Steve Gunn, EAG News, May 27, 2015
Aaron Benner, a fourth-grade teacher who’s been working in the St. Paul, Minnesota school district for 14 years, has watched that insane philosophy take root in his district and make a bad situation even worse.
Violent, unruly behavior is at an all-time high, to the point where it’s difficult for teachers to instruct or children to learn, Benner told EAGnews.
That’s particularly true among black students, who are frequently not held accountable for their actions, Benner said.
Benner said the problem can be traced to the school district’s three-year-old contractual relationship with the Pacific Educational Group, a radical San Francisco-based organization that makes millions of dollars in consulting fees every year from public schools throughout the nation.
PEG’s answer is for educators to adjust their academic and behavioral expectations of black students, stop suspending or expelling them for bad behavior, and literally roll with the punches, according to Benner.
But Benner, who is black, says PEG is pedaling dangerous nonsense that’s ruining the schools and destroying the chances of black children gaining the discipline and structure they need to succeed in life.
“As a black man I can say that they are hurting black kids,” Benner said. “I’ve never seen anything as idiotic as PEG. Everything we do, PEG is at the forefront.
“It’s so comical. PEG says shouting out in class is a black cultural norm, and being on time is a white cultural thing. It’s so demeaning, so condescending to black kids. If a white person were making claims like this, black people would be in an uproar.
“You are not doing kids any favors by making excuses for them because they are black. It’s not a matter of culture if you’re talking about norms that all cultures need to abide by–you cannot throw things or attack your teacher, regardless of your race.”
When asked for examples of how school officials have chosen to ignore behavior issues involving black students, particularly boys, Benner has no shortage of disturbing tales.
“I remember two black boys humping on a second grade girl,” Benner said. “The teacher wrote up a referral for inappropriate sexual behavior, but the principal and vice principal dismissed it by calling it ‘cultural dancing.’
“That’s just plain racist. PEG ties everything to culture.”
Benner also remembers a black student punching another student in the face over the type of shoes he was wearing.
“The principal said they were just playing,” Benner said. “I’m like, wow, that’s just so wrong. You’re not trying to help these kids. You just don’t want any of this to be recorded.”