The scene took place in a public high school classroom in early March of 2023. It was before school on a “late-start” Tuesday morning during a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) meeting. PLCs are purportedly for subject matter teachers to gather and discuss best practices, though that is not how they actually function. There were five teachers present, including myself, but guest appearances would be made by an administrator and another teacher–the department chair. Granted, the meeting was to talk about historical primary sources, but I thought I could make a point that primary sources for what is going on today is vastly more important. I was wrong. Instead, I got a lesson on the cognitive dissonance of liberal educators.
SB 274: The Scene
“If you don’t mind,” I interjected into the small talk before the meeting got started, “I have a primary source that we should all be aware of.” I pulled out my leginfo.legislature.ca.gov printout of California Senate Bill 274 and began to read.
“(a) For more than a decade, the Supreme Court, in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), and supported by neuroscience research, has recognized that young people are different and, because of the hallmark features of youth, such as “immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences,” are both not as culpable as older people and capable of remarkable change.“
I looked up briefly, as I sensed the out-of-shape linebacker-sized PLC leader walking towards me from across the room.
“The bill would remove disrupting school activities,” I continued undeterred, “or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties from the list of acts for which a pupil, regardless of their grade of enrollment, may be suspended or recommended for expulsion.“
“This cites scientific studies that kids brains are not fully developed,” I explained as the bulk of the PLC leader loomed over the desk I was sitting at. “That kids don’t make good decisions.”
I got the impression that the PLC leader was trying to determine the source I was reading from, as if I were making it up. “California cited the same studies when it passed the PEACE Act into law in 2021. We all know this about kids… as educators and parents.”
Missing The Point
“And yet, “I had a point to make, and with that crowd a pause for breath means losing the floor, “we are expected to abide by, and keep secret, students changing genders?” I looked up, truly expecting to see Aha moments taking place. Maybe if other teachers would join me in speaking out against the “Trans Policies” that the Alphabet Mafia brought to our schools, we could make a difference.
I was wrong. Again.
“What does this have to do with us?” is the response I got from the giant of a PLC leader, now shaking his head at the information I presented.
“We’re all teachers aren’t we?” I queried. “This will affect all of our classrooms. We already have the kids that went through middle school with this, and all we do is complain that assigned Saturday school seems to be optional. What happens when students know they won’t be punished for telling you to F-off?”
“But the larger issue is,” I wanted comprehension, “if kids don’t make good decisions, how can we in good consciences call a boy a girl, a girl a boy? And, not tell the parents if so instructed!”
“Will you just SHUT UP!” The mountain of the PLC leader shouted. “This has nothing to do with what we’re here to talk about!”
“We are all teachers aren’t we? Can’t you see the disconnect between the two policies? The outright contradictions?” I pleaded, as I glanced at his bookshelf full of Star Wars toys.
“How is this World History! Are you telling us what we have to care about!” He seemed to be getting really defensive.
“No. If you don’t care, you don’t care. I just thought I’d make everyone aware,” I replied as I crumpled the printout up, and scored a three-pointer in the trash can. “Do we really not see the wrongness here?”
“Get out of my room!”
“No! Don’t tell me what to do!“
And just like that, the scene was over. A minute later a very concerned department chair and administrator entered the room, but the meeting was already discussing how to get sources from Newsela. I had tried previously to tell my colleagues that Newsela (an education news app) was complete Marxist garbage to no avail. I left the meeting, on my own accord, five minutes later in complete disgust.
Later that day, during a fire drill that I had no class to supervise, my principal inquired of the encounter. Sensing he was digging to see if I was going to make a personnel issue out of the scene, I attempted to brush it aside. This scene took place outside and within earshot of students and staff.
“It’s done. It’s over,” I said with a Geronimo-like wave of my arm.
But that wasn’t good enough, so I recounted the scene and explained the various legislation to him. At least I tried.
“Do you know how many Bills actually become laws?” The principal asked with a Cheshire cat grin.
“Yeah, I know where you’re trying to go with that,” I replied.
“You’re putting the horse before the cart there, aren’t you?”
“No,” I explained, “because when you understand how government works, you’ll understand that the time to speak up about bad laws is when they are bills. That is one reason why so many bills don’t become laws.”
He didn’t like that. But, I kept poking the bear.
“But the bigger picture is why are we putting children on a train to chemical castration and surgical mutilation on a child’s whim when we know they can’t make good decisions?”
“Are you a doctor?” the principal interjected.
“Am I a doctor? No, I’m not a doctor. I don’t need to be a doctor to know pharma and medical centers are getting rich–“
“Are you those children’s parent?” the principal interrupted. “What do you care if kids want to change their nick name?”
A “nick name” change? It was the same argument made to me the year before by the principals predecessor when I refused to abide by a Gender Support Plan. I decided to change tact.
Follow the Science
“Do you understand this bill cites neuroscience about children’s brain development?” I asked. I was a bit dumbfounded by the principals lack of logic, though I should not have been surprised.
“Yes, I’ve read all about that neuroscience.”
“Then you agree that kid’s don’t have the brain development to make good decisions,” I thought I was making headway.
“No, I don’t believe those conclusions,” the principal stated with authority.
“But you’re not a neuroscientist?” I started to walk away, “you know, it’s obvious we are not going to agree, let’s just end this conversation,”
“I think you may need to find another profession,” the principal stated, “you have decisions to make.”
The Cognitive Dissonance of Liberal Educators
The principal obviously thought he was going to put an ignorant conservative teacher in his place. Instead, the principal, and the PLC leader, unwittingly exemplified one of the wrongs in education. Namely, the cognitive dissonance of liberal educators that prevents them from critical thinking and acting logically.
Imagine the cognitive dissonance one must be under to defend the mutilation of children because… why? Because they consider it a conservative view? Only White Supremacists and Christian Nationalists believe that children should not be mutilated?
In any case, the horse is certainly before the cart now, isn’t it? Gavin Newsom signed AB 274 into law this week. Get ready liberal educators: The nightmare is coming to your classrooms soon!
In fact, your current students already went through middle school under the exact same social justice policies, and they are going to catch on quick. Stop talking? NO. I can’t go to the bathroom? I’m going anyway. Put my cell phone away? F you!
Liberal educators, while bragging about how MTSS is so grand, already complain that alternative punishments like Saturday school and therapy sessions seem to be optional for students. Well, no duh. Alternative punishments are optional for the students because they already know they won’t be punished for defiance.
I told you so.