Earlier we told you about a Pleasant Valley High School social studies teacher called Ann Berger. She has a long history of exceptionally inappropriate behavior for an educator.
The most recent dust-up involves her using this slide in a discussion about the American Dream:
Keith Stein, a parent in the district, spoke out against this lesson at the June 14 school board meeting. He cited House File 802, recently signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, which prohibits the teaching of divisive concepts in K-12 curriculum.
“Slide number five, I’d like to draw your attention to, shows that the American Dream is unattainable basically unless you’re white,” he said. “I’m sorry, I have a problem with that.”
Stein asked why there wasn’t a slide showing how important the American work ethic is to the American Dream. He asked why there wasn’t a slide showing Elon Musk leaving South Africa to come to America to change the world.
He reached out to board members about the lesson and was told to contact the principal. Darren Erickson defended the lesson, saying it was a “non-partisan” part of a bigger discussion.
“Why the need to tell us it was not partisan,” Stein asked. “Why does it need to be political? What type of discussion – that we have oppressors versus the oppressed. Look at slide number five, how could you draw any other conclusion? That slide bases someone’s outcome in life based on the melanin content of their skin.
“Is this what we’re teaching? Pitting one group against another based on the color of their skin? This right here is soft bigotry of low expectations. The course is American Lit and they’re using political cartoons to put seeds of doubt in students that they cannot make it in this great country.”
Students from the district have told Stein that they are treated differently in Berger’s class based on their gender or political beliefs.
“I’ve been told if you’re a male athlete, that’s two strikes against you,” he said.
One student said once they made it seem like they were a liberal on the paper that they wrote, they were OK and they got a good grade.
Stein contacted the board last year about social media posts the teacher made.
“I was told by many this is not tolerated,” he said. “I was also told this is a private, internal matter and I would not be able to know the specifics of the outcome. I’m wondering if I need to do a FOIA request to see because I don’t think things are changing in this classroom.”
Stein pondered if someone will start a charter school in the district if the school continues to not act on these concerns.
“My children have not been handed anything and have worked for everything they have earned,” he said. “Again, the lesson is sowing seeds of discontent and pitting one group of students against the other. The American Dream is alive. We should celebrate it. We as parents in a partnership with the school district are here to make the next generation of great Americans, shouldn’t we be striving for excellence?”