Republican leaders in states across the country have been pushing back in recent years against leftist indoctrination in public school curricula, but evidence shows that such objectionable material frequently ends up in classrooms even in deep red states.
That was the case in Alabama, where resources used in pre-kindergarten classes statewide perpetuated controversial social theories including the ostensible negative impact of “White privilege.”
Upon learning about the material, GOP Gov. Kay Ivey stepped in to remove it from use and reportedly pressured the official who recommended including it to resign. Reports indicate Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Secretary Barbara Cooper stepped down amid the backlash over the book.
“Dr. Barbara Cooper, secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, has resigned under pressure from Gov. Kay Ivey for the inclusion of a ‘woke’ pre-K educator resource book in the state’s curriculum.”https://t.co/CIpUwHnVF9
— Unsilenced Majority (@UnsilencedOrg) April 24, 2023
The resource book reportedly advised that “systemic and structural racism … has permeated every institution and system through policies and practices that position people of color in oppressive, repressive, and menial positions,” adding: “The early education system is not immune to these forces.”
Furthermore, the material advised that the children of LGBT parents “need to hear and see messages that promote equality, dignity, and worth.”
In a statement on the matter, Ivey explained: “The education of Alabama’s children is my top priority as governor, and there is absolutely no room to distract or take away from this mission.”
Describing the curriculum in question as “woke” and “divisive,” the governor asserted that it has “zero to do with a proper education” and deserves “no place in Alabama classrooms at any age level, let alone with our youngest learners.”
She went on to confirm that the ideology perpetuated by the book “is simply not in line” with the prevailing sentiment of Alabama residents or state officials, arguing that pre-kindergarten teachers and students should “be focused on the fundamentals, such as reading and math.”
As for the rank-and-file educators who are tasked with educating the state’s pre-kindergarten students, Ivey said that they are “the best in the country” and expressed confidence in their ability to provide a firm educational foundation for young children.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children, which produced the controversial book, defended its content in a statement, advising: “While not a curriculum, it is a responsive, educator-developed, educator-informed, and research-based resource that has been honed over multiple generations to support teachers in helping all children thrive and reach their full potential.”