New Jersey school district restricted access to topics including the Holocaust and civil rights, say teachers

Teachers in the Middleton, New Jersey school district say administrators there restricted access to topics such as the Holocaust and civil rights, reports NBC News. The superintendent's office says this is a "mischaracterization" of "developmentally appropriate guidance in navigating the topics that BrainPOP has marked as sensitive," referring to an educational platform used by schools.

Former State Senator Raymond Lesniak said he has heard from Middletown teachers who are fearful of speaking out regarding the accusations, so he sent a letter to the board of education expressing concern.

"They're being disrespectful to their students and particularly to their teachers," Lesniak said.

In a statement to NBC New York from the district Thursday night, the superintendent said that "the belief that our district is not instructing content, such as the Holocaust, Brown v. Board of Education, and other historical moments, is a complete mischaracterization of our instruction which can be found throughout our curriculum and addressed through a variety of materials and resources."

The statement goes on to say that the "the resources in our curricula undergo a thorough vetting process led by a committee of educators. We take pride in ensuring that our students have teacher-led, developmentally appropriate guidance in navigating the topics that BrainPOP has marked as sensitive."

BrainPOP appears to be what PragerU is trying to become: a private provider for school districts looking for cheap on-demand educational content. Part of the appeal of these things is that officials get to deflect criticism and responsibility for decisions the unaccountable provider, but as you can see, it turns out that it's not so easy.

An interesting comment was posted to a Reddit thread about this:

Middletown's Board of Education is run by the Moms For Liberty-adjacent extremists Jacqueline Tobacco and Frank Capone. Jacqueline Tobacco was recently involved with the police after threatening to assault another BOE candidate.

Instead of improving education, they pull stunts like the one in the OP, as well as persecuting marginalized children, just so they can get their 15 minutes on Fox News.

Elections are important, even school board elections. Everyone needs to vote.

The smooth, risk-averse world of corporate edu-chum sounds like an inherently reactionary medium, doomed to be terrified of and obeisant to extremist critics and customers. But the money ultimately comes from you, and the votes too.