Less than a year ago, Elana Fishbein was a happy stay-at-home mother, raising her three boys in a well-off Philadelphia suburb. She’d noticed the school that two of her boys attended would push out some lessons and activities that she considered politically biased or inappropriate, but each time was able to resolve the situation by opting her children out. In June last year, however, she saw no other choice than to take action.
Following the protests and riots sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, the school issued new “cultural proficiency” lessons.
“My husband and I looked at the lesson plan and opened the links to the books that they included for the lesson plan and we were thoroughly horrified because they were totally racist,” she told The Epoch Times.
The events that followed led to the launch of a group that now runs chapters in nearly half the states, sporting tens of thousands of followers.
The school materials Fishbein examined followed what she called “woke” culture—a set of quazi-Marxist ideologies that divides society into “oppressors” and the “oppressed” based on characteristics such as race, sex, class, or sexual proclivities. The term “woke” is sometimes used interchangeably with critical race theory (CRT), which is only one of the ideologies that operate within this framework.
Fishbein immediately opted her children out of the lessons and sent an incensed letter to the school district superintendent.
“The material selected for this indoctrination pumps their brains with LIES that puts unbearable emotional burdens on them for years to come,” she wrote, backing her argument with a doctorate in child welfare (pdf). “Why must our kids feel like villains and hate themselves for something they had no control over—the color/pigmentation of their skin?!?”
“They are doing to us what they told us not to do to others,” her 9-year-old commented, according to the letter.
Her children didn’t return to the school in fall—a decision she’d already made before she learned of the new curriculum.
BY PETR SVAB