While we are still thinking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., we wanted to bring a startling development to your attention: public school teachers are being subjected to on-the-job mental abuse and bullying.
We are talking about an insidious practice, now quite common in our metro-area schools: race shaming, the normalization of crude language and attempts to dumb-down curriculum for black students.
Thinking Minnesota’s winter issue features an interview with teacher Linda Hoekman. Mrs. Hoekman has been teaching physics to high schoolers of all races, sizes and shapes for over twenty years. She loves teaching science!
The principal at her Anoka-Hennepin school arranged for “consultants” from the Minneapolis Public Schools to “talk” with the faculty at Mrs. Hoekman’s school last fall. The staff training sessions focused on racial and cultural issues.
Hoekman and her stunned colleagues were told they were white supremacists by people who judged them solely on the basis of their skin color. They were forced to listen to crude language (so they could better understand black culture), and then they were blamed, as whites, for the achievement gap. The kicker? Teachers were asked by these black educators to change the “white curriculum” to accommodate black students.
When we interviewed Mrs. Hoekman for the magazine, she told us that she has refused to change her science curriculum. She said wisely, “Physics is for everyone.” We asked how her black students were doing, and she replied, “They are doing great.”
Of course they are when they have a teacher who believes in them.
One might assume that the teachers’ union would defend the honor of the faculty, and decry the insult to the character and intelligence of teachers and black students alike, right?
Wrong. A group of teachers went to the local union rep who refused to help.
We believe that Dr. King would stand with Mrs. Hoekman.
This is a must read interview you can find here.