Parents allege their son was tricked by his school into taking a U.S. History class that is based on radical left-wing Critical Race Theory, according to a report by talk show host Jason Rantz.
The parents, whose last names aren’t used, told Rantz their son signed up for a high school course titled “U.S. History” at Washington state’s Bellevue High School through the district’s course catalog. However, when he received his syllabus, he found that the course was actually titled “Decolonizing U.S. History.”
Upon reviewing their son’s course materials, Michelle and her husband Cal found the actual course is far from a traditional take on U.S. history. Instead, it teaches history through a far-left, Critical Race Theory lens and promotes Howard Zinn, a socialist radical whose text is used for the coursework.
In fact, the syllabus begins with a “land acknowledgement” which claims the residents in Bellevue “occupy” stolen land.
The district’s website also promotes a similar acknowledgement, which reads, “The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.”
From there, the syllabus goes on to claim the course offers a “more complete history that is derived from multiple perspectives, particularly those voices that have been historically and currently unheard and underrepresented.”
Those underrepresented voices include “indigenous peoples and sovereign Tribes; Black, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islanders and all people of color; women; transgender and gender-nonconforming people; LGBTQ+; people with disabilities; the intentionally impoverished; and immigrants,” according to the course catalog.
The syllabus also warns that students must agree to “experience discomfort” during the course.
The concerned parents believe their son was “totally duped,” the student’s mother told Rantz. “And I worry about other parents who didn’t do the research that I did to get a real-life understanding of what ‘U.S. history’ class they’re taking.”
“The thing that just infuriates me is that history is important,” the student’s father told Rantz. “And to learn history through the lens of an anti-American socialist, that’s not history. That’s indoctrination and propaganda.”
Complicating matters for the family is the fact that, although the district maintained the history course is an elective, the principal told them the course is mandatory for graduation.
A district spokesperson offered Rantz no explanation why the principal told the parents the course is a requirement when the district labels it an elective. Nor did the district offer any explanation why the course syllabus title does not match the catalog title.
The parents say the principal was more interested in debating them than addressing their concerns.
“When we met with the principal, he had the textbook in his hand, and he eagerly wanted to open up the book and debate Howard Zinn, and we had to kind of short-circuit that one,” Cal said. “And we presented it as, ‘No, that’s a done decision. Howard Zinn is in the rearview mirror. My son’s not taking this class.’
“Frankly, I don’t want to have to, every night, unpack what the district poured into my son’s head and have to then reteach proper U.S. history. I want my son to know that George Washington was an amazing leader and did some amazing things … I don’t want my son learning George Washington was evil, he had slaves, period. Full stop.”
Ultimately, the principal told the parents their son would have to take a course outside of Bellevue High School in order to graduate.
“After speaking with our Social Studies curriculum developer,” the principal allegedly told Michelle and Cal in an email, “I learned the only way [your son] will be able to meet his graduation requirements is to take and earn a full credit in U.S. history. Since you are choosing to have [him] removed from the course we offer, you will need to enroll him in an approved course outside the district and request the credit be added to his transcript. I’ve attached the form for requesting approval for outside learning credits and the list of state-approved providers can be found here.”
The parents say they came forward because they don’t want other parents to go through a similar experience.
“I went right to the district website,” Michelle said, “and looked up the history courses and their complete, detailed analysis of what the course was going to be. And that’s where I discovered what this class was. But you know, that’s a whole step that a lot of parents just won’t take.”
Michelle has joined an online parenting group to help get the word out. She told Rantz district moms and dads are unhappy with the left-wing agenda district schools are promoting, noting some have even pulled their kids from the public schools altogether.