Schools gone woke

Schools gone woke. By An Anonymous American Educator.

A sleep-woker is one who has not taken the woke creed to heart, yet nevertheless tacitly complies with the linguistic, pedagogical, political, and moral imperatives of wokeness. Sleep-wokers go through the motions; they are like religious folk who say prayers without thinking, attend worship services without engaging, and perpetuate dogmas without believing. I was a sleep-woker. In some ways, due to a combination of timidity and tiredness, I still am. …

While sleep-woking, an English teacher can unwittingly help cancel Chaucer, Keats and Conrad in the name of decolonisation. A biology teacher might find herself obliged to deny important differences between the sexes. A football coach will not be able to cheer on a player after a strong tackle, as strength and physical violence smack of toxic masculinity.

Most of my sleep-woking colleagues are good people. Like me, they were lulled into complacency by a woke take-over that was slow and subtle. What’s more, some changes were initially promising and even corrective — of course we should pay more attention to marginalised voices and overlooked narratives, and I am glad that we now do. To bemoan an expanded curriculum is simple chauvinism. In the end, however, wokeness has proven to be oppressive and totalitarian rather than inclusive and liberating.

What our young are being taught:

Schools openly preach that if one feels offended, one has been offended. For example, if a student or colleague claims to have been offended by your words or actions, it does not matter if you intended no offence. More troubling is the fact that it does not matter if your words and actions were not those that a rational person should find offensive …

We are training students how to be offended so that their perceived offence can be used to eliminate anti-woke expression. …

Hate and bullying encouraged by the woke:

Opposing woke slogans or voicing contrary slogans is not tolerated. Since opposing wokeness is thought to be motivated by hate, voicing opposition to woke slogans is tantamount to hate speech. A student who challenges a woke slogan is bullied and harassed by the woke majority. Meanwhile, woke slogans and images are hung in school buildings and cannot be removed. …

Ad hominem attacks are presented as the cornerstone of critical thinking rather than as a fallacious form of argumentation. We teach students to evaluate texts and arguments by primarily attending to the author’s race, gender, and sexuality. …

All opposition is illegitimate:

If you claim to not be a racist, you are seen as the worst, most unredeemable kind of racist. You are a heretic who will not admit heresy. You are thought to be suffering from something called “white fragility”. …

Manners are so yesterday:

So long as their genitals are covered and no profane words are visible, students can and do wear anything they like. Arguably the only rule left in the dining halls and cafeterias is “Don’t throw food.” …

No exams! Diversity wins! Meritocracy loses.

Exams are being eliminated for two reasons: first, because exams are apparently inherently racist, sexist, classist, heteronormative, or otherwise unfair; second, because exams cause students stress, and stress makes students feel bad, and feeling bad negatively impacts their well-being. Additionally, some students do poorly on exams, and this has the potential to result in a situation that is inequitable. …

What is society going to be like in 20 years?

In place of free-thinking young scholars, you will begin turning out a generation of woke activists who believe that feelings matter more than facts, that perception is reality, and that it is more important to judge a text than to understand it — where “judging” means anachronistically interpreting the author’s words in light of the most recent woke orthodoxy.

Many of my students claim to be proud practitioners of social justice (don’t push them too hard on what that means) yet they have only an elementary command of grammar and geography, struggling to write complete sentences and unable to locate Turkey on a map. Some have begun to ask why we take math so seriously given that math is apparently grounded in Western patriarchal rationalism.

Don’t ignore it. Although it’s ridiculously stupid, it’s actually happening:

Perhaps your instinct has been to dismiss these excesses as isolated incidents. Like me, you might have said “The pendulum will swing back” or “That will never happen at my school.” I am writing to say that the pendulum will not swing back because the woke movement is not a pendulum; it is a steamroller.

Read it all.

Sounds like a regression, a la Lord of the Flies.

hat-tip Stephen Neil