LA teachers’ union allegedly is working covertly to sneak LESMCI curriculum into LA schools, while Castro Valley school district openly paid to push the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish agenda on its students.
According to a lawsuit recently filed, Los Angeles teachers and schools are being weaponized to instill children with a hatred of Israel and Jews, in the guise of complying with a new California “ethnic studies” requirement.
In an effort to stop the LA project, a group of Jewish parents and teachers has sued the Los Angeles school district, its teachers’ union, and a corporation called the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute (LESMCI), formerly known as Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium. The suit asks the court to bar implementation of the LESMCI curriculum in LA, and to require the school district to disclose all ethnic studies teaching materials and hold required public hearings before the teaching materials are used.
We’ve been tracking the development of California’s ethnic studies model curriculum for a while. You can see some of our past coverage in
- University of California Wants Ethnic Studies Mandate That Gov. Newsom Called Offensive to Jews;
- University of California Committee Wants to Impose Compelled Speech in High School Ethnic Studies Course;
- California Ethnic Studies Requirement Relies On Questionable Studies, Distorted Data;
- Are Only “Jews of Color” Oppressed? The Lens Of A California Ethnic Studies Leader;
- Fight Against California’s Neo-Marxist Critical Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Shifts To Individual Districts;
- Critical Race-Based California Ethnic Studies Curriculum Passes State Board of Education Vote;
- California ‘Ethnic Studies Curriculum’ Proposal Gets Worse, Heavy On Critical Race Theory and Anti-Israel Activism;
- California Proposed Ethnic Studies Curriculum A Subterfuge For Anti-American And Anti-Zionist Activism; and
- Legal Insurrection Foundation opposes proposed anti-Israel public school curriculum in California.
To recap: California tried for several years to develop and impose an ethnic studies curriculum. The California Board of Education’s first crack at a model curriculum was rejected in 2019 after Jews and others objected to its obvious anti-Semitism. The model ethnic studies curriculum that was eventually adopted is a vast improvement, but still appears to minimize anti-Semitism involving Ashkenazic or European Jews, as opposed to Jews from Middle Eastern and African nations who more readily fit the board’s “people of color” agenda.
Last October, the state enacted a law adding ethnic studies to high school graduation requirements. The new law specifically says that it’s the legislature’s intent not to use the original draft model curriculum rejected in 2019, “due to concerns related to bias, bigotry, and discrimination.” Gov. Newsom quoted that language in his signing statement.
The new law also says that the ethnic studies curriculum may “Not reflect or promote, directly or indirectly, any bias, bigotry, or discrimination against any person or group of persons on the basis of any category protected by Section 220,” such as nationality, race or ethnicity, and religion.
Nevertheless, California lets school districts use private curricula rather than the state’s model curriculum. At least two districts – Castro Valley openly, and Los Angeles covertly – are planning to use the model curriculum rejected in 2019 for being biased, bigoted, and discriminatory.
LESMCI, the people behind the 2019 model curriculum rejected for anti-Semitism, is now marketing its version of ethnic studies privately to school districts. LESMCI’s curriculum features a focus on “Palestine” that paints Israel as a horrid human-rights violator abusing Palestinian Arabs out of racism, “Islamophobia”, etc. LESMCI tries to counter charges of anti-Semitism proactively by redefining it. “Antisemitism is discrimination against, violence towards, or stereotypes of Jews for being Jewish,” LESMCI asserts. In other words, LESMCI claims, anti-Semitism is strictly a religious hatred. It has nothing to do with racism or any hatred against Jews based on race, ethnicity, or nationality.
In January of this year, the Castro Valley school board unanimously approved an $82,560 contract for LESMCI’s services. In April, the Napa Valley school district initially approved a $38,490 contract with LESMCI, but a couple of weeks later – after receiving some unfavorable press about the decision – it decided not to go forward with the project.
— Lori LowenthalMarcus (@LoriLMarcus) May 13, 2022
The exact relationship (if any) between LESMCI and the Los Angeles school district is unclear.
The complaint filed on behalf of Jewish parents of LA schoolchildren, as well as Jewish teachers, charges that LESMCI is working covertly with the teachers’ union (the one that refused to reopen schools for a year) to insert its ethnic studies curriculum into LA schools. Specifically, the complaint alleges that LESMCI has circulated its teaching materials to LA teachers and offered them training sessions in teaching ethnic studies. Also according to the complaint, neither the training sessions nor the training materials they use are open to the public, but are available “by invitation only.” The complaint charges that LESMCI all but advises teachers to hide what they are teaching from the public, in violation of various applicable sunshine laws.
State law mandates that the school board approve instructional materials and that the materials be made public before final approval. The LA school district has not made public the ethnic studies materials on which its teachers are being trained. LESMCI has removed information about the course, and its definition of anti-Semitism, which were previously published on its website.DONATE
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