A public school teacher in Colorado said he wants to “burn things down” and teach 8th grade students about “some terrible things white people did.”
Casey Menninger, a diversity teacher for the Foster K-8 school in Jefferson County, Colorado, made the statements in emails to his co-workers when he apparently felt his efforts weren’t appreciated, Fox News reports. The emails were obtained via a public records request.
“I am trying to impact change in a positive way,” Menninger wrote in an August 2021 email. “But it is very hard to not want to burn things down that I don’t find equitable.”
“I am learning a lot of restraint,” he continued. “I don’t think anyone else on the team has that equity lens, so it is challenging to impact change where they don’t see a need. I am also trying to learn how to respond to emotional outbursts from adults. It is difficult. I don’t like it.
“I am struggling with not-so-subtle shots at me. I have heard people talking trash about me multiple times already.”
Menninger was at least partially responsible for creating the curriculum for the school’s mandatory diversity class, the report reveals. In January 2022, records indicate he wrote to another teacher, Nicole Head, for support. Head was reportedly also responsible for developing the mandatory curriculum.
“I will have a quick presentation for 8th grade in the next couple weeks, but I hope it isn’t a big deal,” he wrote. “I just want them to work on some of the communication skills and understand some terrible things White people did.”
In response, Head chastised teachers who weren’t fully on board with the curriculum.
“You may not always love the content … yet you are asked to represent the class as their teacher anyway,” she wrote. “I imagine many (or all) of you have held back on giving me feedback for fear of offending me or sounding judgmental.
“I have also chosen to hold back on feedback. I often felt either unsupported or completely out of touch with how this class was going for your students.”
Ultimately, Head suggested the issue stemmed from lack of communication and urged the other teachers to presume she and Menninger had the students’ best interests in mind when crafting the controversial curriculum.
“Now, we’ve arrived at conflict’s door,” she wrote. “I’m hoping against hope that we can use this as an opportunity to grow stronger as a team instead of becoming divided. I’m hoping we can use it to practice healthy, productive conflict instead of drowning in feelings of being misunderstood or underappreciated. I feel strongly that the missing link is an assumption of positive intent. I am willing to do the work, and receive the feedback from you, that it would take to get there.”
The district’s webpage devoted to curriculum makes no mention of a mandatory diversity class.
Fox reports neither the district nor Menninger responded to its request for comment.
Nationally, critics say Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is essentially just a front for discrimination against white people, while liberals argue it is necessary to counter what they say is a history of institutional racism.
As reported previously by The Lion, new data reveals DEI is actually hurting the schools that promote it. In fact, since the shutdowns over COVID-19, enrollment in college is down over 1 million students overall. In contrast, conservative college enrollment has gone up significantly.
For example, enrollment at conservative schools such as Hillsdale College and Liberty University increased 53% and 46% respectively in 2020. Grove City College, another conservative school, reported a 20-year high in applications culminating in a 46% enrollment increase over the past decade.