SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The union representing San Francisco’s public school teachers has offered a classroom lesson plan that calls President-elect Donald Trump a racist and sexist man who became president “by pandering to a huge racist and sexist base.”
The United Educators of San Francisco posted the plan on its website and distributed the plan via an email newsletter to its more than 6,000 members. The school district has more than 57,000 students.
It is unclear how many teachers have used the plan outlined by a Mission High School teacher, said union spokesman Matthew Hardy and school district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe on Wednesday.
Blythe said the plan is an option and not part of the official curriculum.
“Educators are entrusted to create lessons that reflect the California standards, support students’ social and emotional well-being and foster inclusive and safe school communities,” she wrote in an email, adding that teachers are encouraged to include various perspectives and not refer to people or political parties.
Harmeet Dhillon, an RNC committeewoman from California, called the lesson plan and introductory statement put out by the teachers’ union “inappropriate propaganda that unfairly demonizes not only the campaign that Donald Trump won but also all of the people who voted for him.”
The Nov. 9 plan outlined by teacher Fakhra Shah encourages teachers to talk to students about how they feel about the election results. The plan encourages teachers to offer students hope and to tell them that they can keep fighting.
San Francisco is diverse, with many students whose families are in the country illegally and who are worried by Trump’s calls for deportation. She warned teachers that some students may use inappropriate words to express their fear and anger.
“I know that they might curse and swear, but you would too if you have suffered under the constructs of white supremacy or experienced sexism, or any isms or lack of privilege,” she wrote.
More than 2,000 San Francisco students walked out of class last week to protest the new president. On Monday, Mayor Ed Lee declared that San Francisco would continue to provide sanctuary for all immigrants, religious minorities and gays and lesbians.
The San Francisco Unified School District has issued the following statement on the lesson plan:
Understandably, our teachers are helping students process current events. We are a community that believes that each child and each person is the equal of every other. This belief cuts across race, nationality, immigration history, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic means, ability status, language, and age. These beliefs are woven throughout the laws of our land and are also reflected in the kinds of schools and classrooms we seek to cultivate.
The Mission High School lesson plan, like many, has been circulated as an option for high school teachers. It is not part of the official district curriculum. The teachers union does not dictate SFUSD curriculum, State standards and Board policies do.
Educators are entrusted to create lessons that reflect the California standards, support students’ social and emotional well-being and foster inclusive and safe school communities. Our schools serve diverse student populations and when teachers develop lessons to discuss current events, they are encouraged to include multiple perspectives and refer to issues/beliefs/values/behavior, not people or political parties.