A school district outside of Chicago seems to have urged special needs students to not say the phrase “All Lives Matter” prior to hosting a week dedicated to inculcating ideas associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, according to curriculum materials reviewed by The Daily Wire.
District 65 in Evanston, Illinois, participated in the BLM Week of Action in February. The program comes from the national group BLM at School, which demands “black history and ethnic studies” in K-12 curriculum, restorative justice discipline, the funding of “counselors not cops” and the hiring of more black teachers, according to its website.
According to the slideshow, District 65 presented to special needs students on the race-based movement the Friday before BLM week. One slide, titled “Why don’t we say ‘All Lives Matter'” depicts a burning house and someone saying “All Houses Matter” while hosing off another home with water.
“This is important!” the speakers notes for the slide states. “Even if it remains here for the adults! This is a tricky concept but should be talked about even if it’s just for the adults in the room.”
Another slide in the presentation had special needs students “stand in a circle” and put out their hands. The students were to “notice how everyone has different color skin.” In turn, the teacher was instructed to say, “Who in this circle has brown skin?”
The slides define the words “movement,” “racism,” and “activist” for the special needs students. They also say that the BLM movement is a “group of people [who] believe that violence and racism is wrong,” introducing founders of the left-wing movement Alicia Garza, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and Opal Tometi.
The BLM Global Network Foundation has come under heavy scrutiny as of late due to its finances. The group purchased a $6 million Los Angeles mansion with donor money in October 2020, New York Magazine first reported, and purged its fundraising operations more than two months ago after chief legal officers across the U.S. threatened the group for not reporting how it spent the $90 million it received that year.
Speaking to The Daily Wire on condition of anonymity, a parent of a third-grade student in the district said he was “disturbed” by the materials.
“I think they’re trying to undermine arguments that kids might hear outside the school,” said the concerned parent. “I believe they’re trying to put a division between children and parents. It’s so shocking. You hear about this stuff, but then to see it right in front of you.”
One slide near the end of the presentation was a “read aloud” of a book called “Giant Steps to Change the World” by filmmakers Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. “White people need to be taking giant steps,” a note in the speakers’ section states.
A spokesperson for District 65 declined a request for comment.
The Evanston and Skokie district has faced pushback for their equity-based curricula. Last June, a middle school drama teacher sued the district — alleging that it violated anti-discrimination laws after students were allegedly forced to compare “whiteness” to the devil, The Daily Wire reported. Roughly two years before this, the district said it was canceling Halloween celebrations because of its “commitment to equity.”