Home / General / What Can’t Be Taught

What Can’t Be Taught

/
/
/
1737 Views

Ron DeSantis’ America my friends:

Greg Wickenkamp began reevaluating how he teaches eighth-grade social studies in June 2021, when a new Iowa law barred educators from teaching “that the United States of America and the state of Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist.”

Wickenkamp did not understand what this legislation, which he felt was vaguely worded, meant for his pedagogy. Could he still use the youth edition of “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”? Should he stay away from Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi’s “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” especially as Kendi came under attack from conservative politicians?

That fall, Wickenkamp repeatedly sought clarification from the Fairfield Community School District about what he could say in class, according to emails obtained by The Post. He sent detailed lists of what he was teaching and what he planned to teach and asked for formal approval, drawing little response. At the same time, Wickenkamp was fielding unhappy emails and social media posts from parents who disliked his enforcement of the district’s masking policy and his use of Reynolds and Kendi’s text. A local politician alleged that Wickenkamp was teaching children critical race theory, an academic framework that explores systemic racism in the United States and a term that has become conservatives’ catchall for instruction on race they view as politically motivated.

Finally, on Feb. 8, 2022, at 4:05 p.m., Wickenkamp scored a Zoom meeting with Superintendent Laurie Noll. He asked the question he felt lay at the heart of critiques of his curriculum. “Knowing that I should stick to the facts, and knowing that to say ‘Slavery was wrong,’ that’s not a fact, that’s a stance,” Wickenkamp said, “is it acceptable for me to teach students that slavery was wrong?”

Noll nodded her head, affirming that saying “slavery was wrong” counts as a “stance.”

“We had people that were slaves within our state,” Noll said, according to a video of the meeting obtained by The Post. “We’re not supposed to say to [students], ‘How does that make you feel?’ We can’t — or, ‘Does that make you feel bad?’ We’re not to do that part of it.”

She continued: “To say ‘Is slavery wrong?’ — I really need to delve into it to see is that part of what we can or cannot say. And I don’t know that, Greg, because I just don’t have that. So I need to know more on that side.”

As Wickenkamp raised his eyebrows and pursed his lips, she added, “I’m sorry, on that part.”

Wickenkamp left the Zoom call. At the close of the year, he left the teaching profession.

Contacted for comment, Noll wrote in a statement that “the district provided support to Greg with content through a neighboring school district social studies department head.” She did not answer a question asking whether she thinks teachers should be permitted to tell children that slavery was wrong.

Is slavery wrong? Views differ!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar
Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views :