A Washington mom-of-three has criticized her local school board for canceling music lessons for fourth graders after a member of the school board alleged it was rooted in a “culture of white supremacy” and “institutional violence.”
Alesha Perkins has criticized members of the Olympia School District after they voted last week to halt marching band and orchestra classes amid a $1 million budget shortfall.
Perkins called out school board principal Scott Clifthorn, who argued that the school district is “entrenched in … surrounded by a culture of white supremacy” at a meeting of concerned parents last week.
Music lessons, Clifthorne argued, are beneficial but unfair because students in certain schools can miss out on “essential instruction”.
But Perkins argued that Clifthorn’s account was erroneous and lacking in evidence.
“We’ve reached a level of absurdity in our school district, between our school board and our leadership, which is hard to ignore at this point,” Perkins said. Fox and friends.
Alesha Perkins has criticized members of the Olympia School District after they voted last week to halt marching band and orchestra classes amid a million-dollar budget shortfall.
Perkins called out school board principal Scott Clifthorn, who argued that the school district was “entrenched in … surrounded by a culture of white supremacy.”
At the meeting, several students appeared in their musical attire, holding their instruments.
Clifthorne compared white supremacy to the way music lessons are taught. He claimed that while music courses are useful, the way they are delivered causes some students to miss lessons.
“There is nothing about strings or wind instrument music that is intrinsically white supremacist,” said Clifthorn.
However, the ways in which this is being done and the ways in which all of our institutions, not just the schools — local or state government, churches or neighborhoods — instill a culture of white supremacy and allow it to continue to pervade and cause significant institutional violence are things that we have to think about. carefully as a community.
And I think we have to do that interrogation. We must address the ways in which it creates challenges to managing the educational day for primary learners while we maintain the programme.
In an interview with the news outlet, Perkins claimed that fourth-grade music courses were a “target” and that some policies lead to families leaving.
“We are losing students in huge numbers,” she said. I’m not talking about a bunch of students.
I’m talking about the hundreds and hundreds of students leaving the district, nearly all of whom cite these findings. You cannot maintain a school district with an exodus of students.
Clifthorne argued that music lessons are beneficial but unfair because students in certain schools can miss out on “essential instruction”.
The school district has 12 elementary schools that will be affected. Cutting the music course will help sort out part of the region’s $11.5 million budget shortfall.
Removing band courses for fourth and fifth graders could save the district $530,000, according to Olympian.
But, only fourth graders were affected in the end and the district kept a budget of about $350,000 for fifth graders.
The region is expected to announce additional layoffs to tackle budget deficits and some parents fear for their children’s education.
Some of the staffing cuts include 26 percent of the district’s para-educators, according to KIRO7. Class sizes are also expected to increase.
“I worry about my children’s education,” Romeo, a parent with the school district, told the news outlet.
Others worried how far the budget cuts would extend and whether they would affect the arts more.
The awakened school district has a controversial past and recently made headlines when an elementary school banned white students from a new “Safe Place” club.
Earlier this year, Centennial Elementary started a new club for fifth graders that was exclusively for people of color, according to 770 KTTH.
Representative Jim Walsh wrote in an email that participating students meet once a week to “hang out, check in, and maybe talk about their experiences as a minority student as they build community, connection, and trust.”
Work has also been done to establish a similar club for fourth-grade students.