News and Commentary

Wisconsin Parents On New Social Studies Curriculum: ‘Our Children Cannot Escape Leftist Messaging’

   DailyWire.com
Students and Teacher Working in Social Studies Classroom, Wellsville, New York
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A Wisconsin school district is re-evaluating its social studies curriculum. Local activists are advocating that the district’s new curriculum include teaching children that “white feminism” failed racial minorities. 

After the Elmbrook School District in Brookfield, Wisconsin, announced that it was reviewing the district’s social studies curriculum, activists in the area circulated a poll asking for input to give to the curriculum review committee. The group calls itself “What’s Next, Elmbrook?”  

A screenshot of the survey obtained by The Daily Wire, which has since been taken down, asks parents to choose which topics they believe the social studies curriculum should prioritize. 

Answers were limited to “Black Wall Street/Tulsa Race Massacre,” “The truth about Christopher Columbus,” “Pre-colonial education/turtle island: more about Indigenous history before the arrival of European settlers,” “Segregation in Milwaukee, past and present,” “Japanese Internment Camps,” “The truth about Black Panthers, COINTELPRO, Fred Hampton,” “Race relations beyond the 1960s/post-Civil Rights era,” “waves of feminism and its failures, white feminism (e.g. how the 19th Amendment did not protect black/brown women’s right to vote, etc.),” and “Stonewall/LGBTQ Liberation/AIDS epidemic.” 

Survey via “What’s Next, Elmbrook?”

A whistleblower in the district — who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retribution — told The Daily Wire that the survey immediately caught their attention as the theme for the revived curriculum mirrored left-leaning talking points. 

“Perhaps it is the time in which we are living that the list of nine topics simply seemed to focus more on left agenda talking points and were equally negative and depressing,” the parent said. “It seems to me that the agenda is to focus solely on negative culture, redoing or erasing history and planting seeds of doubt on what we’ve traditionally been taught to believe.” 

Elmbrook School District claims that the survey was circulated only by alumni and activists, though it was posted on Facebook to a school parent group by Liz Beaudoin, the Director of Communications for the Parent Network Leadership Council. The Parent Network Leadership Council acts like a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) for the district. 

“In the interest of continuing to advocate for diverse representation in our curricula, I will be emailing members of the Teaching & Learning Committee, who are reviewing the social studies curriculum this week,” Beaudoin said. “I encourage you to join me in sharing your experiences …” 

The district told The Daily Wire that it appreciates the activism, though it does not support the survey promoted by its PTA. 

“The comprehensive programmatic evaluation … is essential in ensuring a rigorous, relevant, guaranteed, and viable curriculum for all learners,” said district spokesman Chris Thompson. “While we have appreciated the engagement of several alumni and parents in the programmatic evaluation process, the District did not authorize nor endorse the survey promoted by Ms. Beaudoin and the alumni group.”

The county where Elmbrook School District resides is the largest Republican-leaning county in Wisconsin and has been a GOP suburban stronghold for years. The district has not supported a Democratic president since 1964. Parents, however, feel they are falling to the whims of left-wing educators and a small, but vocal group of activists. 

In an anonymous post on the “What’s Next, Elmbrook?” Twitter page, a fifth-grade teacher said that the current social studies curriculum was failing students by not including “racial and social injustice” studies. 

“I am a 5th-grade teacher and believe the education system has let down our Black community. I have failed my students in teaching them the [sic] social inequality because I was never required to learn about this during my time at school. As a teacher, my job is to help students acquire knowledge. This knowledge needs to include racial and social injustice as a standard in the curriculum,” the post read. “We have to be/do better for our students and that starts with change.” 

Parents feel they are losing the curriculum battle, though their conservative viewpoints compromise the majority opinion. 

“Our children cannot escape this leftist messaging,” the whistleblower parent said. “And as students, regardless of their family or personal values and beliefs, they are forced to listen and agree for fear of being labeled as a hater or racist.” 

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This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.