THIS IS AN UPDATE TO AN EARLIER STORY. THIS APPEARS TO BE A STATEWIDE PROBLEM
Editor’s note: Most of our team at Law Enforcement Today is comprised of either parents or cops. The anger we felt upon seeing what ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS were about to be indoctrinated with was beyond words. Please help us make sure everyone sees this ASAP – this is unacceptable. These are our KIDS.
CROMWELL, CT – This is, no doubt, an extremely challenging time for the law enforcement community.
The incident in Minneapolis has affected all of us, whether you work in a small town or a large city. The ripple effect has spanned globally and will forever change how we police.
I, like the majority of law enforcement professionals, denounced the actions of those individuals. Their behavior was not a representation of our profession, and we do not condone police brutality.
I would have never thought that after serving for years as a police officer, I would feel compelled to write an article about the following issue in a law enforcement publication.
We, as law enforcement, know that everyone has an opinion on how we do our jobs. The one area I would never have expected to see anti-police sentiment is our public school system, especially not in an elementary school.
For those of you with children, you know that distance learning has been a challenge. My daughter is a 10-year-old in fourth grade at a public elementary school in Cromwell.
The school has done a decent job keeping parents up-to-date on curriculum information. To help parents better communicate with teachers, the application Bloomz has been used. On Saturday morning, I received an alert from the Bloomz application.
My daughter’s teacher posted information about next week’s curriculum and how they were going to address the unfolding events in our country. The teacher wanted the parents to know they planned on covering social injustice and racial equality during their daily Zoom meetings.
I admit that I typically do not read through the majority of messages from the school, but something caught my attention on this one.
On Monday, her class was going to review a YouTube video titled: Something Happened in Our Town. Curious about the content, I reluctantly watched the video.
After school, Emma asked her mother: “Why did the police shoot that man?”
“It was a mistake,” said her mother.
“I feel sad for the man and his family.”
“Yes, the police thought he had a gun,” said her father.
“It wasn’t a mistake,” said her sister, Liz. “The cops shot him because he was Black.”
I made it to the 1:54 mark before my blood began to boil, and I felt sick to my stomach. The video only got worse and was filled with anti-police propaganda. The overall message of racial equality was lost due to the inaccurate, and quite hurtful, representation of law enforcement.
The video is at the bottom of the article. If you aren’t able to get through the whole thing, or even half of it, we will absolutely not blame you. It’s seriously disturbing and completely wrong.
“But he won’t go to jail,” said his father.
“Why not?” asked Josh.
“Cops stick up for each other,” said Josh’s brother, Malcolm. “And they don’t like Black men.”
Josh was confused. “Why not? Some police are Black.”
Making white children feel guilty that their ancestors owned slaves, making them feel guilty for being born white, is the opposite of equality. It’s saying that they are below black people.
And telling a black child that all police hate black people is perpetuating a cycle of hatred and division.
“There are many cops, Black and White, who make good choices,” said his father. “But we can’t always count on them to do what’s right.”
It’s telling black children that they have to fear police, particularly white police, and it’s subconsciously telling them that they will never be good enough to be on the same “level” as white people in society.
Yes, my friends, both of the above circumstances are both presented in the video, just in case you were too sickened to actually watch it, which, again, we couldn’t blame you for.
Yes, schools have to educate our children about the issues at hand, but they have to do it with objective information that is free from personal opinion and judgment. This video bypassed all reasoning and was full of subjective and explicit bias that is not supported by facts or evidence.
What is the educational value in telling children that police officers are not held accountable because “cops stick up for each other,” and “they don’t like black men?”
All this does is promote fear and distrust in children towards law enforcement.
School Resource Officers generally do a fantastic job building a strong relationship with children based on trust. This video goes against everything we try to instill in them in that particular age group.
It’s absurd and disgusting that the book was written to begin with, and even more so that someone decided to put it up as a YouTube video. But, of course that’s their First Amendment right.
But then for a public school to interject the prejudice into an elementary school? That more than crosses a line.
I have shared this video with numerous law enforcement connections and those in the educational field. Everyone had the same reaction: This should not be shown to children and it is highly inappropriate.
Of course we need to discuss current events with our children, including racial equality. However, there must be better educational material available to teach children about the importance of racial equality that is free from anti-police propaganda.
This idea floating around that supporting both racial equality and law enforcement are mutually exclusive is absurd! And to indoctrinate the notion to our young children is even more so.
The vast majority of police officers take our oaths seriously and perform our duties with dignity and respect. We do not condone corrupt cops, and we stand against police brutality.
Teaching our children to hate law enforcement is a huge slap in the face and should not be tolerated or accepted by the American people, no matter what pigment their skin may be.
The producer of the video, Niagra Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, should be completely ashamed of themselves. Of course, they won’t be, especially with comments on their YouTube channel encouraging the book and the reading.
One user, MissRobertsOMP, says:
“Thank you so much! This is so helpful to me to help my fourth graders understand what’s going on when we can’t discuss it the way I’d like to because of distance learning. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this for us.”
Jaclyn Preto says:
“This is so amazing! Thank you, I cannot wait to share this with my students.”
Luckily, the teachers at the school complained and the superintendent has removed the video from the curriculum. However, it remains to be seen what will be offered in its place.
If we as parents, and as Americans, don’t speak up and stop this kind of disgusting propaganda being pushed onto our children, our nation will never heal.
We will never live in unity because there will always be divide. There will always be someone telling our kids that they aren’t good enough, that they never will be good enough. Black or white.
Law Enforcement Today encourages you, whether or not you’re a parent, whether or not you’re an officer, to pay close attention to what’s being taught or offered at your child’s school.
Public schools have been pushing agendas on our children slowly but steadily for the past couple of decades. It’s up to us to be vigilant and make sure they’re not being brainwashed.
Here is the video. It’s not an exaggeration to warn you that regardless of what race your family is, this video should not be watched around children.
On June 17, 2020, Sgt. John Krupinsky, President of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police issued a press release as follows. This letter refers to the same video shown in Cromwell also being utilized in Granby, Connecticut:
It has come to the attention of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police that several school systems throughout Connecticut have been distributing materials to both students and parents that are clearly outrageous and biased against police officers.
These materials are not factual and do not represent what Connecticut police officers stand for and clearly not how they do their job. Upon reviewing one of these videos, I was disgusted by its content and couldn’t understand how this could even be produced.
This video, Something Happened in Our Town https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whR_Jlzknpo was found to be listed on the Wells Road Elementary School website in the Town of Granby.
Parents received an email with a list of reference videos this being one of them to show to their children. These are direct quotes from the video. “The cop shot him because he was black;” “And they [meaning cops] don’t like black men.”
I find this totally outrageous for a school to be putting this out to young children who are impressionable. As police officers we spend a lot of time going into school systems throughout the state to spend time with young children and make a good impression.
Officers are encouraged to attend recess, play ball with the kids and be a positive role model for them. A school putting out a video like this undermines all that work.
They are not bridging the gap between the community and the police they are widening it. Those involved with this video should have swift action taken against them by their school system and town as I would assume they do not represent what they stand for.
This is a time that everyone must come together to try and bridge the gap between the police and the community, not tear it down.
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