The scene: Interior of a sixth grade classroom at a public school in Floriginia, USA.
Teacher: Okay, class, today we’re going to talk about the civil rights movement.
Student: My mother says you can’t indoctorate me, so I’m going to have to report you.
Teacher: “I think you meant to say ‘indoctrinate’, Billy, and I don’t do that. It’s a history lesson. You want to learn history, don’t you?
Billy: “My mom says I can get you fired for trying to teach things that make my ancestors look bad. She says you are just part of leftist Woke conspiratorial mafia.
Teacher: No, that’s not true. I am simply an overworked and extremely underpaid teacher trying to do his job of teaching history.
Billy: My mom says the only story we need to know is that we’re all Americans and we’re all the same.
Teacher: That’s very, uh, ambitious.
Billy: Did you just say a bad word to my mom? Because she said thank you to the Governor, maybe we could sue you and even get a bounty for reporting you.
Teacher: No, the word was aspirational, which is like trying to achieve a goal. Let’s all jump into our history books to Chapter 7. Now we learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr….
Billy: No no no no no. This book was removed from the library last week.
Teacher: Yes, I heard about it. Also Ruby Bridges. It’s a shame because they are powerful people with stories we all need to read.
Billy: Read? My dad says books are what’s wrong with our country today. Too many books. He says there are whole buildings full of them and they are free. Just another government giveaway.
Teacher: Your father is entitled to his opinion. And, in my opinion, it is time to return to our studies. It was in 1964 and…
(sound of muffled crying from the back of the class)
Teacher: Is anyone crying? What’s wrong?
Susie: I’m crying because you make me hate my country and myself.
Teacher: Oh, no, Susie! It is simply not true.
Susie: It’s too much, it’s true. You have a narrow and biased obsession with historical errors that make children hate their country, each other and/or themselves.
Teacher: Susie, are you reading the Moms For Liberty mission statement?
Susie: Yes, ma’am. PS All lives matter.
Teacher: Oh my God. Listen, class. Let’s all calm down and continue our lesson, okay?
Billy: You’re canceled, Mrs. Frankenberry.
Teacher: What? You can’t undo me. I am your teacher!
All students: CANCELED! CANCELED! CANCELED!!
Principal: What’s going on here? I could hear you all the way down the hall!
Teacher: They say I’m canceled because I’m trying to teach the chapter on the civil rights movement.
Principal: CANCELED! CANCELED! CANCELED!!!
Teacher: Not you too! But I didn’t say diversity or have the privilege bingo done!
Principal: Sorry, Mrs. Frankenberry. But ever since the Governor installed this line of Critical Race Theory advice, I’ve had to be extra careful. It’s time for you teachers to realize where your bread is buttered.
Teacher: At my other three jobs?
Principal: Wait. Is that a pride flag in the window?
Teacher: It’s a rainbow sticker.
Principal: Are you crazy? We cannot condone this kind of lifestyle. No discussion of gender is allowed in class.
Teacher: It’s just a rainbow. I thought it was pretty. But what if a child wants to talk about gender identification? Would it be so awful?
Random local school board member: Oh, hello. I was just walking around hoping to catch a teacher committing education. Oh my God. Mrs. Frankenberry, are you… no, it’s not possible… are you still wearing a MASK????!!!
Teacher: (sigh) I’ll get my stuff ready…
Celia Rivenbark is a best-selling NYT author and columnist. Write to him at [email protected]