Nancy Anderson, American Thinker, March 16, 2022
Two years ago, I discovered the subversive diversity, equity, and inclusion movement secretly deployed to indoctrinate children — my children. Propaganda-based children’s books were read in class to my first grader. The private Montessori school offered no warning to parents; I merely heard my child mentioning rainbows and parades in the car-ride home from school. A trip into the classroom revealed the books This Day in June and Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, complete with images of gay pride parades and “God Says No” signs. I was dumbfounded and felt betrayed. Why would these books be part of an elementary education, let alone a Montessori curriculum based on innocence of the child?
I implored the administration to tell other parents. Not all children are like mine and willing to mention details of their school day. The administration refused. Pointing to cartoon pictures of parade floats with shirtless sailors and rhymes of “clad in leather/perfect weather,” I could not sway the teachers, the lower-elementary administrator, or the principal from declaring the books justified and age-appropriate. News reports from a nearby state demonstrated the negative impact the propaganda had on youth: a seven-year-old came home questioning her faith after being read the same book about Harvey Milk. Yet my child’s educators refused to tell other parents of the book’s existence in the first grade. If queer politics was copacetic, what was their worry?
On the surface the answer was simple: the staff did not want blowback from parents. School officials knew these books were questionable and discovery would create copious angry emails. During my sit-down with staff regarding these books, my 84-year-old mother-in-law read aloud from This Day in June: “Most pride parades start with a contingent of lesbians riding motorcycles, called the Dykes on Bikes.” When Nana emphasized “Dykes on Bikes,” the educators’ ashen faces betrayed true embarrassment. Mere parental pushback could not explain their justification of secrecy. These books were no accident: the school was determined to protect the creeping normalcy of progressive gender and race politics in elementary education under the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This experience destroyed my trust in Montessori education. I removed my children from school in the middle of the year — an action I would not have anticipated just a few months prior. Soon after COVID-19 struck. With school closures and online classes, parents throughout the country awakened to activist curricula in both public and private schools. COVID-19 lockdown policies not only exposed but accelerated the normalization of social justice activism in K-12 education. Before COVID-19, schools relied on clandestine curriculum and the slow creep of ideological indoctrination. Now if a parent questions a book or school material, that parent is deemed racist or homophobic. School staff disregard parents as distractions. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe announced parents should have no say in curricula. The Biden DoJ released a memorandum directing the FBI to work with local leaders to combat uncited threats of violence against school boards targeting parents in the process.
Currently, the American Montessori Society pushes activist philosophy on families. The president of AMS Board of Directors, Amira Mogaji, was a founding board member of Montessori for Social Justice. This group organized conferences for teachers about “Decolonizing the Human Potential” replete with t-shirts asserting, “The Future is Not White.” Fundraising gear included tote bags with the slogan “Dismantling Montessori One Peace Table at a Time.” Under Mogaji’s leadership, the AMS officially recommends the BLM organization, 1619 Project, and Ibram X. Kendi. AMS accelerated far left activism as the new normal for childhood education.
Two years following my experience at a private Montessori school, this same school openly celebrates This Day in June and Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk in the classroom, picturing the books on the school’s Facebook site (notably avoiding the most controversial images). A first-grade gender ideology curriculum implemented conspiratorially two years ago has transformed into the pride (literally and figuratively) of the same school today. Activists inserted radical leftist politics quietly and subversively to young children — my children. They anticipated parents would not pay attention. Now that parents are aware, the parents who object are bullied into submission. As schools silence or force out parents, activists fill the void. Now schools boast publicly about their “inclusive” syllabi, all while having excluded parents. This is not transparency. This is the accelerated normalcy of activists deciding what is best for young children.
According to Maria Montessori, “Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” The Left disrespects the child, dismantling the innocence of youth and future possibilities in the process. And the activists who have overtaken Montessori education proclaim it loudly on their own tote-bags.