In an open letter addressed to the Bellingham School District a group of local parents expressed their concerns. They claim that “The divisive ideology to which you’ve subscribed has no place in public schools”.
The full letter is below
Open Letter to Bellingham Public Schools
All children add value to the community and all children should be treated with dignity and respect. Kids should be taught to celebrate each other’s differences and we are grateful to live in a school district that believes this to be true. However, educators and parents alike must be willing to leave divisive opinions and partisanship outside of the classroom, so that we might work together and strengthen this common belief.
We are concerned that the leadership of Bellingham Public Schools have collectively jumped on a political bandwagon, abandoning not only conservative, but moderate and even liberal families. The divisive ideology to which you’ve subscribed has no place in public schools. The evidence keeps presenting itself, yet when parents try to address it, we are met with absolute disregard.
In one way or another we’ve all asked how you can promote such radical politics in a public school. To which you all parrot the same reply, “there’s nothing political about equity, diversity or inclusion.”
Here’s an example of an EDI book taught in a Bellingham third grade classroom:
Our children are being taught to view the police as faceless, villainous thugs. They’re being exposed to violent imagery and indoctrinated into an ideological movement. There are ways of discussing racism without vilifying entire groups of people.
We are disheartened that our schools are sowing racial division. The following poem was also read in an elementary classroom. When a student’s mother questioned the appropriateness of this and other books, she was told that her child could leave the class if it bothered her.
“I keep my fists ready, but he turns away.” So, rather than teach children to talk through a difficult situation, we are teaching them to first hit, return the insult, then be ready to fight? We realize that materials such as these are meant to be inclusive, but they are actually quite divisive.
The Math Equity Toolkit was included in our schools May EDI newsletter. In it are claims that expecting the right answer, showing one’s work, and having teachers “teach” are all forms of white supremacy.
John McWhorter (see link below) referring to this very toolkit says, “it is racism propounded as antiracism.” He then asks why “black kids shouldn’t [be] expected to master the precision of math?” And instead “be celebrated for talking around it, gamely approximating its answers…” This is the bigotry of low expectation.
If you allow the curriculum to be focused on race, the years of progress that began with Dr. Martin Luther King will begin to fade.. Dr. King envisioned a world where all children were equal, no matter their skin color, ethnicity, religion, or economic status. Our schools should be focused on on strengthening the education of our children, rather than pandering to a political movement focused on widening the racial divide.
We ask the Bellingham school district to reassess all materials focused on EDI.
We ask for transparency regarding any implementation of EDI efforts, both past and future.
We ask that you not waste taxpayer dollars investigating dubious claims, such as racism in math.
We ask that you look seriously at implementing a Pro-Human or Common Humanity approach rather than the common enemy approach of critical race theory.
And we demand to be part of the conversation.
 Pro Human: Advocating for one human race, universal civil rights and liberties, and compassionate opposition to racism and intolerance rooted in dignity and our common humanity. www.fairforall.org
Thank you for your time in reading this, we look forward to your reply,
Christopher Morris, Kim Burke, Camden Morris, Rich Dvorak, Cole Bellingar, Jake Roberts, Pam Hoksbergen, Tamara Madsen, Kasi Bannerman, Kevin Atkinson, Sondra Perkins, Scott Simmons, Jamie Chandler, Shawna Bosman, Amy Myers, Ann Seimears, Barb Burke and many others with whom we’ve spoke, received support and shared outrage.