‘How dare Maine parents raise questions about the education of their children!
Who do they think they are?
After all, Maine’s K-12 public schools are doing an outstanding job preparing the next generation of Mainers for meaningful careers, further education, and good citizenship. We’re getting a great return on the hundreds of millions of dollars we spend every year on public education, aren’t we?
OK, I’m being sarcastic.
In fact, I believe sarcasm and ridicule are entirely appropriate in response to a lame Leftist hit piece attacking me for calling attention to what’s going on in Maine’s failing and dysfunctional public schools.
Titled, Book bans: Marginalized people deserve to have their stories told, the column by Aspen Ruhlin was published by the Maine Beacon, the online propaganda organ of the radically woke Maine Peoples Alliance. Ruhlin is a self-proclaimed “queer” transgender advocate who uses the plural pronouns “they” and “their,” and works at a Bangor abortion clinic.
Ruhlin cites the Hampden school district (Regional School Unit 22) in eastern Maine as a hotbed of right-wing opposition to what she refers to as the “bogeyman” of Critical Race Theory, and she singles me out as one of the leaders “in the fight against literature” at Hampden schools.
Here’s the rest of the story.
Three years ago, during my last of four terms in the Maine House of Representatives, I sponsored a bill to outlaw political indoctrination in Maine’s K-12 public-school classrooms. Based on model legislation drafted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the proposed legislation would have barred teachers from singling out one racial group of students as responsible for the suffering or inequities of another racial group of students.
In a nutshell, that’s exactly what Critical Race Theory (CRT) does.
The public hearing on the bill drew strong support and voluminous testimony from scores of parents and taxpayers across the state, who provided first-hand accounts of the overt left-wing bias in K-12 classroom instruction. But the education committee sided with the teachers’ unions and their allies in the Maine Department of Education who opposed the legislation, so the bill never made it to the full Legislature for a vote.
Last year the bill was introduced again, prompting another round of passionate testimony in committee that resulted in a party-line vote to advance the bill to the full Legislature. After a robust floor debate in the House and Senate, the bill was defeated on a party-line vote in both chambers, an outcome that sets the stage for making CRT indoctrination an issue in state legislative races this year.
With that legislative history in mind, let’s examine Ruhlin’s claim that conservatives are pushing for “book bans” in Hampden and elsewhere across Maine.
First of all, nobody I know is proposing to “ban” any books. Parents who want their children exposed to the racist, revolutionary claptrap known as Critical Race Theory are free to purchase that material on their own dime. The same goes for the demented LGBTQ+ propaganda that encourages kids in elementary school to pick their preferred pronouns and choose among dozens of different genders.
Let’s not “ban” these books. Just keep that woke rubbish out of public-school libraries, and off teachers’ recommended reading lists. That’s all parents are asking of their servants who sit on local school boards.
In Hampden, I filed several Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) requests to find out the extent to which the district was engaged in CRT brainwashing. After some initial foot-dragging and stone-walling, superintendent Regan Nickels provided me with the requested public records.
What I discovered is that the school district paid thousands of dollars for teacher training material that reeks of racial profiling, racial stereotyping, and racial scapegoating. Hosted by the Augusta-based non-profit Cultural Competence Institute, these online trainings are grounded in the sacred texts of the CRT cult, including the rabidly racist “White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo.
My FOAA request only confirmed what was already obvious: that the Hampden school district is deeply infected with the twin plagues of CRT indoctrination and LGBTQ+ gender-bender madness.
That became clear late last year when the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) named Kelsey Stoyanova, a middle school teacher in the district, the Maine Teacher of the Year. The educrats in Augusta specifically cited Stoyanova’s recommended reading list for students as a key factor in her selection.
The MDOE press release praised Stoyanova for highlighting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color) and LGBTQIA+ authors. Silly me! I thought showing preference for someone based on their skin color is the textbook definition of racism. But never mind.
Stoyanova’s copied-and-pasted-from-the-internet reading list is a mother lode of woke propaganda that promotes racial scapegoating and normalizes kinky sex for minor children. One of the children’s books she recommends is titled “Middle School’s a Drag,” a fun-filled fictional celebration of a 13-year-old drag queen.
I could go on and on and on detailing the pornographic content both on Stoyanova’s reading list and in the libraries of the Hampden school district, but I think I’ve made my point. In any case, Ruhlin herself puts a bold-faced exclamation point on this madness with her praise for “Gender Queer”, an illustrated book with graphic depictions of minor children engaged in fellatio. It’s on the shelves of the Bonny Eagle High School library in rural Cumberland County in southern Maine.
In closing, consider this: Maine’s K-12 public schools have dumbed down students to such a degree that educational assessment test results are in the tank. And they were in the tank long before the COVID lockdowns. Whether it’s reading or math or science, our local indoctrination centers are stuck in a rut where more than half of Maine students are below or well below grade level in these basic subject areas.
That’s a scandal in and of itself. Coupled with partisan political indoctrination and X-rated kiddie porn, “scandalous” is much too mild a term to describe what’s going on in Maine’s government-run K-12 schools.’https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/04/racial-profiling-kiddie-porn-replace-three-rs-lawrence-lockman/