Home / Education / Teacher blasts Shawnee Mission School District for focus on diversity training during staffing challenges

Teacher blasts Shawnee Mission School District for focus on diversity training during staffing challenges

A longtime teacher is criticizing the Shawnee Mission School District for mandatory diversity training during a teacher shortage.

“I can no longer stay silent about the state of our schools,” said Caedran Sullivan, who taught English in the district for 15 years. “I will be attacked and threatened, but for the good of our district and the students with whom we are entrusted, I must speak out. This is too important.”

The district requires employees to attend diversity, equity and inclusion training and workshops centered around critical race theory and invoking social justice causes to “decolonize” the classroom.

“There is repeated white shaming and a preoccupation with white people as the ‘oppressor,’ including staff field trips with a focus on ‘systemic racism,’” she said, according to Fox News. “The white saviorism and virtue-signaling at DEI meetings is so condescending that many minorities and other staff members have stopped attending. Our district is no longer academically focused. We are doing our students a disservice by allowing a biased curriculum to take over. If parents knew what goes on in our schools, the majority would be appalled.”

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She added that such indoctrination does not help amid a worsening teacher shortage that forced the district to pay $3.5 million to out-of-state agencies to recruit and retain more educators.

“We are losing good teachers because of an imposed divisive rhetoric that does not inspire mutual goodwill,” Sullivan said. “In my school alone, three teacher-coaches left in March and recently, in one day, four more teachers said they are contemplating leaving the profession.”

School districts across the country have been struggling with an exodus of teachers since the pandemic, as teachers reported burnout stemming from the uncertainty during lockdowns. A survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 44 percent of public schools report having full- or part-time teacher vacancies.

About 300,000 public school teachers and staff have left the field between February 2020 and May 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A survey from the National Education Association in February found that 55 percent of teachers reported that they are thinking about leaving the profession, and 79 percent of teachers report dissatisfaction with their careers, according to a July American Federation of Teachers survey.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice

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