Activists disguise “social and emotional learning” (SEL) programs as mental health initiatives designed to grow children’s social skills. In reality, these programs are introduced in classrooms by leftist government school administrators for the purpose of indoctrinating children.
A new video from the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis documents how the nonprofit Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and school districts are working together to inject critical race theory disguised as personal growth learning programs in classrooms all around the country.
“It is time to stop political indoctrination in our schools,” the video text states.
Proponents of SEL tout the curriculum as a way for schools to “foster personal and collective growth and well-being” in students.
“SEL is trying to bring a balance to the individual and what are the personal competencies you need to develop to be successful? How do you pull them all together so that kids can relate and
navigate the world more effectively?” CASEL Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Roger Weissberg is heard discussing at the beginning of the video.
It’s clear from clips of school administrators and even CASEL executives, however, that SEL is explicitly designed to quietly advance the tenets of critical race theory.
“One of the things that, to me, coming out of this political season, is important to notice that this is our chance to hold the line and continue to use the language of social and emotional learning,” CASEL President and CEO Dr. Aaliyah Samuel explained in a clip featured in the video.
CASEL does this by partnering with school districts ranging from Alaska all the way to Texas’ Austin Independent School District, which brags on its website that SEL is “at the heart of equity-centered systems and structures.”
“Elevating student voice and vision is an SEL lever for equity,” Eric Gordon, the superintendent and CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan School District, proudly states in another clip.
The video also showcases SEL slides that demand participants “critically examine root causes of inequity,” “recognize, acknowledge, and address practices and policies that perpetuate inequities,” and “cultivate anti-racist mindsets.” Another clip features a woman reciting CASEL’s revamped version of the Pledge of Allegiance which calls for students to stand for “one world, many beliefs, indivisible, with liberty, health, safety, and justice for all.”
Parents like Texas mother Gabrielle Clark, who threatened last year to sue lawmakers in her home state for failing to keep critical race theory out of her child’s classroom, see the havoc SEL teachings are wreaking on her children.
“My daughter was socially transitioned into thinking she was a boy,” Clark recounted in a Fox News clip included in the montage. “I had to stop my activism from my son for CRT and change direction and change course and start activism for SEL, social-emotional learning, because our children are being indoctrinated on all these different fronts and we need to — we need to do something about it.”
Another parent, a father, recounts how a Washington school, through the SEL program, put his child on antidepressants without parental consent or knowledge.
“He’s been on them for several months. I had no knowledge. I knew nothing about it, knew nothing. Come to find out, it’s 100 percent legal. They could do whatever they want with our kids in Washington State in this school program,” he said.
Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis publicly condemned SEL in a roundtable discussion on Wednesday.
“There have been some folks who have tried to make politics out of mental health, who have tried to inject an ideology and an agenda in the name of mental health. And honestly, that’s disgusting,” she said, noting that schools should be “giving our kids key foundational skills to learn how to persevere through what inevitably will be thrown at them in life.”
Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire, Fox News, and RealClearPolitics. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.
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