Social Justice Crowding Out Actual Academics Should Be On The Block For Cuts

Social Justice Sally Liberalism ADHDEarlier this week, I wrote about how social justice is crowding out actual academics and our tax dollars appear to be funding these endeavors.

I highlighted an individual that is an Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in the Kirkwood school district in Missouri, named Bryan Painter.

This article is a little more exploration into Dr. Painter’s social justice agenda.

Dr. Painter keeps a Storify account, which is a site used to create stories using social media platforms.

Take a look at the Storify article from 11/12/15, which highlights the ridiculous social justice warrior events and calls for “safe spaces” that took place at Mizzou University. The very first link in it is to Southern Poverty Law Center’s incredibly biased and Common Core aligned ‘Teaching Tolerance‘.

Melissa Click Mizzou

Image via

I do not see a follow up article from Dr. Painter outlining that Melissa Click was charged with assault, was suspended, that she had a prior history of instigating incidents with police or that, as of yesterday, was fired for ‘harming the rights of others’.

No, that wouldn’t be in Dr. Painter’s Storify collection, because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

Speaking of narratives…

Have parents seen Dr. Painter’s newly formed “Civil Rights Team” made up of 5th graders? Have parents seen the ‘pledge’ they took?  Here’s the excerpt:

A new Civil Rights Team has formed at Keysor, comprised of interested fifth graders working with several Keysor teachers. When we think of civil rights, our minds often go straight to issues of race. This is important to our work, but looking at their pledge to each other we see their mission is much larger:

“I believe that Keysor’s diversity is its strength. I also recognize that treating others badly because of their differences can turn diversity into a source of loneliness and hurt. I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, ideas or other characteristics are different from my own. To fulfill this pledge, I will examine my own biases and work to overcome them. I will set a positive example at home, school, and in my community. I will work to uphold the civil rights of every student at Keysor and interrupt hate and injustice whenever it occurs.”

This Civil Rights Team will also be leading the charge on “no name calling week”. One has to ask, does this include the designation of name calling free “safe spaces”?

Again, your tax dollars are funding these social justice pushes.

Let’s talk about taxes and let’s talk about the voice of the people for a moment.

One of the biggest issues in education is that people tend to believe we have to spend more and more money in order to support our schools.

This stance is ignorant of the history of education spending in this nation, which has proven without a shadow of a doubt that spending more money does not equal more success. What is has equaled is stagnation, bloat and misspending. School districts historically have been poor stewards of the tax payer dollar.

Bottom line, school districts, like any government organization, need to be held accountable. They don’t need to exponentially spend more, they need to spend smarter.

A proposed tax increase was voted down by 60% of voters last November in Kirkwood, Missouri. The voters spoke pretty loudly there — the budget needs a haircut, not an opportunity to turn into Crystal Gayle.

As a result of that vote, the Kirkwood board voted to reduce their budget by $5 million.

Some of the reactions to the increase being voted down were, at best, examples of name calling. Ironic. Maybe Dr. Painter should sic the new “Civil Rights” team on that commenter who, by the way, is a “journalist” and author… who has a huge Chez Guevara background on his Twitter page.

When discussing these budget cuts, remember, Dr. Williams is Kirkwood’s Superintendent and  is one of the highest paid in the state at around $264,000 a year. Williams  was the one who recommended Dr. Painter.  Apparently the average teacher salary there is $70k.

So, in a nutshell, the Kirkwood board listened to the taxpayers, but not by choice.

Here’s a question or two for the Kirkwood Board:

Do the citizens have to come out in droves like they did at the polls for you to listen to opinions from the taxpayers?

The same taxpayers who fund these school officials pushing social justice and these ‘diversity’ programs?

Shouldn’t programs like these be part of that budget haircut so that actual academics can be the focus as they should be?

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), EDUCATION, Poltical Correctness, Racial Justice, Social Justice, YWBMTC. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Social Justice Crowding Out Actual Academics Should Be On The Block For Cuts

  1. Adam says:

    AP Dillon, this started as a conversion about the Kirkwood school district. Anti-bullying is not taught in 1st grade. It comes into the curriculum in 5th grade where bullying is particularly pervasive. There is no Brown Shirting here. Kids are taught to respect each other, to understand what behaviors are acceptable and to speak up against unacceptable behaviors like bullying. Is racial equality part of the conversation? Yes, to teach our children that pigmentation does not matter. It is part of our culture now and therefore it is Civics.

    Regarding bullying. It has rightly become a hot topic in recent years. Look up the studies showing how physical and verbal abuse cause trauma. This makes bullying an offensive behavior, particularly in middle school where social acceptance is so important to children. You are correct that there is no right not to be bullied but that does not make bullying right.

    I will restate my earlier comment. Painter’s suggestions are written in a very radical manner but are implemented in an age appropriate manner. Or did your child have a different experience?


    • A.P. Dillon says:

      And I will restate mine, it is inappropriate to enlist 5th graders in a civil rights squad to police the speech of their peers. Period.

      As for anti bullying, it starts In K and goes through 12. Everywhere.


      • Adam says:

        Please reread the pledge. It is written in the first person so it is a personal behavior pledge, not written in language that suggests policing. It is over the top and formulaic. I’ll ask Keysor parents how it was implemented and how it going one month into the initiative.

        Since you feel so strongly about the inappropriateness of teaching Civil Rights to 5th graders during February in this manner, how would you suggest Civil Rights be taught and to whom?


      • A.P. Dillon says:

        I’ve read it and you clearly don’t agree with my opinion of it. I suggest you reread it and ask yourself the point, as it pertains to social justice narratives.

        How about reading MLKs speeches? How about learning about Elizabeth Cady Stanton?


  2. Susan Calhoun says:

    Academics must NOT be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.


    • Adam says:

      Of course academics should not be sacrificed to PC. But lessons in Civics should be part of the curriculum and should be grade level appropriate. Let’s loose political generalities for a moment and think about what is appropriate. That is let’s make politics local. 5th graders should learn about bullying prevention, gender and racial equality. Don’t you agree?


      • A.P. Dillon says:

        No, I don’t agree.

        Anti-bullying materials start in Kindergarten. They continue on through high school.

        Our schools are inundated with this crap.

        Using 5th graders to police their friend’s speech under the label of “civil rights” is horrifying. That’s not civics, that’s Brownshirt training.

        There is no right to not be offended or bullied; it is not a Civil Right.
        Free Speech is.

        And as for ‘racial equality’… That term gets tossed around so often, it’s lost real meaning. It is now a political tool used to perpetuate the notion that we don’t have racial equality.

        We DO have racial equality.
        Find me a Civil Right that minorities do not have, please. We elected a black president – twice — for crying out loud.


  3. Adam says:

    Regarding teacher pay, I calculated the average teacher salary a while back. I approximated it by taking the entire operating budget an divide by the number of teachers. Admittedly this is just an high estimate since it includes compensation for non-teacher personnel. It came to $80,000 total compensation. When I was responsible for project manpower costs, we used 40% as the percentage for non-salary compensation. This included healthcare, 401k contributions, taxes, etc. (Check your W2 if you don’t believe me.) In this case actual salary for teachers is $48,000. Some make more, of course, while starting faculty make less. Overall, the teachers are not over compensated.

    Rather than arguing if teachers are getting rich, I find a few actions by the administration over the past few years disturbing. Firstly, the administration did not act to prevent the $5M deficit. It did not spring of whole cloth out of nowhere. It accumulated over years. If I came in $1M under budget on sales, I was in deep trouble. Secondly, it seems to me that there is administration bloat. My school never had as many people in non-teaching roles as I see here. This may be the status quo now days, but is it required? In terms of curriculum, I know that teachers have identified and corrected deficits in curriculum continuity recently. No superintendent required.

    Finally two points under the heading of “be careful for what you wish”. Kirkwood school district ranks well in the state and in US News and World Report. This success translates to opportunities for our kids. If Williams jiggers with the number of PhD teachers, and pays a premium for them, our kids benefit by having good teachers and also a good school district.

    As to the second point, schools are, in part, responsible for the continuity of society by shaping our kids civic responsibility. Great emphasis is placed on reduction of bullying, on acceptance of diversity, on the right of free speech. (I wish my daughter had not taken that lesson so much to heart!) Rhetoric aside, Painter is doing just that in his post. He is recommending a discussion of the events at Mizzou. I question his manifesto as appropriate language for a fifth grader. Knowing the teachers, I’m sure they “translated” it into something the children could learn. His intent, though shows support for the Declaration and for the Bill of Rights and I think that’s something conservatives and liberals can support.


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