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Parents, teachers battle back against schools’ ‘social justice’ program

A group of over 300 California parents and teachers are showing how it’s done: They’ve formed a group called Fair Education Santa Barbara and are battling a school district’s politically correct — and racist — “social justice” workshops.

FESB has filed a lawsuit against the Santa Barbara Unified School District due to its contract with an organization called Just Communities Central Coast, Inc. JCCC purports to “work to ensure that Central Coast schools, organizations, and communities are places of opportunity, not places of limitation,” and its IRS Form 990 states it “advances social justice by building leadership, fostering change, and dismantling all forms of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression.”

However, the suit alleges the district’s use of JCCC programs violate “California Government Code and California Education Code” regarding “unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex and religion.”

More specifically, the lawsuit contends

JCCC’s programming teaches, for example, that “racism” can only be perpetrated by “white people” and that “white people,” “males” and “Christian people” “target” “People of Color,” “females” and “All other [religions]” […] JCCC’s programming separates the participants in its school-based programs by race and requires the Caucasian group to sit in silence while the “People of Color” group recounts their past encounters with alleged racism. The Caucasian group is also required by JCCC (and thus it’s employer SBUSD as well) to affirm that they have received preferential treatment on the basis of their race and is precluded from offering any explanation, as this in and of itself would be “racist” and “collusion” against people of color.

There are many organizations out there like JCCC; Glenn Singleton’s Pacific Educational Group, which runs the risible “Courageous Conversations,” and Darnisa Amante’s Disruptive Equity Education Project are but two.

Despite their flowery language, these groups’ programs are social and cultural poison which have served to unite the political right and left against them.

Testimonies by various individuals with experience and knowledge of JCCC’s seminars said in Superior Court declarations that following the workshops

—  students returned “visibly upset and not wanting to return”
— white students were getting hassled by Hispanic students for standing for the Pledge of Allegiance
— a white student even complained that he felt like killing himself: “The first day that he participated, he came home crying very upset saying that he hated being white. That white people were awful!”

Kati Hedden, a former teacher at La Colina Junior High School, pointed out something which always intrigued yours truly about these programs: that JCCC’s “Talking in Class” seminar instructors “are not trained teaching professionals and are not trained in this area.”

Actually, the bigger concern is what their ‘expertise is in and how they’re trained:

— “Passionate about education and is working tirelessly to motivate, empower, and encourage those facing the same adversities she did” (Program/Office Manager Ana Huynh)

— “Created and implemented culturally relevant scientific curricula [and] is a strong advocate for education, science, peace, history, and social justice” (Director of Just Communities International Andrea Medina)

— “Earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies, with a minor in Education [and] founded Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara, a grassroots community coalition” (Development & Communications Specialist​ Fabiola González)

JCCC so far has received over $1 million from Santa Barbara Unified, according to attorney Eric Early. He claims JCCC’s curricula were kept “secret” from parents who wished to view them.

However, JCCC Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz told the Santa Barbara Unified School Board on October 8 that “there are very real reasons” his group doesn’t post materials online. These include “theft of intellectual property” and (ironically) “misuse by people without training.” (The same Santa Barbara Independent article quotes district senior Emily Vesper  speaking in favor of the JCCC trainings … omitting that she is a member of JCCC’s South Santa Barbara County Board of Directors.)

Schwartz offered “two public workshops” for the interested public “to experience firsthand the curriculum.” He claimed FESB has been “spreading misinformation” about JCCC partly based on allegations of secrecy.

It’s certainly understandable why Santa Barbara Unified, like many other districts across the country, wouldn’t want a lot (if any) information getting out about programs like JCCC’s — because they’re ridiculously racist and divisive. I give a hearty “BRAVO” to Fair Education Santa Barbara. With a public school district, any curriculum should be available to any member of the public upon request.

The public, after all, pays for everything the district has, including programs like JCCC’s.

If you hear about a similar program in your child’s school, follow in FESB’s footsteps. Be sure to investigate it. Demand to see the specifics. Inquire about the costs. Question the alleged benefits.

And spread the word.

MORE: The poison that is the ‘Courageous Conversation’ reverse-racism program

MORE: In NYC schools, ‘racial equity’ = favoring black students

IMAGE: PhuShutter / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 15 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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