Letters to the Rocky River School Board and
Library Board of Trustees

Superintendents and Members of the Board of Education, 

There’s one more thing I want to write to you about from what I have seen in the DCNEO curriculum. It focuses upon the icebreaker activities included in almost every lesson. I was not able to inspect the content for these icebreakers until June 24th, the afternoon of our last board meeting, because this information was not included in the initial packet that was shown to me. It took 3 weeks to finally see the entire curriculum and to be honest I cannot say for sure that I really have been shown everything. I can understand why the diversity center would want this information withheld since they claim they are not teaching CRT.

 

When I was able to view the statements the teachers would read while students participated in the stand-up/sit-down exercises, I found these activities to be disturbing. The teacher was to state that while the activity is voluntary, students are encouraged to be brave and acknowledge discomfort. No parental permission was ever given for our children to participate in these activities. And without my persistent vigilance, the nature of the activity would never have been disclosed to me so I could even be an informed parent to make that choice.

 

The district just assumes every parent wants their child to undergo this training. While I would like to list out these statements for you, because they are copyrighted I will instead appeal to you as board members to view the content yourselves. It is all in the packet stewarded by Greg Markus. I will simply reference certain examples. I wish I could put all this curriculum in the public view on our website, but because the district has signed for this proprietary curriculum, that level of transparency is not possible.

 

These activities focus on feelings and experiences and often involve the student ascribing perceived intent to others. Students are asked to stand up if they have only one parent in their home, have ever experienced food insecurity, or have been made fun of because of their group identity.I found these exercises to be emotionally manipulative. One statement about whether you had been made to feel ashamed struck me as having a faulty premise. No one can force you to feel ashamed, because it is possible to rise above the way you are treated and preserve your own dignity. Many statements called students to identify as the victim of prejudice. In the socioeconomics lesson, the labels “snob” or “lazy” were identified as attacks regarding one’s socioeconomic status. But being a snob or lazy are both descriptors of attitudes and behaviors quite independent of social class. This leading question draws a child to believe someone is attacking their social class when quite possibly a child could simply being called out for poor attitudes or behaviors.

 

Everything is steered toward seeing the world through the lens of victimhood and oppression. This is how CRT disrupts society, creates division, and drives revolution and the kind of chaos we saw in cities last summer.I don’t send my kids to school to do be subjected to this kind of manipulation. I send them to school to learn. Stay in your lane. If I want my children to learn doctrine it is my job as a parent to teach them. You are losing the trust of our community. Our schools will lose enrollment as more families chose to school their children elsewhere.Please take the time to review these added statements in the curriculum and make an informed decision.Please discontinue this contract and do not replace it with anything. We don’t want a new program that is “less bad.”

 

The Ohio social-emotional standards are not mandated. They are optional.

Do not cave to pressure from those who seek to continue the indoctrination.

 

Sincerely,

Anne Douglas, Trustee

Rocky River Citizens for Transparency

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All parents have the right to promptly inspect the curriculum taught to their own children (Ohio Revised Code 3313.60). Be persistent in demanding your rights!

Members of the School Board and Administration,

While you are taking time to come to a decision about the Diversity Center contract, I would like to call your attention to some of the things that I have seen in the DCNEO curriculum.

 

I have now seen both installments of my diversity curriculum request. There were parts that were omitted from the lessons and I had to ask a second time to see missing content. It took 3 weeks to get to this point.  This situation in itself shows a lack of transparency. Why didn’t they show me the whole curriculum the first time I asked? Why did they want 8 weeks to get the curriculum ready to show me?  Ohio Revised Code 3313.60 entitles me to a prompt inspection of the curriculum.

 

In this letter, I will focus on the K-2 diversity curriculum, Diversity in the Arts. This curriculum was designed by the DCNEO for classroom teachers to institute with their own students. It included reading Jacqueline Woodson's The Day you Begin,  about feeling left out and making friends. It seems innocuous. smile.amazon.com/dp/0399246533/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_api_glt_fabc_D02KG6QFV770X0CXDN1R

 

The students were then to watch the video “You-Nique” by Quaver music. Part of the lesson talks about being brave at school. One of the omitted parts of the lesson that I had to request a second time (because it was missing from the curriculum shown to me) was the last part of “10 ways to be brave at school.” Here is what I found in point 9: “Wear what makes you happy even when it's not popular. If you love your outfit you will feel happy and confident. If you wear it because someone else likes it, you may not feel happy if you are complimented because you don't feel like yourself. The best path to your true happiness is always being yourself. Being confident in yourself and wearing what you love will help others be more confident in their unique selves too."

 

This might seem harmless enough, but in the context of the video, there is clearly a message.

Please view the 3 minute video. Notice what the main character wears in the video, and decide what you think.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6cmXLzxfZE

It is subtle, but the video and point 9 have a clear message. The main character appears to be a boy. At one point a blue oyster shell opens to reveal the main character as a mermaid. At the end of the video, the main character appears to present as a girl rather than a boy. If that is not enough for you, look up the term blue oyster. I apologize to warn you that it has an explicit meaning. Of course, children are not going to pick up on the meaning of the blue oyster, but the people who made the video have embedded their message and revealed their intent.

 

If this lesson had been presented to children age 5-7 it would appear to me that our school was grooming children for transgender ideas. If you have read Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage, you are aware that most transgender children today have arrived at their gender identity largely through outside influence.

 

I wanted to discuss this curriculum and my various concerns about how gender is taught and handled at Goldwood, so I spoke to principal Dr. Rosiak. I was told that our Goldwood teachers took a different approach and tailored their own lesson for our school. I was told that the video of concern was not shown to Goldwood students. Goldwood should be a place where the innocence of childhood is protected, and topics of sexuality are not discussed. The fact remains that the DCNEO curriculum that they were presented with was inappropriate. Goldwood teachers recognized this. 

 

The DCNEO has also made its agenda clear through the Sex and Gender Acceptance (SAGA) staff training to all our school staff. They seek to teach young children about topics that our staff recognizes as age-inappropriate. They recommend that the “gender unicorn” be used in counseling children. After speaking to principals from every building, everyone says, "Our counselors do not use the gender unicorn".  I have attached images from SAGA training that clearly show the DCNEO agenda to teach LGBTQ issues in elementary school.

 

In light of the controversial and dangerous nature of the DCNEO curriculum and their lack of transparency in presenting the curriculum in a timely way, I encourage you to discontinue the DCNEO contract.

 

This letter has also been posted on the Rocky River Citizens for Transparency website so that other parents can be made aware of what the DCNEO seeks to teach our children.

 

Sincerely,
Anne Douglas, Trustee

Rocky River Citizens for Transparency

Superintendents and Members of the School Board,

 

While you are considering what to do about the contract with the DCNEO, I have some more evidence for you to consider.

 

The district has invested our resources in formulating a DEI statement that is supposed to inform everything we do in the district. I am not sure why this politically motivated gesture was deemed necessary to spend our tax dollars. Still, I suspect our superintendent's devotion to the DCNEO is the reason. 

 

After soliciting input from parents about diversity, equity, and inclusion, the additional term, justice, was added. Justice was not one of the three tenets we started with or were surveyed about. But it is quite telling that the DCNEO has helped us craft this statement to redefine justice. I think most of us consider would justice as holding individuals responsible for their individual behavior- if I hurt you, I am accountable for what I have done. But Critical Race Theory puts everything in terms of people groups: I am responsible for what other people had done if their skin matches mine, even if they committed crimes before I was born.

 

Ohio House Bill 327 defines these decisive concepts as:

 (g) “An individual, by virtue of the individual's nationality, color, ethnicity, race, or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same nationality, color, ethnicity, race, or sex.”

So how does the DCNEO define justice?

"Justice refers to a goal or vision for social change and requires a strategy to redress histories of violence, inequality, trauma, and the unjust treatment of groups. ... There are many different types of justice practices that offer different approaches to enacting social change (e.g., Restorative, Transformative, Reparative, etc.")

The above statement was taken straight from our school website. I am happy to say that I can no longer find it there, but that is where it came from. Perhaps I am not the only one to notice the problem here.

The problem is that reparative justice is a basic tenet of CRT.

 

If this JEDI statement is supposed to inform everything we do in the district, and it is based on the key tenet of CRT, how can it be that we are not teaching CRT?!! 

 

If House Bill 327 becomes law, our school will be found to be publicly endorsing illegal teaching. I urge you to reject this JEDI statement and stop allying our children's education with divisive politicized rhetoric.

 

I want our district to acknowledge that the continued assertion that we do not teach CRT is not true and has not been true. We are weary of the repeated false claims. Our community is holding you accountable as JUSTICE would demand.

 

I think our citizens deserve an apology and an end to this contract. And we ask once more for our superintendent to remove himself from the DCNEO board or for the school board, to remove him from his service to our district. The conflict of interest has gone on long enough.

 

Sincerely,

Anne Douglas, Trustee

Rocky River Citizens for Transparency