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Meet Matthew R. Kay, a teacher at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy who’s been accused of trying to indoctrinate his students in left-wing thought.
Kay came to the public’s attention Saturday when he posted viral tweets warning his followers that the virtual classrooms slated for this school season will allow “potential spectators,” including parents, to overhear what their kids are learning.
This, he warned his followers, might present a challenge for their so-called “equity/inclusion work,” i.e., their alleged indoctrination of schoolchildren.
This alleged indoctrination includes discussions that “encourage vulnerability,” address “gender/sexuality” and “destabiliz[e] a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia.”
Kay further suggested that he’s always taught his students that “what happens here stays here,” but that virtual classrooms will prevent this.
See screenshots of the tweets below:
Note the concerns he shared about conservative parents.
The tweets provoked so much backlash that Kay made his account private.
Unlike his alleged indoctrination, however, there’s no way to hide proof of his tweets (screenshots), nor all the backlash.
View some of it below:
The hidden replies. pic.twitter.com/IHxLvnjm7t
— Samantha Chill Dawg (@Samantha_J9) August 8, 2020
How about if you tried just teaching them actual subjects instead of trying to brainwash them into being permanent Democrat victim class voters?
— Nick Searcy, INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION STAR (@yesnicksearcy) August 9, 2020
What you got to hide, buddy??
— RAUL (@raulveiga) August 9, 2020
Dude. Teachers are not supposed to be indoctrinators.
The fact you are worried that parents will hear what you are saying is deeply concerning.
When adults ask children to keep secrets from parents it is a sign of an abusive relationship.
This is a huge red flag.
— Timeless (@Timeless_Dally) August 8, 2020
As an educator, this should scare every parent silly. A teacher wants to hide what he’s teaching your children. If a lesson must be hidden, there is something inherently wrong. I call on every parent to monitor this teacher for sure. Stop the indoctrination.
— Streets’ Corner (@StreetsCorner1) August 9, 2020
They’re openly admitting that they don’t want their parents interfering with their indoctrination
— Swagula (@BackertheHacker) August 8, 2020
“Be careful because parents may hear what we’re teaching their children,” is a really bad look for a public school teacher.
— Jeremiah Albers (@JeremiahAlbers) August 8, 2020
This is disgusting. Is this what modern public education is? I want to send my kids to school to be educated, not indoctrinated. Teachers who are worried about parents finding out what they’re teaching kids, should not be teachers. They are activists.
— Statler and Waldorf (@dontbanmebro9) August 8, 2020
A biography of Kay posted by Stenhouse Publishers states that he “deeply believes in the importance of earnest and mindful classroom conversations about race.”
“Matthew R. Kay is a proud product of Philadelphia’s public schools and a founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy (SLA). He is a graduate of West Chester University and holds a Masters in Educational Leadership with a Principals’ Certificate from California University of Pennsylvania,” the biography continues.
“At SLA, he teaches an innovative inquiry-driven, project-based curriculum. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Philly Slam League (PSL), a non-profit organization that shows young people the power of their voices through weekly spoken word competitions. The PSL is the only season-long, school-based slam poetry league in the United States.”
The Science Leadership Academy is itself “a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute.”
Not everybody responded with exasperation. One woman appeared to reveal that, though she usually promotes “equity/inclusion” discussions, she’ll be avoiding them for the time being because of the risk posed by “dangerous” parents.
While in science we don’t touch the more sensitive topics, I like to keep a Non-judgmental space.
My answer is: I will not have these discussions. I need my job. Parents are dangerous.
ALSO, virtual Ed will not create the interpersonal relationships to allow the “safe space”.
— Stephanie (@Nobodyaskedbut) August 8, 2020
Note what she wrote about a “safe space.”
Last year Kay published a guide on how “to lead meaningful race conversations in the classroom,” and argued it’s important a classroom be made into a “safe space.”
“The first, and ultimately most important, magical concept to be demystified is the safe space. Among progressive educators, no goal is more holy. In each classroom, students are to feel comfortable enough with their various identities to be honest, open, and vulnerable,” he wrote.
“Conveniently alliterative, the term safe space captures our best dreams of what classrooms can be: havens; calm harbors; shelter from our students’ stormy home lives, neighborhood violence, or school drama. The dream is so powerful that naming it has become a staple of our introductory spiel.”
The problem, as noted by one critic, is that “[t]eachers don’t have society’s permission to create a ‘safe space’ to screw with children alone and unsupervised.”
Teachers don’t have society’s permission to create a “safe space” to screw with children alone and unsupervised. WTF?
— Joe Pilot, MD (@JoeSilverman7) August 9, 2020
Moreover, the fact that Kay and those like him want to hide what’s happening in these so-called “safe spaces” makes it seem as if indoctrination is involved.
The good news is that at least parents are now aware of what’s happening in classrooms across the country. Whether or not they choose to respond by taking some sort of action is up to them.
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