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Pennsylvania’s Upper Merion Area Middle School is being blasted for overt racism by a number of parents after sponsoring a very woke, limited seating drone-flying camp that excluded white students.
A school staff member made the announcement on November 1. She proclaimed that she had “an exciting announcement,” but asked students to watch a brief video on drones first. The footage showed students flying drones and adults declaring that “drones are in high demand.” The video emphasized that “if you want to go into drones, you’re going to need those STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills.”
After the video played, the staff member then announced that there would be a very cool drone flight camp taking place at the school on Saturday. But there was a catch. It was free but there were only 24 seats available and it would be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
There was also a secondary catch and it enraged parents.
“Here’s the thing, it is a black-student-union-sponsored event,” the staff member noted, and then added that “you must be black, African American, a person of color in order to participate.”
There were immediate calls of discrimination from the parents.
One fumed on Facebook, “This is wrong on so many levels and not at all what I want for my children, and that’s why I’m homeschooling now and by the grace of God, my children will never step foot in another public school — they undo and undermine everything my husband and I teach them. Maybe white people should take to the streets and start burning communities down. 😏 I jest, obviously. But this is blatant racism on its face.”
Another stated, according to National Review, “Can you just imagine if they said only whites … they would be burning down the school buildings!”
One parent bluntly remarked on Facebook, “So basically, it’s perfectly acceptable to be racist as long as it’s white people being excluded or kept out. Because we all know that if this woman had said this class was for WHITE people only, or if there was a WHITE student union, it would be national news. the ACLU would be all up in it, and we would hear non stop screaming about white supremacy. Because it WOULD be wrong to exclude people of a certain skin color, regardless of the skin color of those sponsoring the event!!! But it’s ok to be racist against white people. This is disgusting.”
The school’s principal, Adam Slavin, refused to comment on the matter, National Review reported.
Superintendent John Toleno heatedly defended the drone camp in an email that he sent out. He called it “part of our ongoing efforts over the past 8 years to give opportunities to groups who are underrepresented in STEM fields with a primary focus on students of Color and students who identify as female.”
Toleno claimed that since 2015, the district has participated in a STEM event at Penn State Brandywine that is open solely to females. The non-sequitur statement actually has nothing to do with this particular issue.
He went on to point out that the district received a grant two years ago from a public educational agency “that aligned with our DEI initiatives and a focus on African American students being the population we wanted to offer this opportunity to based on being underrepresented in STEM fields.”
He also tried to give himself cover by remarking that “if we didn’t get to our 24-student limit with African American students as stipulated in the grant we wrote and were awarded, we would have absolutely opened this up to our entire middle school student population to fill the 24 student seats.”
It should be noted that Upper Merion Area Middle School does have a full drone program that every eighth-grader participates in, according to the district. The program in question, however, is considered racist by many parents because it excluded all white students from participating in it.
Social media sounded off over the incident:
I have an idea! Let’s outlaw racial discrimination in education.
— Kenneth Katz (@kennethpkatz) November 9, 2021
Sounds like a racist way to divide students. Teaching them this stuff is wrong when we should be teaching them to love one another. Teach them about unity, not division. We are one nation under God people. Stop the hatred now! ❤️🇺🇸🙏🏻
— Julie Sweeney (@JulieSw80274674) November 9, 2021
If this were only set up for only white kids to participate in, the school would already have been burned to the ground!! Of course, this is “ reverse- racism “ at its best. Everyone likes to fly drones, even white people!
— Louise snively (@louise_snively) November 9, 2021
No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
— jesaylor23 (@jesaylor231) November 9, 2021
— Barry Watson (@BarryWa03647923) November 9, 2021
How is this equality?
— Crow (@CrowKids4Life) November 9, 2021
Segregation. That’s why they shot him, to divide us by race. Divide and conquer. pic.twitter.com/pWVQ2YIJIt
— Know Yourself (@PaesurBiey) November 9, 2021
The definition of racism
— Scott (@Ladude2014) November 11, 2021
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