Parents, how would you feel if public schools were teaching your kids right-wing or left-wing ideologies? What if they were teaching your kids values that were inconsistent with what you would teach them?

Several months ago, a constituent contacted my office regarding curriculum used to teach about racism and discrimination. We conducted an open records request, and Madison Public Schools responded with these materials. Backed by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, the materials were produced and distributed by groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Education Association (NEA).

Instructors are equipped with a variety of methods to utilize, such as emotional stress, shock, or de-sensitization, isolation, cross-examining pre-existing values, stripping the individual of normal defenses, and rewards. It’s a system designed not for teaching analytical methods or concrete facts, but for brainwashing.

Day One focuses on “Restorative Justice, Empathy and Loving Engagement.” The materials recommend using cross examination techniques and stripping individual students of their emotional defense in classroom discussions. The worksheets claim to be “raising awareness” and “addressing tough topics.” Interestingly, this method forces a child into emotional isolation, serves to undermine that child’s individuality and contribution.

This day of introduction describes the principle of “empathy” as “engaging comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.” Comrades? In our vernacular, “comrade” is used to greet fellow socialists and communists. This isn’t a right-wing conspiracy theory–it’s the third definition provided by Oxford in a Google search. Why does BLM utilize the language of the communist party?

The curriculum also attempts to address a principle that is described as “intergenerational,” with the phrase “cultivating an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism.” Communal network? Per Oxford, communal items or places are shared by all members of a community and are for common use. Is cultivating a communal network the first step towards abdicating ownership. Is this another sign of communist influence on the BLM curriculum? The activities seem to be influencing other ideals rather than quite simply educating children about racism in society.

Sharing and generosity are important American virtues and so is American individualism. The real question is: are parents aware of the values being taught in our public schools today? Do parents endorse the BLM curriculum?

And what about empathy? How have we seen BLM exhibit empathy in the last several months? Think back to August when a BLM activist, under the cover of protesting injustice, beat a 72 year old Kenosha resident for protecting a business amidst the riots. Do you recall the activists who harassed business patrons in Washington DC? Let me jog your memory – after the shooting of Jacob Blake, protestors bullied several citizens eating out at a restaurant, and over Labor Day weekend elderly diners were harassed by BLM protestors in Pittsburgh.

Why is it acceptable to beat someone in the name of justice? Or scream at a couple who are minding their own business? And how is that acting empathetically to someone’s life and personal context?

Is BLM empathy only a one way street?

If parents want the schools to teach empathy, perhaps they might look for more credible authors on the subject.

Scott Allen represents the 97th Assembly District.