Vermonters owe a debt of gratitude to Russ Ingalls and the other organizers of a meeting in Island Pond regarding CRT. After being gaslighted and ignored by many school boards, parents have increasingly organized their own events so that their otherwise silenced voices can be heard.
What is wonderful about the Island Pond meeting was how much it revealed about this thuggery by ideologue zealots who are paid to educate children. The School Superintendent John Castle crashed the meeting to shame people who were telling the truth (including an eighth-grader). Castle spread disinformation both about the curriculum and the truth about CRT, and called people who differed with him McCarthyites.
Castle and his cadre of McCarthyites have been screaming about nonexistent “systemic white supremacy” in the abolitionist state of Vermont. Apparently there are just hoards of Nazis in our midst, and the schools must be used to reprogram subconscious racism in children’s minds. That is Critical Race Theory, which also does not tolerate any differing views (“the society is racist, and all whites are racist, and if you disagree that only proves you are racist”). John Castle needs to reprogram himself, and learn civility and honesty, before he has any authority to reprogram the subjective consciences of children.
Superintendent Castle states that this is not happening. As reported by VTDigger:
“I can assure you, we are not teaching critical race theory as an academic discipline. It’s just too complicated for students in a K-12 environment,” Castle said. “We do teach about issues of race, and we do teach about inclusion, and issues of diversity and equity.”
If that’s true, what is he so worried and thuggish about?
In a subsequent email, Superintendent Castle stated:
I stand by my challenge of Mr. Ingalls and Mr. Morely at the Brighton meeting, the work and learning we are doing across NCSU and most importantly I stand by our educators.
Well, challenge accepted. It appears Mr. Castle, who is paid some $160,000 plus benefits to attack parents, children and those who seek to stand up for them, is either unaware of the CRT that is in the NCSU curriculum or is just plain lying. Castle’s educational qualifications are absent from his linkedin account or the OCSU web site. Despite three requests, he has refused to provide his qualifications in teaching, or what credentials he has in psychology (CRT is harmful to any psyche). But then, transparency has been in short supply in Vermont schools: this hostility reveals the true colors of our bureaucratic behemoth in Vermont.
Vermont’s bureaucrats are accustomed to complete impunity. How dare a group of concerned students and parents question their elitist decisions? The meeting in Island Pond proves just how disingenuous John Castle has been. Ben Roberts, a local student troubled by the curriculum content in his eighth grade class, specifically stated (at 8:40):
I wanted to point out this article that says they’re not teaching Critical Race Theory. I am in High School and I’m here to tell you that they do. First of all, this is a real lesson: “In order to understand race relations in the United States you must understand that systems exist that create disadvantages for some people more than others… these systems tend to privilege white people more than people of color.”
Ben then relates other CRT content, states that the BLM flag (a political organization utterly saturated in the partisan tenets of CRT) is displayed, and that a teacher wrote on the blackboard that “Everyone’s biased and racist against minorities.”
This is quintessential CRT — it teaches that the Constitution and America are systemic systems of white oppression. Castle would have us believe this is “just teaching history” and that “it’s just too complicated for kids in a K-12 environment.” Well, it’s not too complicated for Ben Roberts. Yet John Castle calls this youngster — and parent Ben Morley, who explained about “affinity spaces” where “people of color” can gather separately (that’s called “school segregation,” in case Superintendent Castle never studied the issue) — liars:
I think we all have to be very careful about misinformation and distorted information that’s provided in generalizations. There was nothing provided this evening by any of these gentlemen that speaks specifically to what is happening in our schools and I feel as Superintendent of Schools of North Country Supervisory Union, there is nothing we will not be transparent about. We are very proud of the work we do in educating students in all areas…. And issues around race. That is our job and we will do our job. I really feel very confident that our teachers have an objective approach to their teaching and are respectful of students’ backgrounds, yet have a responsibility to teach the truth when they teach about history, and we have a responsibility to to teach about issues of equity in our own society today. I really think it’s very much a distorted picture being presented here right. (at 28:30)
Was this Super-overpaid-Intendent even listening at the meeting he went to disrupt? What is the “generalization” about affinity spaces, telling kids they must acknowledge their white privilege, Ben’s stated discomfort, or the preamble to history that “the system creates disadvantages.” All of these are specific instances of implementation of CRT. Castle’s “factual history” is based on CRT! As Thomas Sowell proves clearly in his book “Discrimination and Disparities,” this very premise is a “seemingly invincible fallacy.” It is also very dangerous, racist, and divisive. What’s more, Castle et al are implementing a “new” system that allocates money, resources, and other opportunities to BIPOC Vermonters solely based on their skin color. But Castle stood up and denied this.
It is Castle et al. who invoke “generalizations” (“all white people are racist”; “all race disparities are due to systemic oppression”) to exclude intelligent thought. He does this because he is an acolyte of this novel political experimentation on the children in his care. He boasts on the NCSU home page:
I am hopeful that we have entered a new era that will bring health, prosperity, social justice, renewed strengthening of our democracy and a truly progressive shift in education.
If the school is “merely teaching the truth about the past,” what is the “truly progressive shift in education” to which he refers? Well, CRT of course. The ideological zealots who will not tolerate differences of opinion are in charge now, and they will lie and call children names rather than have a “critical discussion” of what they have already done.
Vermont’s Racial Equity Task Force has emphasized the importance of creating a new (“progressive”) society built on race:
A just and equitable society begins in the developmental stages of the human psyche. While children learn a great deal from their families, friends and communities, schools have traditionally served as the primary mechanism for teaching – not just reading and mathematics – but cultural norms and expectations and what it means to be an American. As we grapple with responding to the social unrests across our nation and then the journey to unlearn and undo a lifetime of false racial and cultural associations, we must also make an unwavering and fearless commitment to overhauling our educational system now.
Superintendent Castle is fully committed to “overhauling our educational system now” — he is equally committed to staunching any parental opposition. But where is the evidence this is healthy for children? There is common-sense proof that it will be harmful, and it is obviously both political and experimental.
UVM Professor Aaron Kindsvatter (who possesses the credentials Castle et al lack), was specifically asked in an interview about CRT: “What are the effects of these ideas on the students? What are we teaching?” His response (at 21:38) foretells what John Castle’s experimentation will accomplish:
That is what is particularly frightening because the habits of mind that inform work’s like Kendi’s and D’Angelo’s, the habits of mind that inform those works are based on a rigidity and set of distortions that are likely to lead to a great deal of unhappiness both in interpersonal relationships and unhappiness with one’s sense of self worth
It’s not as if Castle can hide this elephant of truth. The NCSU home page inveighs:
Equity goes beyond formal equality where all students are treated the same. Achieving equity may require an unequal distribution of resources and services. Equity involves acknowledging and disrupting inequitable practices, acknowledging biases, employing practices that reflect the reality that all students will learn, and creating inclusive multicultural school environments for adults and children. Incorporate the principle of equity into the NCSU strategic plan and identify measurable outcomes to prepare all students for college, career, and life.
Instead of acknowledging that NCSU is heavily steeped in CRT training, philosophy, and materials, John Castle chose to lie publicly, ignoring the multiple specific instances documented at the meeting. More, he called citizens names unjustifiably in a failed effort to browbeat those telling the truth — he accused the speakers of McCarthyism, to which Russ Ingalls responded graciously:
Okay, by having a discussion about what the NEA has brought in, about what the folks back have said, about what everybody said, that’s McCarthyism?,” Ingalls asked. “By being here as a community and giving our opinions, that’s McCarthyism? That sir, is part of the problem. If you can’t value everybody’s opinion here, that’s part of the problem, isn’t it?”
“No, you are the problem,” Castle said. “…..We have sat here and listened to people denigrate schools without any clear evidence.”
No, the public watched — and can still watch — as a child’s understandable complaints were ignored and denigrated, and an overpaid bureaucrat lied to them like a thug.
But this too is part of CRT. CRT believes not in a two-party system aspiring toward an “equal” society, but a one-party system that holds that “achieving equity may require an unequal distribution of resources and services.” (As per the NCSU policy that Castle says doesn’t include any CRT). In CRT, past discrimination is conquered by implementing new redistributive discrimination. CRT is anti-Constitutional, racist, toxic, impossible, and grossly partisan — and it is what John Castle is trying to hide.
Castle inadvertently stated something in a 2015 commentary with which all should concur:
Governance consolidation is a political agenda that reflects the interest of those with power while marginalizing others. If Vermonters value our sense of community, we should speak out against legislation that will diminish democracy, minimize social capital and restrict opportunities.
Too true — especially in what he is doing now, in NCSU.
Consider the effect of this Superintendents’ actions: he is stifling free opinions by parents and teachers. That too is part of the CRT “our ideology only” playbook:
It’s obvious to everyone that Critical Race Theory (and the other Theories of Critical Social Justice) have been incorporated into [schools] at virtually every level and in most subjects all across the nation, but the line is that “Critical Race Theory isn’t being taught in our schools.” To unpack this lie, we have to understand that Critical Theories require a praxis, so while the formal and narrow theory of Critical Race Theory may not be being taught in our schools, Critical Race Praxis (CRaP) is throughout our schools.
Dr. Aaron Kinsvatter describes the psychological process of what Castle is doing. Castle and others have decided to “flip” U.S. history from one of equality and growth for minorities to one of racial oppression and failure. It is a completely false narrative, that he now portrays as “just teaching the truth about history.” In this he is a fundamentalist in his thinking, and does not permit that any parent should question, let alone disagree with, this patent falsehood. Notes Kindsvatter (at 4:40; 5:58):
Anti-racism sounds like something we should all want, but when you look at the suppositions of anti-racism, you quickly see authoritarianism and you quickly see people being divided up by racial categories and particular attributes are being assigned based on one’s racial category.
Fundamentalism is a thought system that does not allow examination of or reflection on the suppositions that inform it. It’s just “good” in the eyes of the fundamentalist thinkers… These ideas are taken to be almost sacred.
Parents must learn about the truth of CRT from children like Ben Roberts, and from scholars like James Lindsay. Castle’s behaviors become “transparent” when seen through the perversions of his ideology. Says Lindsay:
It’s the praxis (“implementation”, or “application”) that matters. That is to find some way, one way or another, to take a person, especially if they can a child in the schools, and get them to see the world in their perverted upside-down inverted way. That’s it. (at 22:22). It’s only going to last for so long where they can try to peddle this crap. They tried “It’s not in our schools.” That didn’t work. Now they’re saying “It’s you know, We have to have it to teach real history.” That’s not gonna work either. Everyone knows who’s even bothered to look at the wikipedia entry or anything else that’s been written about Critical Race Theory in the past year at least that it favors… historical revisionism as an explicit methodology. That’s what the 1619 Project is. It explicitly re-writes history to match claims about history so that it can use them for politics. Do you see how the game works? The second you try to stop their implementation they lose their marbles and they start accusing you of things. (at 25:42)
Did James Lindsay watch the Island Pond video? You’d think so, so accurately does he call out the lies and name-calling (gaslighting) by authoritarian zealot John Castle. Superintendent Castle stuck his hand deep into the CRT cookie jar, and now he is the emperor with no Constitutional clothes. He is thus lying very blatantly to parents and the public, in violation of everything his job is supposed to stand for.
Our children are warning us, only to be bullied and gaslit as McCarthyites when they tell the truth. When is John Castle resigning? Who could possibly trust such a shallow intellect and dubious “character” after witnessing the abuse of his position in Island Pond and subsequent interviews? Partisan bureaucrats are politically indoctrinating our children to hate themselves and our culture, in the name of an “Equity” policy built on CRT, that they deny exists. These lies will unravel the more parents — and children — learn the truthabout what is being done.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and the former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2021. All rights reserved.