Posted on January 31, 2022

Colorado Elementary School Receives Backlash for Participating in Black Lives Matter Week of Action

Hannah Metzger, Colorado Springs Gazette, January 25, 2022

Denver’s Centennial Elementary School received national backlash from right-leaning media outlets after the school announced it would participate in the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action.

The national annual event — which takes place from Jan. 31 through Feb. 4 — encourages schools and educators to teach students about racial justice using 13 guiding principles: restorative justice, empathy, loving engagement, diversity, globalism, transgender affirming, queer affirming, collective value, intergenerational, Black families, Black villages, Black women and unapologetically Black.

After the guiding principles were posted by the group Parents Defending Education, Centennial Elementary School was accused of trying to teach students to support BLM and disrupt the nuclear family in publications including the Washington Examiner and Fox News.

Erika Sanzi, outreach director for Parents Defending Education, called the guiding principles “indoctrination” and bordering on “abuse.”

“It is preposterous and wholly inappropriate to teach 5- and 6-year-olds that they must commit to being trans affirming and queer affirming and in favor of disrupting the nuclear family,” Sanzi said in a statement. “If a parent wants to raise these subjects at home, that is one thing, but in a classroom, it is nothing more than social engineering and a theft of childhood by the state.”

The school said the event aligns with the Black Excellence Resolution signed by the Denver school board in 2019 to improve the school experience for Black students. This will be the second year Centennial Elementary School has participated in the BLM at School Week of Action.

Of the 424 students who attend Centennial Elementary School, only three identify as African American, according to the Denver Public Schools website. Over 56% of the students — 239 — are white, 156 are Hispanic, 22 are of multiple races and four are Asian or Pacific Islander.


Centennial Elementary School is the only school in the district participating in BLM at School Week of Action, said Scott Pribble, a spokesman for Denver Public Schools. {snip}