by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
A National Education Association (NEA) article titled “We Need to Teach the Truth About Systemic Racism, Say Educators” features a fifth-grade teacher from North Carolina teacher flashing his critical race theory credentials.
Here is the relevant excerpt from the article:
Brandon Morrison is a fifth-grade teacher in North Carolina, and he wants his students to dig deeper about what they see in the world, including what’s taught in the classroom, as he’s seen his share of classroom curriculum that depicts the life of enslaved people as a “wonderful time on the plantation” or a social studies standard of how Africans “migrated” to the U.S.
“This was enslavement. So, when seeing those things, it’s important to speak truth as much as possible. My students can tell you that I give them real-talk sessions…because many of them, as fifth graders, already have the knowledge and understanding of social justice and how society works,” he explains. “I don’t think we give them enough credit.”
Morrison doesn’t shy away from big concepts, either. He talks to his students, in terms they can understand, about capitalism, racism, stolen land from Indigenous People, laws and politics, the driving forces behind societal systems, and more. His goal, in part, is to give his students information that they can process, explore, and develop their own opinions and beliefs—and they can certainly be opposing thoughts.
“Education can open minds, but it also is a pathway for students to think beyond what I’m teaching or saying to them,” Morrison shares. “And I challenge people who say we don’t need to teach this. I challenge them to, first, assess why they think that way, and then ask themselves, ‘Does it really make sense?’ If my fifth graders can look at our nation’s systems of oppression and say, ‘that’s stupid,’ an adult can do the same.”
By the way, an academic transparency requirement would allow parents to evaluate Mr. Morrison’s lessons on “capitalism, racism, stolen land from Indigenous People, laws and politics, the driving forces behind societal systems, and more.”