Composite screenshot of Fox 4 KC and Fox Business YouTube videos
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A brave high school teacher in Kansas has come under fire after she published two op-eds slamming her district for forcing teachers to attend anti-white DEI trainings and for undermining teachers' authority with unclear and unfairly enforced policies regarding so-called transgender students. As a result, some students staged a walkout in hopes that the teacher would either be disciplined or perhaps even fired.
Caedran Sullivan has spent the last 15 years teaching English at Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Over the years, she has become increasingly frustrated with what she calls the "divisive 'woke' ideology that is creating a culture of contempt and disrespect" in the Shawnee Mission School District.
Last month, Sullivan published two op-eds in the Lion, a publication focused on "education, culture, and Christianity," to expose the ongoing "indoctrination" of students and staff in the district, and she offered three clear criticisms of the district.
First, she claimed that teachers are repeatedly forced to attend diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings that promote critical race theory and Black Lives Matter. "There is repeated white shaming and a preoccupation with white people as the 'oppressor,' including staff field trips with a focus on 'systemic racism,'" she claimed. "The white saviorism and virtue-signaling at DEI meetings is so condescending that many minorities and other staff members have stopped attending."
Sullivan further suggested that the district has hidden the contents of these trainings from the public because administrators intuit that a "majority" of parents would be "appalled" by them. The district has cited copyright concerns for not sharing the materials but insists that residents may schedule an appointment to view them if they wish.
Sullivan also took issue with the district's nonexistent or "unclear" policies regarding self-identifying transgender students. Schools "hide information from parents regarding their minor children transitioning at school," she said, and then refuse to codify an official transgender policy in writing for fear of "repercussions" from parents. Because of this lack of transparency, teachers who use students' "incorrect" pronouns, even inadvertently, have been unfairly reprimanded or penalized, Sullivan said.
"The students run the school and know there will likely be little accountability for their actions, while teachers are accused of discrimination, then written up for a policy that does not exist," she wrote.
Finally, Sullivan expressed concern that the district has lately focused too heavily on "emotional health" to the detriment of learning and achievement. "Academic performance is falling by the wayside," she claimed, citing statistics suggesting that only 38% of district students are proficient in reading and just 29% are proficient in math.
Those most affected by a substandard education, the students, do not appear to be angry that they may have been deprived of a rich learning experience. Instead, many appear to be angry that Sullivan has been allowed to continue teaching in the district, even after the op-eds were published. Some students even walked out of class on Wednesday morning to demand that the district take action against her.
"It’s not acceptable that she’s still here, and that she can post all that stuff on the internet, and that’s OK," said one student.
"I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when it’s so controversial like that, it can be uncomfortable for other people, especially if they’re teachers," said another.
A third student went farther, stating that she does not want Sullivan teaching her siblings. "I don’t want them to be taught by her if that’s what she’s doing," the student said. "Especially being a black student in her class and being in the LGBTQ+ community, I feel like she’s not respecting us. And we want to be heard." That student also had a message for Sullivan: "While you’re educating us, someone needs to educate you about what’s going on in the world now."
Shawnee Mission spokesman David Smith claimed that the district would not comment about Sullivan's op-eds or the walkouts but would "let the students speak for themselves." He added that Sullivan's "perspective does not reflect the experience of the vast majority of our staff."
Sullivan might disagree. She claimed that her school has already lost three teachers on account of the incessant indoctrination and that four more have contemplated leaving as well. There were several residents, some of whom are former teachers, who showed up at the students' walkout to show support for Sullivan.
"Just because we’re teachers doesn’t mean we leave our constitutional rights at the door," said Maria Holiday, a retired teacher.
Earlier this month, Sullivan reached a national audience when she appeared with Stuart Varney on Fox Business to share her version of the story. That interview can be seen below:
Teacher blasts Kansas school district over forced diversity trainingswww.youtube.com
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Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.