The counselor, identified as Dianne Evans of the Plano Independent School District, was found to have attended an online seminar organized by Nova Southeastern University called “Understanding the Black Experience in America: Be the Change You Want to See in the World.” (Related: Trump threatens to cut off funding from Marxist indoctrination centers disguised as American colleges and universities.)
The seminar, which was centered on social justice and racial equality, was so designed to purportedly encourage counselors and others to start discussions regarding Black lives with their clients and patients. In addition, the online seminar also teaches its participants how to become better “allies” of social justice activists such as those affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
A copy of Evans’ email, which was obtained from local community leaders and confirmed to be genuine, was found to have included a document from the said webinar.
Created by St. Louis-based clinical psychologist Marva Robinson, the document lists down several talking points that counselors can use to discuss with patients several delicate issues surrounding racial justice in the United States, such as the killing of George Floyd by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, as well as the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Aside from providing a copy of Robinson’s document, the email passed around by Evans to her colleagues also included a “Justice In June” document that outlines several activities and online lessons related to racial justice that one can take for a set period of time.
In addition to the list of recommended activities, Evans’ email also contained a list of readings and documentary films centered on social justice, most of which are Marxist and communist in nature. Among the titles featured in the document are "Freedom is a Constant Struggle" by long-time Civil Rights advocate Angela Davis; the "Beginners’ Guide to Marxism;" "The Autobiography of Malcolm X;" "Women’s Liberation and the African Freedom Struggle" by Thomas Sankara; "The State and Revolution" by Vladimir Lenin; and "The Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
PISD Superintendent Sara Bonser has confirmed that the webinar and propaganda circulated by Evans were not authorized or supported by the school district.
The discovery of the email has caused outrage within the community.
“As a father with two children in Plano ISD, as a member of the Plano City Council who took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and as a proud American, I’m deeply concerned about the apparent promotion of Marxist propaganda and its dangerous agenda by one of the Plano ISD staff,” Shelby Williams, a Plano City Councilman, said in an interview with Texas Scorecard, adding that the district should do everything in its power to get to the bottom of the issue.
“I urge the Plano ISD board and administration to conduct a very thorough investigation into this issue and to take appropriate action to ensure such an insidious ideology is neither promoted nor encouraged within our school system, by anyone at any time,” Williams added, echoing calls by what is considered a fairly conservative community in a conservative state.
A similar situation happened in Virginia’s Loudon County, where a new curriculum will require kindergarten students to learn about concepts such as systemic racism at the same time as the alphabet and basic mathematics for the upcoming school year.
The proposed lesson plan, which was first introduced by the Virginia Department of Education's superintendent, recommends the restructuring of history and social studies classes in order to emphasize slavery and its role in American society. This change will affect students from kindergarten to fifth grade.
"Sugarcoating or ignoring slavery until later grades make students more upset by or even resistant to true stories about American history," the documents from the SPLC said, noting that part of the changes to be implemented in the instruction of history and social studies classes will be a change in its structure.
According to the documents, history and social studies classes will be structured similar to math classes.
“Before we teach algebra, we teach its component parts. We should structure history instruction the same way," the SPLC documents said.
The move, which has since earned criticism, has spurred authorities to note that using the resources from the SPLC will be optional.
"The Teaching Tolerance resources are optional," Rob Doolittle, a spokesman for the county, said.
In addition, while the state Board of Education does approve content standards and curriculum frameworks for history and social studies classes, it is the local school boards who will be the ones responsible for developing the curriculum.
Several Loudoun County educators meanwhile have also noted that they are not on board with the administration's direction, with one longtime elementary school teacher even noting that the focus on racial politics may, in fact, be motivated by politics, rather than education.
"I teach lower grades in elementary school.… [Never before] did I have to teach about slavery," the teacher -- who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution -- said, adding that their lessons, prior to the shift, have always focused on "famous Americans," such as George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr. and that their classes all highlighted their accomplishments.
According to the teacher, her fear is that the push to include social justice theories in the school curriculum will prove divisive for the students who, because of their age, still lack the maturity to deal with the subject.
"They're pointing out that there's ‘whiteness' and ‘blackness' and that's crazy. We never taught about that in school…. We learn about how to get along with one another and be kind and respect others. But now, with this new curriculum that they're adding, it's going to do the total opposite," the teacher said, noting that the curriculum will “incite hate.”
Max Eden, an education policy expert at the right-leaning think tank the Manhattan Institute, said the curriculum's focus on political activism and the horrors of slavery are not suitable for kindergarten students, noting that children of that age are not prepared and that they do not yet have a “nuanced sense of history.”
According to Eden, these changes in the curriculum could be part of a ploy to push left-wing, Marxist ideologies and narratives into impressionable minds.
This, Eden said, could compel children to follow leftist ideals in the future.
Parents, according to reports, have been upset by the news, with several already expressing disappointment with the school district.
"SPLC is pushing Marxist ideology more or less. They're really pushing those concepts of 'revolution' and 'dismantling the system' that we have," a father -- who spoke on condition of anonymity -- said, adding that rather than teaching everyone to come together and build something great together, the changes in the school curriculum will "destroy what's been built."
Several pundits have weighed in on the motion, with Virginia-based columnist James Bacon describing it as “soft totalitarianism.”
"It takes a village to raise a child. Unfortunately, the village is increasingly likely to be run by a Social Justice commissar," Bacon said in a column condemning the education board's move.
The SPLC has yet to issue a comment on the matter as of press time.