A school district in Rhode Island has been caught training its teachers to “decolonize” the music room.
The training from 2020 only came to light recently, thanks to parental rights advocate Nicole Solas who shared a flyer on X from the South Kingstown School District.
The goal of the training, called “Decolonizing the Music Room,” was to “develop critical views and practices for the music classroom” in relation to race, culture, and discrimination.
It urged educators to “purge” the “libraries of music with a racist or discriminatory background” and encourages to ask if a song oppresses “another culture (or did it originally)?”
“That’s ‘book banning,’ right?” Solas asked rhetorically, referring to leftist claims that conservatives who favor age restrictions on sexually-themed books are banning books.
The training even says to “avoid the ‘music is music’ argument to justify continuing to sing an oppressive song.”
The session at the school was led by Brandi Waller-Pace and Lorelai Batislaong, who both are with Decolonizing the Music Room. The group is known for “centering black, brown, indigenous, and Asian voices in music education and related fields,” according to its website.
“We understand the complexity of racial, ethnic, and cultural categorizations that make up an individual’s identity,” the training description said. “However, we also understand that there are times where specific identity groupings, particularly those of marginalized groups, can be insulated from oppressions if an individual possesses certain markers of privilege,” such as “white passing.”
The group’s BBIA Music Symposium “is to provide a space for those of us who cannot navigate music education spaces as White individuals,” who have been allegedly been discriminated against due to skin color.
Deconlonizing also reshared a statement from music educator Alice A. Tsui, who said of a recent event, “White supremacy continues to be pervasive in music education. There have been multiple infractions of harm in music education locally and nationally as of late.”