ST. PAUL, Minn. – Black Lives Matter activists are threatening to shut down a St. Paul high school over a Facebook post made by a teacher the group’s members view as racist.
Failed school board candidate Rashad Turner, a leader with Black Lives Matter St. Paul, is calling Como Park Senior High special education teacher Theo Olson “the epitome of a bad teacher” and a “white supremacist” for recent comments posted to Facebook about the lack of discipline in St. Paul schools, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.
Turner and other Black Lives Matter activists are calling on the school to fire the teacher immediately and initially threatened a “shut-down action” at Como Park on Monday if officials refuse to comply.
The threat of action was delayed for a scheduled meeting between Turner and district superintendent Valeria Silva set for today, according to the news site.
The Facebook posts made by Olson, which have since been taken down but remain as screenshots on Turner’s Facebook page, make absolutely no mention of race, but rather center on rampant student misconduct tied to the district’s highly controversial race-based approach to discipline.
“Anyone care to explain to me the school-to-prison pipeline my colleagues and I have somehow created, or perpetuated, or not done enough to interrupt? Because if you can’t prove it, and campaigns you’ve waged to deconstruct adult authority in my building by enabling student misconduct, you seriously owe us real teachers an apology,” Olson wrote in one post. “Actually, an apology won’t cut it.”
In a second post, Olson complained about “phones and iPad devices, used for social media and gaming.
“There have always been rules for ‘devices,’ and defined levels of misconduct. Since we now have no backup, no functional location to send kids who won’t quit gaming, setting up fights, selling drugs, whoring trains, or cyber bullying, we’re screwed, just designing our own classroom rules,” it continued.
To Turner, the posts were dripping with racism.
“(Facebook), meet Theodore Olson, the epitome of a bad teacher. An example of a white supremacist teacher. Another indication that we need more teachers of color and more teachers who care about and will teach all kids,” he wrote to Facebook.
“It’s teachers like Theodore Olson who bring the reputation of the great teachers in our district down. If the (St. Paul Federation of Teachers union) is protecting bad teachers like this one, who … is protecting our children?” he continued. “We have to be the ones to protect our children, they are under attack from the SPFT. This same teacher, feels that the teachers should govern the school.”
St. Paul teachers have raised serious concerns the last couple of years about the race-based “restorative justice” approach to school discipline implemented in the district and championed by President Obama and the controversial Pacific Educational Group.
An EAGnews investigation shows St. Paul schools spent nearly $370,000 on PEG teacher training in the 2014-15 school year alone. The group promotes the “white privilege” approach to education, which relies on the premise that America is hopelessly stacked against minorities and the only way white teachers can reach black students is to feel guilty about their skin color and “own their whiteness.”
The PEG system shuns capitalist ideas for a socialist perspective, despite the ironic fact that PEG’s wildly successful black founder and president, Glenn Singleton, is making millions from training sessions for 186 public school district clients across the nation.
PEG’s white privilege perspective fits perfectly with President Obama’s push to force large urban public school districts like St. Paul to reduce suspensions for black students, who tend to be suspended a disproportionately higher rate than students of other races.
The president’s “restorative justice” approach to school discipline seeks to keep unruly kids in the classroom at all costs by allowing them to negotiate their own punishments, and by removing willful defiance and other infractions as grounds for suspension.
The result has been a significant drop in suspensions and a proportionate increase in chaos in the classroom for most school districts implementing restorative justice. Teacher complaints about increased violence are now common in St. Paul, Los Angeles, Oakland, and virtually every school district the approach is used.
Regardless, Turner is apparently offended by Olson pointing out the problems with the “restorative justice” student discipline.
City Pages reports:
Olson … commented that he had tried to contact Turner, and was open to speaking with him directly. Turner, for his part, claims he tried to talk to Olson at the school last week, but that Olson had “called the authorities on me like I was an intruder in the building.”
District spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey told the Star-Tribune district officials are reviewing Olson’s Facebook posts and “we’ll determine if there are any next steps.”