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Loudoun County Public Schools pulls ‘KKK worksheet’ after controversy

This Harmony Middle School civics assignment has caused controversy among parents regarding its classification of left and right wing extremism.
An eighth-grade civics worksheet on the political spectrum has caused controversy after parents raised concerns about the sheet’s categorization of the Ku Klux Klan under “right wing reactionaries.”

Since parents and elected officials have raised concerns about the worksheet, criticizing it for being an oversimplification and offensive, Loudoun County Public Schools has removed the worksheet from use.

The fill-in-the-blank worksheet, which originated at Harmony Middle School, displayed five columns -- left wing radical, liberal Democrats, moderates, conservative Republicans and right wing reactionaries.

The worksheet lists the KKK as an example of a "right wing reactionary" group, stating “reactionaries are willing to use extreme methods such as repressive use of government power to achieve their goals.”

The Harmony Middle School civics teacher brought the worksheet in as an outside resource, and the assignment was not used by any other teachers, LCPS spokesman Wayde Byard said.

“The supervisor of social science and global studies spoke with the teacher, the teacher withdrew it and it will never be used again,” he said.

Byard also said the school system did not receive widespread complaints and only heard from one parent about the worksheet. When they create supplemental classroom material, they are required to stay within the curriculum, he said.

“When teaching civics, the goal of the Loudoun County Public Schools’ curriculum is to use discovery and investigation. This is so that students understand the nuances and fluidity of this complex subject,” Byard said in an email. “We removed this worksheet from classroom use – and it was not widely used – because it obviously failed to meet these standards.”

The controversy sparked when the worksheet was publicized by the Larry O’Connor Show, where School Board member Eric DeKenipp’s (Catoctin) later made an appearance. DeKenipp said the worksheet was generally inaccurate.

“This worksheet is misinforming and misleading,” DeKenipp said on the radio show. “Moderates are seen as tolerant of other people’s views, which is telling me these other factions aren’t tolerant.”

In addition to criticizing the worksheet’s alliance of the KKK with conservatives, DeKenipp criticized the worksheet describing liberals as wanting change within the law, saying the Trump administration was a clear example of Republicans wanting change and working within the system to achieve that change.

DeKenipp called for education to focus on issues, not ideology.

“The reality is, we know public education at all levels inherently is liberal, and frankly, from my perspective, it’s going to take a coordinated effort from a grassroots level to kind of level the playing field to make sure our kids are getting a balanced scorecard kind of education,” DeKenipp told Larry O’Connor.

Comments


It’s misleading and simplistic in that Republicans can be on the liberal side and Democrats can lean toward the conservative side. That’s why a lot of Democrats 100 years or more ago were more conservative than Republicans, which has mostly changed since then.
The KKK does deserve to be a right-wing reactionary group. It and other white supremacist groups have supported Trump, and he has even called them “very fine people.” His public criticism of the Klan, when it comes, is usually muted by criticizing others who may use violence to oppose them. Like it or not, the far rightwing is aligned with such white supremacist groups.


Interesting to note:

Under ‘Moderate’, there the sheet claims that there are only two sides (“both sides”).  No mention of other viewpoints.  Just two.

Under ‘Left Wing Radical’, they believe in “violence for the good of the cause”.  But isn’t that exactly what the Klan thinks too? Violence is good, if it promotes their cause?


There are plenty of reasons school districts struggle to recruit well-qualified teachers. Few individuals have opinions about individuals who work in academia or industry.  Everyone has an opinion, however flawed, paranoid, or uninformed, about teaching and teachers.  That, more so than anything else, is what bothered me most when I was one.


Can you look at the other side under “Right Wing” 

KKK, that says it all.  There would be no darn BLM or Antifa if those Nazi freaks had not and do not kill for race.  Period, done.  They are terrorists.


Sorry to see that mind control has reached such epic proportions. Sad day when a teacher can’t bring material to class to help students understand and prepare to enter their world. 

Sad to see ignorant adults trying to foist their biases on everyone’s children. 


Can you look at the other side under “left wing radical?”  The lesson emphasizes violence to achieve cultural goals.  MLK was a left wing radical from descriptive accounts by our own government at the time, and he didn’t use violence.  John Kerry was called “a left-wing radical,” by Texas Conservative billionaire Harold Simmons, and Harold Simmons also, later,  described Obama, as a left-wing radical.  Where is the domestic violence this group acted upon?  Breitbart called Sandra Fluke “a left-wing Radical,” for her stand on birth control.  Shirley Chisholm and (Independent Presidential candidate) John B. Anderson were called “Left Wing Radical(s)’ in the 1970’s and early 80’s by the editorial board of the National Review magazine because of their independent views on civil rights. Denver radio host Alan Berg was described as a left wing radical, and was shot dead for it.  What did all these people do to deserve having this this unfounded and unfair descriptive label attached to them?  The answer lies in the specious and nefarious descriptors.


The truth hurts and this clearly struck a bit close to home for some folks.  It’s not an easy balancing act when you’re a racist and try to act the part of good conservative Christian at the same time.


basics - just google “southern strategy”

and at tennessee white supremacist rally -

someone said “I don’t see Heather Heyer in the crowd over there,” pointing to the protesters across the street. A white supremacist from Ohio drove his car into a group of anti-racists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in early August, killing Heyer and injuring many more. “That’s the voice of murderers. That was unbelievably offensive to me,” a woman named Leslie, who was standing on the side opposite of the rally, told Buzzfeed News.


HA!  Did anyone read the entire sheet?  This sheet is how cult’s get started, pull it and keep this crap out of our schools.  There are lots of OTHER political science and history that can be learned.  In fact, the teacher needs to get a little talking to. This is bad, real bad.  Anyone approving this in PUBLIC school’s has issues.


Its about time we focus more attention on the substance taught to our children. How many board members have even looked at what is in the SOL’s or how much world geography is really   Virginia centric etc. I would rather see better physiology, artificial intelligence, arabic, urdu, neural linguistics, coding and gymnastics taught. Maybe Shakespeare and dodgeball should be elective so more useful electives could be taken! Do you really want your children to be taught they come from pond scum or micro organisms from outer space or as seems to be the case hear that hate of any kind can be considered a legitimate part of any party?
Bob Ohneiser Esq. (8 year former school board member)


Reading many of these comments shows why we have to bring in so many educated people from other countries into this Country and Loudoun County in general to make it work, because many of you, especially those educated in Virginia got some of the craziest education. We spend so much time teaching half the history in this Country is a wonder why white people characterize every one else as Africa or Asian American while never referring to themselves as what they are European Americans as if white people are native to North America.  So this worksheet is just a continuation of that misinformation.


Well, ” A History website states “, I guess if you read it on the interweb it must be true. First off the label of “Liberal” was co-opted by the dem party
because they couldn’t call themselves socialist or communist and now they’ve settled on progressive.
If you actually read your comment, You contradicted your premise. In 1874 the dem party took control of the House and shortly thereafter we have the Jim Crow Era. The South was dem controlled almost exclusively until Reagan won by getting the conservative dem vote, which spiraled into turning the South Republican. That is pretty recent undisputed history, not the revisionist history that apparently some teachers are trying to peddle in the classroom.


My child had this teacher at Harmony for civics. He had a strong liberal bias throughout the year and was open and forceful about the opinions. Instead of just teaching the curriculum in an unbiased manner, my child was subjected to regular liberal rants. My child and other students in his class did not feel that they could speak up and express their opinions without fear of lower grades. The teacher prominently wore an Obama pin every day. When my child asked why he was wearing this pin, he responded that he “always wears the pin of the current president”. Needless to say, after the election of president Trump, the Obama pin stayed on and no Trump pin was added. The teacher came in the morning after the election and said to the class “America died last night” and proceeded to pout the rest of the week. A look at his Facebook (which not surprisingly was recently locked down) will show the clear bias. Please, LCPS, take steps to stop this bias in teaching and present the curriculum right down the middle.


There is nothing wrong with the work sheet. The way it divides the “political spectrum” is the same way that was taught in the 1950s, an era when the Democratic and Republican parties each included liberal, moderate and conservative members. What has changed is the negative tags that Republicans have attached to “liberal” during their purge of liberal Republicans from their party. 

The original KKK formed during the post-Civil War period known as “Reconstruction” (1865-1877) and used violence to prevent former slaves from enjoying the rights granted to them by the 13th and 14th Amendments, trying to restore the social order that existed before the war.  A history website states “During Radical Reconstruction, which began in 1867, newly enfranchised blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to southern state legislatures and even to the U.S. Congress. In less than a decade, however, reactionary forces–including the Ku Klux Klan–would reverse the changes wrought by Radical Reconstruction in a violent backlash that restored white supremacy in the South.” That KKK clearly fit the definition of far right “reactionary,” as do the later organizations that revived the name.

“Republicans became more conservative and less egalitarian as the decade continued. In 1874–after an economic depression plunged much of the South into poverty–the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives for the first time since the Civil War.”

The Republican Party gradually lost its fervor for egalitarianism. The federal government allowed state segregation laws and oppression of blacks in the South, known as “Jim Crow era”, to continue without challenge. President Woodrow Wilson, raised in the south, went so far as to segregate the federal bureaucracy,  During this era several new white supremacy groups were formed that took the KKK name and used violence, including lynchings, to keep the South’s black population suppressed.  The 1954 Supreme Court decision that schools had to be integrated, caused the southern wing of the Democratic Party to split off, first forming the Dixiecrat Party and later joining the Republican Party instead.  Those southern Democrats who remained in the Democratic Party, such as Robert Byrd, renounced any past memberships in the KKK. Later in the 20th century Republican parties purged any liberal Republicans from their ranks.


I think using the KKK is an inaccurate selection as this group was founded by Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Democrat, a major influence in the 1924 Democratic National Convention, and has had many prominent democratic members including Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, a mentor to Hillary Clinton. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson picked “Birth of a Nation” as the first movie to be screened at the White House.  The KKK was very active during the civil rights movement controlled mostly by the Democratic party. This is not a partisan issue, just a historical one. What we saw in southern states was a direct correlation between a reduction in racism and a rise of Republican political control. This happened after the Republicans pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law with 80% of Republicans supporting it and 60-70% of Democrats opposing it. How the KKK became associated with the Republican party is debatable and interesting as we know Communism, Socialism, and National Socialism are progressive in nature. They share many of the same beliefs with significant government control at the center.

In place of KKK the teacher could have used groups that bombed abortion clinics or individuals like Timothy McVeigh. These are reactionary groups or individuals

Arbie - You are factually incorrect on most of your points starting with your idea of political control during Jim Crow. During this time period, the South was controlled by Democrats. It was not until after the Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did the south start to elect Republican politicians.

Sillyyak - Are you really comparing climate deniers to white supremacists? what an interesting comparison…


Folks need to understand that teachers have considerable discretion in using material to instruct kids. I looked up the case law when the controversy arose related to Morrison’s book. While in general teachers tend to be liberal, this material in and of itself is not so controversial.

These are 13-yr-olds. Look up reactionaries.  It literally means ultraconservative. While the KKK can properly be described as reactionaries, it doesn’t mean all ultraconservative have such views. The return to the gold standard, the complete isolation of America in foreign affairs or the complete ban of all birth control might also be called reactionary. (financial, defense, or social issues)

Change is not necessarily good. Roosevelt was a fan of the eugenics movement and the progressives also utilized labotomies as progressive treatments. Planned parenthood was created in part to keep the undesirables from reproducing. And we see that “free college” encourages a lot of kids to waste time and resources getting useless degrees.

I think kids should read political books from both sides. Read Marx, Friedman, Hayak, Keynes, Adam Smith, etc. Kids who don’t choose to go to college should get introduced to political theory. The notion that all poly sci in K-12 must be sanitized is itself a radical idea.


@FredSanford There is a vast amount of imformation available outside of the narrow and rigid “approved curriculum” and “materials”. This is an example of conservative educational ideology. Although the chart should be improved, it is not the only information the teacher uses in teaching about the political spectrum. It certainly does not merit any kind of punishment. In my view, the school board authorities involved should have told the one complaining that the teaching material will be improved and that it is already supplemented by much other material, and leave it at that instead of stirring up a big controversy. The parent is also free to give their child supplemental education at home and to duscuss topics in greater depth with their child. The chart under discussion is certainly not the only teaching material that should be revised. An obvious example is the SOL test. Students would learn more if teaching wasn’t for the sole purpose of passing endless and time-consuming SOL tests.


The chart is sufficiently accurate, albeit incomplete and could use some adjustments. For example, ANTIFA could have been listed under “left wing radical”. To withdraw it entirely is a disservice, as it puts a limit on what can and cannot be taught rather than focusing on how. Byard’s argument “to use discovery and investigation ... so that students understand the nuances and fluidity of this complex subject” is a bit specious. The chart aides this aim by providing an example (the KKK) of contemporary interest and importance that can be used for further discovery and investigation. DeKenipp also makes a specious argument. Most certainly the far left and far right are not tolerant of each other, and liberals and conservatives do not agree on many socioeconomic concerns. Furthermore, conservatives in this era (as Democrats did before the 1960’s) not only tolerate the KKK but provide political cover. And what does DeKenipp mean by “level the playing field” in reference to public education being liberal? Liberal, in reference to education, does not mean politically liberal, rather it means open mindedness and consideration of new ideas. The Association of American Colleges & Universities states “Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change.” Liberal education teaches what citizens need to know to rule and be ruled. Liberal education has receded with an increasing emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A conservative education, which is what DeKenipp alludes to in his “level the playing field” remark, is nothing more than teaching a narrow and rigid philosophy such as creationism; science, art, music, and foreign language are considered unimportant; rote learning and strict standards are the norm.


Why is a Harmony Middle School teacher bringing in Unapproved Outside Material to teach students? Especially when the subject matter is politics?

The School Board needs to conduct an Audit to make sure other teachers in the county aren’t bringing in outside information. The punishment for such a violation needs to be increased beyond a chin-wag.


LetFreedomRing, I’m pretty sure a “left wing” teacher wouldn’t have described left-wingers as willing to use violence to further their own ends, especially without acknowledging that the right wing is prone to a similar mindset.


Flash’s contribution couldn’t be much more divorced from reality if he tried. Conflating the name of a political party and shifting ideologies behind it over time should be a rookie mistake that went the way of the dinosaurs, but it continues to be trotted out every time discussions like these arise. This is the sort of historical revisionism and intellectual dishonesty that willfully ignores historical accuracy in the service of trying to pin the KKK on the Democrats of today. Political alliances have shifted significantly over time, especially in response to the civil rights movement. Forget for a minute the name of the political party in question and focus on ideology, which correlates to a certain degree with geographical trends. The south is generally known for its conservatism, yes? And in which part of the country did Jim Crow laws most affect people of color? Which part most strongly resisted desegregation and the legalization of interracial marriage? These are all hallmarks of KKK positions, and I think the association here is fairly clear and aligns closely with conservatism, regardless of the name of the political party that favors conservatism at any given time. So please, let’s dispense with this baseless contention that the KKK receives support from the liberal side of the spectrum. Such blatant denialism makes you look silly.

That said, I’m not necessarily defending the content of the class document shown in this article. I think it is indeed a vast oversimplification and likely editorializes too much.


Folks, there is nothing really out of line with this sheet. If the Antifa had been listed as a reactionary left-wing group, it would be pretty balanced. Moderates generally want compromise and often don’t have hard principles. Plus it says they “are seen” rather than they are.

Liberals believe the govt can tinker and solve problems even if they remove incentives for good behavior. Conservatives and libertarians know this doesn’t work. Of course, all of this is relative to the time period.  Our founders would be aghast at Randall trying to constantly raise taxes so she could give it to her friends and allies. They know nobody benefits when they live on handouts. Herring, Umstattd and Randall never turn down a chance to take by force and give it out based on their own alliances.


The KKK was a lazy choice.  There are so many far-right groups that would be more relevant. Militias, white-supremacists, climate deniers, various inflexible religious sects.


What an extremely biased and inappropriate worksheet. It’s not even remotely accurate or factually correct! This propaganda sheet was obviously written and used by a left wing teacher with a strong political agenda. There should be zero tolerance of political indocrination in our public schools. The Harmony teacher who forced this “assignment” on his/her students should be fired immediately.


Not only is the worksheet a bit much but it is 100% false as the KKK is 180 degrees from Conservative.

As documented In Wikipedia, Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat and dubbed the “Conscience of the Democratic Party” was not only a member, but a leader of the KKK, which was a LEFT WING death squad.  Here is copy directly from Wikipedia.

Ku Klux Klan Edit
In the early 1940s, Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to create a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Sophia, West Virginia.[10][11]

According to Byrd, a Klan official told him, “You have a talent for leadership, Bob ... The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation.” Byrd later recalled, “Suddenly lights flashed in my mind! Someone important had recognized my abilities! I was only 23 or 24 years old, and the thought of a political career had never really hit me. But strike me that night, it did.”[17] Byrd became a recruiter and leader of his chapter.[11] When it came time to elect the top officer (Exalted Cyclops) in the local Klan unit, Byrd won unanimously.[11]

This is an egregious attempt to deseminate totally false data in an effort to sway children.  If you’re going to teach, you should at least teach accurately.  This teacher is either incompetent, or completely biases and is trying to change history.  They should be fired immediately for both.


WHEN does this stop?????
The way it is going, they will have STOP TEACHING HISTORY all together because someone is always going to be OFFENDED by what is taught or how it is taught.
SO, just teach the things like MATH, SCIENCE and of course POLITICAL SCIENCE so that everyone can learn to be POLITICALLY CORRECT…

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