Lauryn Mascareñaz is director of equity for North Carolina’s Wake County Public School System — and she had strong words for teachers leading up to this year’s Thanksgiving holiday:
Teachers! Repeat after me:
I will not have my students make "Indian" feathers/clothes.
I will not culturally appropriate an entire people for "cute" activities.
I will tell my students the truth about this country's relationship with Indigenous people.#PinterestIsNotPedagogy
— Lauryn Mascareñaz (@laurynmaria) November 16, 2018
“Teachers! Repeat after me: I will not have my students make ‘Indian’ feathers/clothes,” Mascareñaz tweeted Friday. “I will not culturally appropriate an entire people for ‘cute’ activities. I will tell my students the truth about this country’s relationship with Indigenous people.” Her tweet ended with the hashtag #PinterestIsNotPedagogy.
How did one observer react?
It appeared that most comments on Mascareñaz’s tweet affirmed her position, but A.P. Dillon — a Wake County parent and local conservative blogger — tweeted Saturday that the school district should “‘appropriate’ academic instruction and drop the social justice warrior virtue signaling,” the News & Observer reported.
Dillon added in a blog post Sunday that “our betters over at Equity Affairs are virtue signaling on Twitter about that teacher who might be having kids dress up as Pilgrims and Indians. Spare us your finger-wagging, virtue signaling crap, Ms. Mascareñaz,” the paper said.
She also said parents need to “wake up” to the the school board’s “leftist social justice indoctrination”:
Parents need to wake up and realize that the #WCPSS School Board has chosen to sink over half a million dollars into Leftist Social Justice indoctrination instead of supplies, teachers and actual academic subject.
They need to start complaining. They need to start protesting.
— A.P. Dillon (@APDillon_) November 17, 2018
How did Mascareñaz respond?
The News & Observer said Mascareñaz on Monday didn’t respond to email, voice message, or direct message requesting comment. However, she tweeted a quote Monday night from Audre Lorde, a “self-described ‘black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet’” who “dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.”
“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”
— Lauryn Mascareñaz (@laurynmaria) November 20, 2018
What else has Mascareñaz been involved in?
The paper said Mascareñaz is a former elementary school teacher who was a teaching and learning specialist at Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Wake County school district hired her this spring after it “expanded its Office of Equity Affairs following a slew of racially charged incidents involving schools and students,” the News & Observer added.
She also wrote an article for Teaching Tolerance’s fall issue about how schools can reduce the risk of undocumented students being deported, the paper said.
Brent Woodcox, a Republican staffer at the General Assembly, said conservatives should work toward understanding Mascareñaz’s point of view, the News & Observer said.
“One of the things conservatives have to do on cultural issues like this in Wake County is grow up, listen before speaking and try to understand someone else’s perspective,” Woodcox tweeted Sunday. “Doesn’t mean you have to agree but show grace and learn something.”
Or — like the audience members who watched kids perform a “politically correct Thanksgiving pageant” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” a few years ago — maybe laugh a little:
(H/T: Louder With Crowder)