Karlyn Borysenko, a writer, psychologist and YouTube show host, is on a mission to shine a light on woke “grooming” in public schools, which she says has come to the Green Mountain State by way of the Burlington School District.
“I happened to pick out a webinar from the Burlington School District, and it was pure coincidence — I was just looking for an equity webinar. I was originally starting to watch the white privilege one, and then I noticed in the gender identity one that they were using the gender unicorn,” Borysenko told True North in a recent interview.
Borysenko’s web-based video show is called “Actively Unwoke,” which now has nearly 14,000 YouTube subscribers. In an April episode of the program, she featured a video in which Burlington school leadership discussed “woke” and “grooming” type indoctrination intended for young students.
In a routine Friday segment she calls “Happy Hour,” Borysenko’s citizen contributors gather together and watch full-length streams of “woke” training — from start to finish — to better understand what agendas educators are planning for schools. April’s “Happy Hour” focused on the University of Vermont’s anti-racism training.
The regular video productions are how she started learning about “wokeness” in the Burlington School District — a discovery that Borysenko says was particularly upsetting.
“I felt like we had seen everything and heard everything and it was just a matter of mocking what they were doing,” she said. “But this one was a little bit different because I had about 100 people watching these for several hours, and all of us just started collectively getting more and more angry.”
Borysenko calls her volunteer group of wokeness watchers “The Unwoke Army” — concerned citizens who are dedicated to continually monitoring the district’s social justice policies.
“Our whole goal is to just do things in the real world, to kind of push back against people doing this stuff,” she said. “And so we activated immediately, and about two dozen of us spent an entire weekend just researching the Burlington School District, getting all their public files, getting all their videos, and trying to figure out what exactly was going on there and document it and show the world.”
Through hours of research, Borysenko’s colleagues were able to single out some of the key players advancing woke agendas at the Burlington School District.
She said the main person driving the woke agenda is the superintendent, Tom Flanagan.
“Tom, when he became superintendent, had a 100-day entry plan in which he put ‘equity’ as the very top priority for his tenure as superintendent of the Burlington School District,” she said.
In fact, Flanagan says as much on the Burlington School District superintendent page: “Equity: I believe our core responsibility is to make sure all of the students we serve are valued and challenged and that we intentionally build on their strengths and assets. We have a responsibility to ensure we create learning communities that are conscious of the students we serve. By addressing inequities we improve outcomes for all of our students, staff, and the greater community.”
Borysenko said that “equity” isn’t about equality, even if the two words seem similar.
“Equity, in this case, it doesn’t mean equality as in everyone shows up and you work hard and the best man wins the job or what have you,” she said. “Equity means equality of outcome, which is a fundamentally Marxist ideology. I mean, Carl Marx even said ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.'”
She also shared during the call about her Vermont roots.
Borysenko grew up and lived in Williamstown until she was in her mid-20s. About 10 years ago, she relocated across state lines to New Hampshire. It was almost three years ago that she began studying “woke culture” and working to fight against it.
In May she published a book titled “Actively Unwoke: The Ultimate Guide for Fighting Back Against the Woke Insanity in Your Life,” published by Bombardier Books and sold on Amazon. She also writes commentaries published on her Substack.com account.
One argument Borysenko makes is that the people pushing “woke” agendas are especially vulnerable to public criticism and transparency.
“The woke left have been using psychological warfare against us for decades,” she writes. “They called everyone who politically disagreed with them a ‘racist’ to create enough pain and shame for people to shut up and let them do whatever they wanted.”
Borysenko told True North that her show will continue to cover a broad range of subjects, and that Unwoke Army will continue its investigation into Burlington’s leadership and curriculum.