PA public school teacher claims home learning will disrupt discussions on race, gender, and sexuality

by Bryan Brammer · Aug 11th, 2020 1:20 pm
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Last Updated Oct 14th, 2020 at 3:32 pm

A Pennsylvania public school teacher on Monday voiced his displeasure with home learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, complaining that it would impede teachers from having discussions about race, gender, and sexuality.

Matthew Kay, a teacher at Science Leadership Academy, took to Twitter to explain the dangers of parents listening to classroom discussions and how it could damage teachers' abilities to "destabilize a kid's racism or homophobia or transphobia."

Below is the entire Twitter thread, which has since been set to private:

"So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We'll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work? How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability?

How many of us have installed some version of 'what happens here stays here' to help this? While conversation about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that 'helicopter/snowplow parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality.

And while 'conservative' parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid's racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates' parents piling on?"

Kay is also the author of "Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom," which features chapter titles such as "Demystifying The Safe Space" and "Lessons From The 2016 Election."

Although some teachers responded to Kay's comments with disgust, many others agreed that home instruction "is going to be an issue" as it relates to keeping parents unaware of what their children are learning, the Daily Wire reported.

One teacher complained that a white parent recorded a Zoom class and filed a complaint against the teacher for an "anti-racist read aloud" that the parent described as "inappropriate and biased."

Another science teacher agreed with Kay's sentiments, saying that "parents are dangerous."


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