Pennridge School District Will Teach Right-Wing Propaganda on Slavery

A protester holds a placard during a protest held by Philly Children's Movement against Moms For Liberty in Center City Philadelphia. Philly Children's Movement supporters and LGBTQ+ supporters gather to protest against the Mom's For Liberty, a group formed in 2021 to fight against COVID-19 Mandates. The Mom's For Liberty held their annual summit in Philadelphia. Mom's For Liberty is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group and has been a vocal voice in anti-LGBT rhetoric and the push in banning certain books from schools and libraries. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher via Getty Images)

By Sean Kitchen

September 7, 2023

The Pennridge School Board voted to whitewash their student’s history curriculums at the end of August. Teachers will now be required to teach students right-wing propaganda on race, slavery, and the Civil War.

Students in the Pennridge School District just outside of Philadelphia are going to get a dose of right-wing propaganda in their Social Studies classes this school year.

The Popular Information newsletter reported Thursday that the Pennridge School Board approved a social studies curriculum last week that will require teachers to use lessons from the 1776 Curriculum, which was developed by Hillsdale College, a private right-wing Christian school The college has become a key part of Republicans’ efforts to overhaul K-12 education in America and redirect it in an overtly conservative direction..

The curriculum was developed by Jordan Adams, who is the owner of Vermilion Education. According to WFTS in Tampa Bay, prior to starting Vermilion in December 2022, Adams worked as a civic education specialist for Hillsdale College and was part of the school’s leadership team, working to expand its network of charter schools across the country using the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum.

Adams was given a lucrative contract by the Pennridge School Board in April 2023. The school district is paying Adms $125 per hour and it includes no limit on the number of hours, nor a termination date.

Jane Cramer, a parent from the Pennridge School District, told The Keystone how the school board hired Adams while protesting a conference held by the right-wing group Moms for Liberty in Philadelphia in June.

“The board hired [Jordan Adams], but they did it in a sneaky way,” Cramer said. “Forty-eight hours before the board meeting five board members put the contract onto the agenda.”

“So now our curriculum is basically going to get the Floridia treatment. Any type of diversity within our curriculum is going to be taken out. Our teachers are going to be micromanaged. Our teachers, administrators and principals are leaving. It’s very concerning” Cramer added.

Adams spoke at the Moms for Liberty conference, and according to the Bucks County Beacon, compared himself to the “fox in the henhouse.”

What I’m bringing to the table here is the inside information. I’ll tell you, in a couple of the boards that this has come up with, and they have a contract with me, the right people are freaking out because the fox is in the henhouse,” he told a room of conference attendees.

Pennridge students will be taught a sanitized revision of slavery and the Civil War as part of these curriculum changes.

According to Popular Information, ninth graders will be taught that the founding fathers had “deep reservations” about slavery. Fifth graders will be taught that Southerners believed the Civil War was about “states’ rights” instead of “preserving the institution of slavery.”

Third graders, meanwhile, will be taught lessons that downplay the prevalence of slavery in America. The new curriculum will emphasize that not as many slaves were brought to America than other countries in the western hemisphere.

“Overall, of the nearly 11 million Africans who survived being brought to the Western Hemisphere, around 3 percent, or about 350,000, were brought to the North American continent, with the rest of all Africans taken to other colonies in the Caribbean and South America,” the lesson states.

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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