Charter schools are still public schools, correct? They’re still supposed to inculcate values that are truly shared among all of those who have no choice but to fund them, right?
I ask in reaction to an outrageous and divisive op-ed that three leaders of The Learning Community in Central Falls published in yesterday’s Providence Journal, apparently in their official capacity. These educators are stoking dangerous fear and distrust among their very young students — implicitly accusing the Rhode Islanders who pay their high salaries of exhibiting “emboldened white supremacist, sexist and xenophobic attitudes and actions, escalating locally and nationally.” They assert that Vice President–elect Mike Pence is “anti-gay.”
I emailed the codirectors, Sarah Friedman and Meg O’Leary for elaboration on that point, but they have not responded. Had they done so, I would have asked whether their students participate in Governor Gina Raimondo’s sexist girls-only contest.
Their op-ed appeals to fellow educators, “if there is no neutral stance on bullying, there is no neutral stance on bigotry.” Well, isn’t excluding boys discriminatory? Isn’t it bigotry to dismiss Mike Pence as “anti-gay” because he understands our rights of free expression and free association to include the right to determine what events one will service occupationally? Isn’t it bigotry to tell people that they “must reject their whiteness”? “No neutral stance on bigotry” is nothing but an excuse for them to indulge in what they know is inappropriate behavior.
If the leaders of a public charter school took to the pages of the state’s major daily to slander their fellow Rhode Islanders and make clear that they were propagandizing students with Republican messaging, there would most certainly be consequences. What consequences will there be for the heads of The Learning Community and the division that they’re using taxpayer funds to sow? None, because their indoctrination serves the progressive ideology and Rhode Island’s insider system, even as it harms their students by failing to prepare them to live in a pluralistic society that respects the rights of others.