Anybody who’s glanced around the rightward side of the Internet and social media will have come across the pejorative acronym, “SJW.” That stands for “social justice warrior,” and it’s pejorative because it connotes excessive and superficial self-righteousness, combined with a lack of self awareness that would be comical if the SJWs weren’t able to hurt people.
Unfortunately, in a world with an entire generation stewed in political correctness (an abyss into which college campuses appear to have fallen almost completely), SJWs are not as powerless as they would be in a sane world. Still, it’s jarring to see a public school district in Rhode Island openly advertising jobs for them, although somehow that fact didn’t find its way into Linda Borg’s glowing article on the plan in today’s Providence Journal:
This year, a pool of 15 substitute teachers will be hired to serve the full 180-day school year. They will be offered a week of training this month and repeated professional development during the school year. They will also be mentored by certified teachers. And they will be offered a sweetener — either health-care benefits or $130 per day (typical pay is $100 per day).
The “teaching fellows” would also have an opportunity to lead after-school activities, although permanent teachers would have the first crack at these positions.
In exchange, they will be asked to learn about the school’s mission and values, to become part of a team of valued educators committed to high standards.
That such a plan seems like radical innovation may be a testament to just how rigid and averse to innovation the public school system is, but another layer becomes visible if one looks at the job ad for these positions. Note, first, that the actual title the district has given these positions isn’t “teaching fellows,” but “Warrior Fellows” (Warriors being the school mascot). Now consider some language from the ad:
The Warrior Fellowship will require passionate leaders to serve as education and social justice advocates and mentors in all six Central Falls schools while at the same time helping to bridge the gap between the academic and social-emotional support our students and families need in their schools and community.
Fellows are expected to “go through a rigorous training program” and “weekly and monthly workshops and seminars” that will help them develop “the courage and passion to inspire change in our schools, influence the lives of our students, and become advocates for the city of Central Falls.” Among the areas on which they can focus is “Cultural Pride,” and we can infer that “Western Culture” is not what’s meant. Among the job requirements (third on the list and the second mandatory one) is “commitment to social justice and urban education.”
In short, the school department in Central Falls, which is largely funded with state-taxpayer money, is literally looking to hire and train “social justice Warriors.” Thus does Rhode Island endeavor to see just how far into the abyss it can dive.