Schools have morphed from educational institutions to hotbeds of leftism. And the results are not at all to the benefit of the students.
Now, one school district in San Antonio took things way too far.
Without asking for parental input or even informing families of their plans, one school district divided students by the color of their hair. Keep in mind, “educators” did this! The children in one group were told they weren’t as smart as the other students. It was meant to be a lesson on racism. But it clearly backfired.
Parents were livid to learn their children were intentionally mistreated to prove a point. It’s like throwing kids off the boat and hoping they pick up swimming pretty quickly. It’s just not the smart way to teach a lesson.
News 4 San Antonio explains:
The parents we spoke to say they want their children to learn about racism and civil rights but feel Northside ISD went too far with the segregation experiment and by making children watch a documentary it admits was not age appropriate.
Mike and Brandi Lininger say their ten-year-old daughter was confused and hurt by a classroom experiment in January at Leon Springs Elementary. Students were separated according to hair color, with one group receiving preferential treatment.
“All of the dark-haired kids, the brown- and black-haired kids, were treated as the privileged ones and the blonde haired and the redhead kids were the ones treated not so nicely,” said Brandi Lininger.
The Lininger’s say teachers told students children in the fair-haired group were not as intelligent. That group was purposely given a game with pieces missing so they could not play. Later they were made to clean up after the other children.
“She was hurt, her friends, and she named to the principal and to district officials, names of her friends that were crying,” Brandi Lininger said.
Fifth graders were also shown a Spike Lee documentary called “4 Little Girls” about the 1963 bombing of an Alabama church. The film includes graphic autopsy photos of the girls’ bodies.
The teacher says she fast-forwarded past those parts, but the Lininger’s say the children in their daughter’s class did see the photos.
“The things that she said that she skipped over, my daughter was able to describe to us to a ‘T.’ So that night our daughter was unable to go to sleep in our own room, she was scared,” Mike Lininger said.
Personally, I’ve worked with children for
twenty-seven years. I have a degree in special education. I’ve studied behavior challenges and worked with children from many different ages / backgrounds / intelligences. And I am disturbed by this experiment.
Violence and Young Children
Experts agree that even when children are too young to process what they’re seeing on TV, they’re still impacted by violence.
In fact, WebMD has the following advice for children ages 6 to 12:
Typically, children in this age group “lack the depth of consequences,” Hagan tells WebMD.
That’s why it’s important for parents to make themselves available to discuss what’s behind the violent images their children witness. “Tell your children repeatedly that you’re there to talk about it with them,” Salamon urges.
To make such a conversation effective, parents need to know where to start. “Ask how much they know and understand about what’s going on. Don’t automatically assume anything,” Hagan says.
It’s likely initiating a conversation will lead to ongoing dialogue. “Be available to your children. As they process the information, they’ll be coming back to you,” Hagan says.
But let’s get real. This shouldn’t be something we have to look up on WebMD. This should be common sense. So not only were these children subjected to violent and disturbing images, but they were also being subjected to emotional abuse, as they were told how much dumber they were than their classmates.
Back to News 4:
Northside ISD declined News 4 San Antonio’s request for an interview but said in a statement: “The activity and video in question were part of a larger fifth-grade project-based lesson around the inequity of segregation . . . While the campus did receive positive feedback from several parents . . . District and campus administration recognize the parent’s concerns and agree that the activity and video are not age-appropriate and will not be used again.”
The Lininger’s say the main issue for them is transparency.
I agree. There is no excuse for the failure to inform parents of this experiment. Especially in this day of school messenger and email blasts.
“They send us notes and newsletters about everything else. Your child is going to see The Polar Express and it’s pajama day on Friday before winter break, and we get no notice that they’re going to do a social experiment on segregation,” Brandi Lininger said.
News 4 spoke to another Leon Springs parent who confirmed the Lininger’s story but did not want to be identified.
The couple says they contacted us because Northside officials have refused to notify parents about the experiment, and some may still be unaware it took place.
Apparently this experiment has been around since the 1970s.
That doesn’t mean its the best way to teach children about segregation. Clearly, America isn’t the forefront of educational practices. If we were, we wouldn’t be ranked 27th in education. We have access to technology, an abundance of research and resources, and frankly, we should be number one. But it is my theory that our inability to change our ways is the very thing that holds us back.
Case in point: a few years ago I wrote an article regarding our local school district and my opinions regarding standardized testing. In it, I explained:
America is searching for ways to be competitive and yet, when we find them, we ignore what we’ve learned and stick with the status quo.
In 2010, the documentary Waiting for Superman highlighted the success schools in Finland had obtained. In an effort to create economic recovery, they had the foresight to realize they had to better educate the children who would wind up in charge. The result was smaller classrooms, highly qualified teachers, and no standardized tests.
Teachers employ whatever methods necessary to reach their students. They do in-depth projects that fully engage their pupils. Classrooms are designed around interesting subjects that have kids begging to learn more, and it’s proven year after year to be a successful method. Teacher relish the challenge of reaching a student that seems hard to educate with standard methods. They have these “whatever-it-takes” attitudes.
Here, we have interventions, but we don’t have “whatever-it-takes”. We have “do this and then pass it to someone else”.
The failure is not the type of interventions we use.
The failure is the fact that we learned how another country does it better, and we refused to change our ways, or even try to implement some of those changes. Why? Because standardized testing is a multi-million dollar industry. But that’s a story for another day. The point here is that we know there are better ways to teach our children empathy and acceptance. All we have to do is use them.
In my humble opinion, it starts with Jesus Christ. Red, yellow, black and white- they are precious in his sight. But hey, schools don’t want Jesus to come inside anymore. They’d rather shock ten years olds with autopsy images and messages of inferiority. Somehow, I don’t think we’ll ever come out on top if we keep doing what we’ve always done. In fact, I think that’s the definition of insanity. Not a tool for education.