrooms.” https://t.co/kxB9g2VXKm
— Mailyn Salabarria (@cbntaRMNP) May 11, 2023
It’s troubling enough that young children were used as pawns to promote a political ideology, but the emails released by Parents Defending Education only add to the concern. In these emails, the school staff involved in discussions about the march were more focused on their preferred pronouns than the content of the event. It’s hard to take educators seriously when they prioritize their personal pronouns over the education of their students.
🚨NEW from @DefendingEd:
An elementary school in Portland, Maine encouraged their fifth graders to participate in a school-organized Black Lives Matter march.
The students marched and shouted "Black Lives Matter" at the behest of the staff leading them in the march! pic.twitter.com/oTyMvRYb1B
— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) May 10, 2023
In one email, a fifth-grade teacher with preferred pronouns in her email signature explained that the march was organized and led by the fifth-grade civil rights team. Students were encouraged to walk with them and visit the memorial/celebration hall in the cafeteria throughout the day. The teacher went on to say that the march was designed to send a message that Black Lives Matter in the Presumpscot, Maine, area, and the global community.
This so-called celebration of Black History Month becomes even more concerning when we learn that teachers were organizing their lesson plans around BLM talking points. They even showed students a “Pyramid of Hate,” which claims that words and actions such as “non-inclusive language” and “microaggressions” can lead to the “deliberate and systematic annihilation” of entire groups of people. This kind of fear-mongering and indoctrination of young children is unacceptable in a K-12 classroom.
Parents of Presumpscot Elementary School students should be outraged that their children were used as political pawns, instead of being taught the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. With a proficiency score below 50%, the school district should be focused on effective methods to address students’ learning loss, not encouraging partisan activities. It’s time for schools to focus on education rather than on political activism.