A Philadelphia public school teacher's question on Twitter over the weekend has gone viral after he wondered aloud to the social network's universe that virtual classes might allow parents to hear him indoctrinating their kids.
Matthew Kay, who teaches English at the Science Leadership Academy, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, tweeted over the weekend he's concerned about the "damage" that "helicopter parents" might cause if they overhear lessons on topics such as gender and sexuality, the Daily Wire reported.
The Washington Examiner reports in Philadelphia, students will begin learning through online classes before transitioning to a hybrid learning method of online and in-person classes.
The Daily Wire's Matt Walsh shared screenshots of Kay's post on Sunday before it received a lot of backlash and was set to private.
"Public school teachers are afraid that you might be able to hear them brainwashing your kids," Walsh posted.
Public school teachers are afraid that you might be able to hear them brainwashing your kids pic.twitter.com/jDtig5lAR4
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) August 9, 2020
"So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We'll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?" Kay tweeted. "How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of 'what happens here stays here' to help this?"
Kay continued, writing that "conservative parents" were his chief concern as a teacher "if we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid's racism or homophobia or transphobia."
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"While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that 'helicopter/snowplow' parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality. And while 'conservative' parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid's racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates' parents piling on?"
Walsh noted that many of the teachers who replied to Kay's comments were disgusted with his question. But a couple of other responses from teachers caught the blogger's eye.
One teacher responded, "This is something I worry about a lot. My 9th graders read and respond to a news article in each class and the discussions we have are really important. But many students will not participate when virtual because they fear outsiders listing and using their words against them."
Some of the responses are worse than the original tweet. Here's a teacher referring to parents as "outsiders." This is terrifying stuff. pic.twitter.com/Alz0j8bpCi
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) August 10, 2020
Many parents and former educators also chimed in about Kay's tweet.
One user replied, "One of the many reasons I will work extra shifts for a private Christian education for my daughter."
Another user responded, "Body cams are required for cops so why not classroom cameras for schools with parental anytime access? Might wake people up in a hurry and help hold teachers accountable."
One teacher also wrote, "I'm a teacher, a rare conservative teacher. I'm looking forward to having parent involvement. I'm not scared of any of this. If these teachers are so scared it tells me that they know they are doing something wrong."
Sam Parker, a former Republican candidate for Utah's US Senate seat in 2018, replied, "Teachers worried that parents will see what is being taught: could there be a better reason to abolish the Teachers Unions & Public Schools?"
And another parent responded, "They need to STOP talking about gender and sexuality with OUR young children. My son was SO confused in 1st grade when they told him he didn't have to be a boy if he didn't want to be. This is predatory and psychotic to push young children to question their gender and sexuality."