A Wisconsin elementary school has come under fire after tossing a ‘rogue’ principal under the bus for directing teachers to prioritize meetings with students based on their race.
Dan Lennington, an attorney with the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, or WILL, says the school’s leadership seems to have abided by district policies calling for educators to spend most of their time on “targeted student populations” – as part of a district policy seen by National Review which calls for decentralizing “whiteness” in schoolsand using the hiring process to create a staff that is “free of blockers and resistors.”
Lennington became involved in the case following a whistleblower complaint from an employee who attended a November 2020 staff development meeting at Lake View Elementary. The whistleblower sent Lennington a screen grab of a portion of the meeting discussing the creation of small instructional groups for students. According to the evidence, as part of the district’s “equity vision” and commitment to “black excellence,” teachers were encouraged to “prioritize your African American students meeting with you first and more often,” and “prioritize your English Language learners meeting with you second and more often.”
When called out, the district tossed the principal under the bus.
After a drawn-out request for records and a legal battle, the district sent WILL a letter stating that the screen grab was not district policy, but was rather a directive from the principal at Lake View. The principal was “advised of her misunderstanding,” the letter stated, according to WILL.
On Monday, WILL announced that they had settled a public-records lawsuit against the Madison district, and that the district had agreed to a series of steps to improve its process for filling records requests.
But as part of the legal fight, the district provided Lennington with additional documents about district policies, strategic plans, and its utilization of racially segregated affinity groups. In a thread on X, formerly Twitter, Lennington wrote that after having reviewed the documents, there is “MUCH reason to doubt” that Lake View’s plan to prioritize black students was a “misunderstanding” at all. -National Review
“When they say publicly, as they have now, ‘Oh, that one thing was just a misunderstanding, we do not prioritize students based on race,’ we think that’s a lie,” Lennington told National Review.
According to documents from the November 2020 meeting, following the directive to prioritize meeting with black students and English language learners, the presentation pivoted to the district’s “K-5 Literacy, Biliteracy and Native American Education and Social Studies — Strategic Plan” – which starts out by discussing a “Rally Cry” about the “Master Narrative” — “whatever ideological script that is being imposed by the people in authority on everybody else: The Master Fiction . . . History.”
According to the document, the Madison school district acknowledges that “the Master Narrative must decentralize whiteness.”
The document goes on to explain that “80% of our time will be spent attending to our top 20% priority,” which is “students of color (African American and Latinx students), English Language Learners, and students with general reading disabilities.” The document states that “we will attend explicitly to these student population needs by ensuring that they are instructionally targeted* in the literacy, biliteracy, humanities and English curriculum.”
Another professional development documents indicates that Madison teachers are evaluated on whether they explicitly apply “content goals to our targeted student populations.” Lake View identified those students as their “Focus Students.” -National Review
“The elementary school was just doing what the strategic plan says to do,” said Lennington, who says that the K-5 literacy and biliteracy strategic plan is an effort to ensure that among the staff, “we’re getting only the most liberal, progressive people.”
“If someone was not hired or if someone was fired because they didn’t think the right thing, they would definitely have a constitutional claim against the school district,” he said.
Meanwhile, the district’s documents also detail the approved use of racially segregated affinity groups, and how such groups can “support us in being more vulnerable and in grieving the ignorance, shame, and disgrace that often accommodate racial inquiry.”
“A white affinity space puts the onus on white people to learn from each other rather than relying on people of color to teach them,” reads the document.
🛑White freshmen not welcome🛑
Wisconsin high school to host “Freshmen Students of Color Meet and Greet” on Aug 15. Other freshmen must wait until Aug 30 for their freshman orientation. Segregation pure and simple. And illegal. @AppletonSchools – Call this off or we’ll take… pic.twitter.com/Bxbe9D8CEO
— Dan Lennington (@DanLennington) August 9, 2023
According to Lennington, “We are definitely looking at our options right now and considering what are the next steps to deal with this sort of rogue district that wants to continue discriminating based on race, despite some of their public statements.”