Shouldn’t the content of training programs for teachers or local officials be transparent?

June 11 – If local teachers are being trained in diversity, equity and inclusion and our local government officials are required to take part in sensitivity seminars, shouldn’t the content of those instructions be something we all can see? What are they afraid of? Will they turn YOUR microphone off like we’re seeing at other school board meetings??

Representative Paul Schemel talked about training with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen this morning on First News.  

Schemel said, “I think there are a lot of programs, training that people are required to do that we really don’t know what the content is. My kids go to public schools. I don’t know what the content of everything that they have in the school is. The school system buys a lot of programs that kids participate in from other places. Do they necessarily know what’s in it?”

School districts say they’re not pushing Critical Race Theory or LGBTQ+ ideas, but when officials dig into details of some of these programs, the concepts are there.

Schemel said, “Maybe some times our local officials aren’t aware of all of the content in these programs so I think making that transparent or making them look at it first and making the entire content available to parents in advance would be something that would help us to prepare our children or know what’s going on within boroughs and munici9pailite that require training of their employees.”

Ryan said, “I’d also like to know how much it costs.”

Jansen said, “They have to be responsible. They have to look into and vet these things and understand what they’re allowing their teachers to be exposed to because the ignorance, I’m sorry, is there and people are hearing a “real history” of the United States and they’re just accepting it and they’re not actually looking to see is this vetted is it scholarly? Should people be believing this? Should teachers be trained in this and believe it? You cannot just allow that to happen as a responsible school board or admin. Certainly you need to be more transparent about it.”

Schemel added, “We want our schools to teach our kids the basics so they can be successful in life. We don’t want our schools to indoctrinate our kids. I want to teach my children what to think and what to believe on those things. That’s my prerogative as a parent. I think schools are just kind of slowly being lead into this. They’re maybe not aware of it. I’m not really convinced any of those things work anyway. I think families and parents teach children how to be kind and respectful and understanding. I don’t know that they learn that from a poster with a giraffe on the wall of their school. By the same measure, it’s sneaking in a lot of stuff on these other social matters that really should be the prerogative of families and not the responsibility of the school board or the school district.”

Ryan said, “And I think about the money that the borough could potentially spend on litigation on lawyers on implementing these programs. You’re talking about a lot of money and with stuff that is already being executed on the state and federal level. I’m talking about money. I’m talking about the fact that these school board members who were told last year by State Representative Kauffman you don’t need to raise taxes and they put 3.4 mils on people’s backs here. There’s no fiscal care like it would be for you and me if you had to strike the check yourself.”

Schemel agreed, “Exactly. Because it’s other people’s money. Especially this year when we have so much money coming in from outside and despite that, we still see increases in taxes. That fiduciary relationship that a borough council member has or a school board member has, they should be treating these funds like their own.”

Jansen said, “The diversity, equity and inclusion training and that’s the words we have to be a little bit wary of because I think there’s more ideology than people are willing to acknowledge especially the word equity. We know the intermediate unit was given $30,000 for a contract to train our teachers. I did a Right to Know to ask about their materials and they told me since we don’t have them yet, we will not honor this Right to Know. I thought you just got a $30,000 contract, how do you not already have the materials together?”

Schemel added, “And why haven’t you looked at them? Why have you purchased expensive materials that you’re going to subject our students to when you don’t even know what’s in them?”

Jansen added, “Through the teachers. Yes, what you mandatorily train your teachers in is what teaching the students will get. If we don’t even know what this is yet and we haven’t vetted it, why are we spending $30,000 before we know whether this is something we really want or not.”

Schemel concluded, “There you go folks, something to ask your school board members about.”