Glastonbury Public Schools teaches preschoolers that it’s “much more common for police officers to hurt and kill people of color;” superintendent admits materials weren’t properly vetted, removes them from the district website
On June 14, 2020, Law Enforcement Today published an article titled Exposed: CT schools teaching pre-schoolers that it’s “much more common for police officers to hurt and kill people of color” The article addressed Glastonbury Public School’s website link “Social Justice and Anti-Racism Resources” which, in 2020, included a link to a blog, Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests. The Superintendent had also posted on Facebook, asking parents to go over the material with their children.
Law Enforcement Today cited this particular passage from the blog:
If your child does ask about the current news events, ask what they have heard. Listen and acknowledge: “Yes, that could feel pretty scary, to hear that.” Then give basic facts. For example: “A police officer was arresting a man named George. He pressed his knee onto George’s neck for a long time and it hurt George very badly. That’s horrible, right? The officer was very wrong to do this. The police officer was white, and George was Black. It is much more common for police officers to hurt people of color. Some people think that the officer would not have hurt George if he had been white. That would be terrible, right? That maybe if he had not been African American, the officer might not have hurt him? Naturally, that makes people very angry, and they are marching to say this needs to change.” Preschoolers see conflict in simplistic terms. They know that good guys often “get” bad guys, so they may ask you who is the bad guy here. My answer would be: “The job of police officers is to protect people, even when they are making an arrest. This police officer hurt a defenseless person, which is against the law. And (in the case of George Floyd) then the police tried to hide what had happened. As you know, it’s never okay to hurt someone’s body, and if our friends do something wrong and hurt someone, it’s our job to stop it–not to lie about it.” [emphasis added]Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests
Law Enforcement Today stated that for “the superintendent of that community to throw all police departments and police officers under the bus by approving the implementation of this summer curriculum is an insult to the very department charged with protecting his schools. Teaching this propaganda to our most vulnerable students is an outrage.”
The Glastonbury police chief reached out to the superintendent and describes their exchange this way:
I spoke with Dr. Bookman. He was aware of the issue and had already removed the site from the curriculum. Dr. Bookman said the site should never have been included. It appears that it was not properly vetted. Dr. Bookman assured me that the Glastonbury school system supports GPD, and values the relationship we have with each other.
The superintendent went on to say:
No doubt you have worked hard to develop positive relationships with our youth, and GPD is a welcome presence in the school system. Keep up the good work and rest assured you enjoy widespread community support and appreciation.