On Tuesday, we reported on the allegation that Yarmouth 5th graders had engaged in one of the gravest possible sins in modern America: cultural appropriation.
That allegation was leveled by Sarah C.B. Norsworthy, a highly educated, highly credentialed Portland public school teacher who also works for the Maine Department of Education and is running for a seat on the Yarmouth School Committee.
Norsworthy, an expert in social-emotional learning, was so offended and so alarmed by the sight of 5th grade kids dressed up like Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin that she felt compelled to dash off a Saturday morning email to a dozen Yarmouth school officials.
This heinous display of cultural appropriation needed to be erased from the Internet, she said. And so it was. (If you’d like to read our original post or see the offending images yourself, click here.)
Then, lo and behold, an intrepid Maine Wire reader brought to our attention these photos, posted to Facebook by some proud parents.
In the comments, we see none other than Norsworthy delighting in the very same behavior she now condemns as intolerable.
The original post from the Yarmouth Education Foundation says the project was called “Spirit Series – Freedom Train” and it involved the white children dressing like Harriet Tubman and runaway slaves.
In other words, when kids dress up like American historical figures in 2023, it’s repugnant cultural appropriation and cause for more “equity literacy professional learning,” whatever that is.
However, when it’s Norsworthy’s family seven years ago, that very same activity is “wonderful.”
The hypocrisy is rich enough to cause gout.
But it’s also alarming.
For the fact of the matter is that it took just seven short years for the woke mind virus to colonize an educated woman’s mind.
In less than a decade a pernicious political ideology dressed up as Social Justice convinced her to reflexively denounce something she once found joyful.
Sadly, Norsworthy is not an outlier but an exemplar of the kinds of people seeking positions of influence and power in Maine’s vast educational bureaucracy. But just because this kind of behavior and thinking is growing more common doesn’t mean it’s normal or good. It’s certainly not healthy behavior for groups trying to run schools. And it must be called out and exposed wherever it’s happening.
To those public school employees who haven’t succumbed to the mind virus just yet: it’s okay for 5th graders to dress up like the Founding Fathers. There’s nothing wrong with it. We shouldn’t ignore the failings and shortcomings of the Founding Fathers, but we also shouldn’t criminalize learning about them. The problem with our schools is not the 5th grade teachers with a combined 50 years experience helping kids learn American history.
As a simple thought experiment, consider: would Norsworthy would have felt similarly compelled to air her urgent grievance to school officials had someone posted pictures of those kids crossdressing at a school-sponsored drag queen story hour?
We all know the answer.
The liberals running our schools see no problem teaching Queer Theory to elementary school kids and giving them books filled with pornographic images, but they’re ready to dial 911 if a student praises Thomas Jefferson or dresses up like Dolley Madison.
This case is yet another reminder that just because someone has PhDMaEd or whatever behind their name doesn’t mean they’re right.