A parent of a Des Moines High School student said that their child’s teacher — a person called Jasmine Simpson — is allowed to have both a Black Lives Matter flag and a rainbow flag on the wall of her virtual campus.
The American flag, though, is noticeably absent.
When a school administrator was asked about it, they said it is OK because Des Moines Public Schools has made it known publicly that they support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The student, for what it’s worth, is not some kid with white privilege either.
The virtual campus is what kids stare at while Simpson talks.
Simpson doesn’t hide her views on her public Facebook account either. The day of the protest at the United States Capitol, Simpson wrote:
“I’ve read and learned about numerous instances since the inception of America in which white people have acted like thugs and domestic terrorist (sic) in order to uphold white supremacy, yet they were not described as such. I’ve seen many instances in my own lifetime — particularly in the last four years — where white people have acted like thugs and domestic terrorist (sic), and yet they were not described as such. This, in contrast to the many instances where I watched people of color continually labeled as ‘thugs,’ ‘criminals,’ and ‘domestic terrorist’ for doing things like pleading for basic human rights or wearing a hoodie on their walk home from the store with a bag of Skittles.
“I can honestly say that it is the first time in my life in which I’ve heard people, particularly other white people, call white people who are acting violently and harmfully thugs, domestic terrorists and white supremacists. No sugar coating it. No coded language, but in those direct and precise terms.”
Simpson said she could only describe her feeling with one word: “relief.”
“Relief that people in America are finally beginning to directly acknowledge violent and harmful acts by white people that harm the citizen (sic) of America for what they are — terrorism and white supremacy.”
She said she hopes it leads to other people acknowledging and noting the “many instances” of “domestic terrorism” and “white supremacy” that “laid the foundation that allowed the events that transpired today to happen.
Last July Simpson wrote about teaching anti-racism in the classroom.
“I would urge you to consider the importance of building sustained relationships and getting to know what students are arriving to the classroom with before jumping head first into wanting to impart the new learning acquired in your awakening of systemic oppression on your students,” she wrote. “I would urge you to consider, too, that many black students have been existing not only in a society that operates with racism embedded in its fabric, but also in a school system that has consistently perpetuated and operated within that institutionalized racism.”
For what it is worth, the parent contacted the school and was told the only options were to personally talk with Simpson or open enroll the student.
As The Iowa Standard reported late last week, Des Moines Public Schools is one of the few districts in the state that can refuse to allow students to open enroll out due to a voluntary diversity plan.
The district refused to allow a student who was allegedly raped to open enroll out of the district.