“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future” – Adolf Hitler
Most of us comprehend the basic tenets of Critical Race Theory – if you're white, you're racist. But what many of us don’t realize is that Social Emotional Learning is Critical Race Theory re-packaged and it’s already being taught in our schools.
In 1910, when the masterminds behind the Federal Reserve were selecting a name for America’s third central bank, they knew they needed to avoid the term “central” and “bank”. 20th century Americans were weary of central banks because of the destruction ravaged by them in the 19th century. The six men who gathered on Jekyll Island to architect America’s third central bank knew they would be hung by public outcry if their plans were discovered. They determined it was necessary to obfuscate the truth, for which the name “Federal Reserve” accomplished that goal. While the headquarters of the Federal Reserve is in Washington D.C., it is NOT a government agency. There is nothing “federal” about it; it’s a privately-owned central bank. In fact, the term “Reserve” was a slight of hand because the Federal Reserve did not have reserves by which they lent out money; they just created money out of thin air.
We are witnessing a similar obfuscation of the truth with Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The public outcry over Critical Race Theory (CRT) has made it difficult for the globalists to implement their agenda. Predictably, they resorted to a page from their old play book - insert the same constructs into a curriculum but avoid using the word “race” in the name, this will keep parents unawares. My goal is to awaken as many people as possible to the implementation of the tenets of CRT through SEL.
I owe my awakening to the agenda behind SEL, in part, to the bravery of Sam Crowley, a Draper Parks Middle School teacher. He resigned shortly after the start of this school year (2021-22) due to his concerns with the SEL curriculum he was expected to teach. Mr. Crowley was a band teacher and loved teaching his middle school students. We definitely lost another good teacher, but upon his resignation, he wrote a letter to parents and the school administration. His letter drew parents’ attention to the insidious propaganda within SEL.
Social Emotional Learning was developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). CASEL was founded in 1994 by educators, philanthropists, researchers, practitioners, and child advocates, among which was Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, and philanthropist Eileen Rockefeller Growald.
According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the three domains of SEL are:
1) Cognitive Skills – includes such executive functions as working memory, attention control and flexibility, inhibition, and planning, as well as belief and attitudes that guide one’s sense of self and approaches to learning and growth.
2) Emotional Competencies – enable one to cope with frustration, recognize and manage emotions, and understand others’ emotions and perspectives.
3) Social and Interpersonal Skills – enable one to read social cues, navigate social situations, resolve interpersonal conflicts, cooperate with others and work effectively in a team, and demonstrate compassion and empathy toward others.(1)
As a psychologist, I think the three domains listed above are wonderful at first glance. These are precisely the areas that I address in therapy with clients, so naturally I think these constructs are important. But the context in which these are addressed is critical because it can either lead to transformation or indoctrination.
Within the context of therapy, psychologists are bound by ethical standards in which we cannot insert our own biases into the therapeutic relationship. For example, it would be unethical for me to persuade my clients, whether directly or indirectly, to adopt my worldview. Psychologists, social workers, and school counselors are all licensed professionals trained to conduct psychological interventions. If we were to cross ethical boundaries, we could lose our license. Psychologists and licensed counselors know how to create a safe, therapeutic environment in which to explore cognitive skills, emotional competencies, and social and interpersonal skills with their clients to bring forth transformation.
Within the context of a classroom, teachers are not bound by the same ethical standards as counselors. Thus, they have no guardrails to keep them from inserting their own biases into the curriculum. In fact, it has become common practice for teachers to persuade students to adopt their worldview. This practice leads to the indoctrination of students. Some teachers are more subtle in their approach, for example, they may hang a politically charged poster/flag in their classroom but never outright discuss the poster/flag. Some teachers are not so subtle and instead bully students who have differing worldviews in order to bring them into submission.
In August 2021, Utah Parents United gave a timely presentation called “Sinister SEL: The TRUE agenda of Social Emotional Learning”. They state “SEL programs were planned from their inception to be the entry point for Critical Race Theory (social/racial justice) and other U.N. – based initiatives like globalized education, promoting socialism over capitalism, advocating environmentalism to combat climate change, comprehensive sex education, and gender education/theory (fluidity).”(2) As I reviewed their presentation, it stirred my inquisitive mind to dig deeper. Where did SEL originate from? How did it get into our educational system?
Roots of SEL
The roots of SEL extend to the United Nations through UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). UNESCO considers itself the czar of education for the entire world. It is the primary supporter of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) which partners with International Planned Parenthood. CSE teaches our children, as young as five, that “people can show love for other people through touching and intimacy” and “people show love and care for other people different ways, including kissing, hugging, touching, and sometimes through sexual behaviors” (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Key Concept 7: Sexuality and Sexual Behavior, pg. 71. International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. UNESCO. https://unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/ITGSE.pdf
This is appalling! Children are being taught that if someone touches them in a sexual way, that person could be expressing love and care. Do you realize what this is doing? It’s grooming our children to become victims of pedophilia!! CSE also teaches children, ages 9–12, that masturbating is not harmful but rather should be done in private. My professional perspective is quite contrary to CSE, masturbating CAN be harmful because it often is a gateway to other forms of sexualized behavior, including sexual addiction. It does not appear that CSE addresses the negative aspects of masturbating but instead, normalizes it. Let me be blunt, the CSE curriculum promotes sexual stimulation in pre-pubescent children.
How does CSE filter into our schools? UNESCO educates the world through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This may come as no surprise, but OECD collaborates with International Planned Parenthood too. They are also a member of the UN Global Compact which signifies their commitment to taking strategic actions towards the advancement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It’s important to note that OECD receives funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. OECD intends to cultivate within children a re-evaluation of the values they learn in their families for the purpose of uprooting gender and cultural stereotypes. Some major initiatives of OECD involve facilitating large-scale assessments and data collection (PISA, Programme for International Student Assessment) with the goal of assessing educational systems based on inclusive and equitable practices, as well as, assessing every students’ beliefs and attitudes.(3) Just two weeks ago, my son was slated to take an SEL survey in his middle school to assess his beliefs and attitudes. WE OPTED OUT!
CASEL is the organization that developed the on-ramp for the educational agendas of UNESCO and OECD to infiltrate our schools. CASEL is the progenitor of SEL and is funded by organizations with radical agendas: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, NoVo Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Profit Inc, and the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.(4) To give an example of CASEL’s radical agenda, here is an excerpt from a cultural analysis of SEL on their website.
“Dominant U.S. cultural norms promote materialism or acquisitive individualism, an orientation associated with health problems and unethical behavior. These norms are even more problematic when wealth and Whiteness are conflated and uncritically accepted as indicators of success. This fosters a sense of White racial entitlement and dominance, as well as negative biases and stereotypes about people of color and those from low-income backgrounds (emphasis mine).”(5)
A more apt name for Transformative SEL might be CRT Indoctrination Learning but instead, positive buzz words are chosen to obfuscate the truth. Transformative SEL is in our schools through programs such as Second Step for Elementary, Second Step for Middle School, Harmony SEL, and Leader in Me. In fact, there are 48 SEL programs (Figure 2) that meet the new Transformative SEL standards. Therefore, it behooves us to understand Transformative SEL.
Figure 2. “Sinister SEL” presentation from Utah Parents United (August 2021)
CASEL defines Transformative SEL on their website. It “is a means to better articulate the potential of SEL to mitigate the educational, social, and economic inequities that derive from the interrelated legacies of racialized cultural oppression in the United States and globally. Transformative SEL represents an as-yet underutilized approach that SEL researchers and practitioners can use if they seek to effectively address issues such as power, privilege, prejudice, discrimination, social justice, empowerment, and self-determination. In essence, we argue that for SEL to adequately serve those from underserved communities - and promote the optimal developmental outcomes for all children, youth, and adults- it must cultivate in them the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required for critical examination and collaborative action to address root causes of inequities.”(6)
If this sounds similar to CRT, it’s because it is. Transformative SEL by design is CRT. This is how the globalists have overcome the hurdles from state legislation that has banned CRT in the schools – change the name and call it something that triggers positive feelings. After all, wouldn’t all parents want their children transformed through social and emotional learning? Here are the core features of SEL taken from CASEL’s website:
Core features of Transformative SEL include:
- Authentic partnering among students and adults with a deep focus on sharing power and decision-making between young people, educators, families, and communities.
- Academic content that integrates issues of race, class and culture.
- Instruction that honors and makes connections to students’ lived experiences and identities, and scaffolds learning to build an understanding of others’ lived experiences.
- Enhancing and foregrounding social and emotional competencies needed for civic engagement and social change, such as reflecting on personal and social identities, examining prejudices and biases, interrogating social norms, disrupting and resisting inequities, and co-constructing equitable and just solutions.
- Prioritizing students’ individual and collective agency to take action for more just schools and communities.
- Focus on creating belonging and engagement for all individuals.(7)
Among these core features is a prioritization of students engaging in civil action to make schools and communities more equitable. What types of civil action are they steering students to engage in? BLM protests? Antifa provocations? Recently, Project Veritas uncovered a high school teacher in Sacramento that gives his students extra-credit for attending protests or right-wing rallies as Antifa provocateurs. He was caught on camera saying “I have 180 days to turn them [students] into revolutionaries.”(8)
Beware of School Boards
There are more and more school boards implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) training/curriculum which can be a gateway to CRT. I have a good friend who facilitates DEI trainings, she synthesizes it in two ways; either DEI trainings come from 1) a manipulative, anti-human approach in which people are demonized for potential or previous wrongdoings; or (2) a human approach where grace and mercy are embedded with the recognition that we are all just trying to figure out how to honor and respect others in expansive ways. She utilizes the second approach in her trainings, but she is in the minority.
In Utah, notably a conservative state and one in which state legislators passed a resolution to ban CRT from the schools, state school board members look for ways to allow the tenets of CRT to filter into the schools. Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Member, Jennifer Graviet, submitted a version of “Resolution Denouncing Racism and Racial Inequalities in Utah Schools”. In Graviet’s version, which was obtained by GRAMA (Government Records Access and Management Act) request, she concluded “WHEREAS significant gaps between the performance of students systemwide exists for students of color compared to their white peers, even in generously resourced schools. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the State Board of Education condemns, in the strongest possible terms, white supremacy culture, hate speech, hate crimes and violence in the service of hatred. These immoral ideologies and actions deserve no place in our country, state, and school system (emphasis mine).”(9)
USBE member Graviet is making the assumption that the gaps in performance are due to white supremacy, hate crimes, hate speech, and violence meaning that she blames the issue solely on systemic racism. This is near-sighted; she is not considering other key contributors, such as the breakdown of the family unit.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, 18.3 million children, or 1 in 4 children, live in fatherless homes. Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school, nearly three times as likely to carry a gun and deal drugs, four times as likely to live in poverty, and seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen.(10) Of these 18.3 million fatherless children, 64% are Black or African American, 42% are Hispanic or Latino, and 24% are Non-Hispanic White.(11) Let that sink in for a moment. 6 out of 10 Black or African American children have no father in their life. This plays a major role in the performance discrepancies among students but when Black men try to draw attention to this problem, they are labelled “Uncle Toms”. CRT has no tolerance for other issues being the source of discrepancies among racial groups, it is ONLY, EVER about systemic racism.
CRT categorizes all systems of power through the lens of “oppressor” or “oppressed”. This approach is divisive and makes it nearly impossible for those labelled as “oppressors” to be seen in any other light. A construct of CRT/SEL that keeps the “oppressor” stuck is called “unconscious bias”. When a white person tries to demonstrate their desire for inclusion toward people from different ethnicities, they are told they are racist because of “unconscious bias”. The CRT gods have determined that all of humanity, especially the whites, have unconscious bias. How then does one escape Whiteness? You don’t. EVER! As whites, we are to take on collective guilt for our ancestors. Here in lies the most insidious form of shame-based messaging in the War of Frequencies. The construct itself is inherently racist. But CRT proponents get a pass on being racist because they are only being racist to point out systematic racism, or so their argument goes.
The moral of the story is parents please be vigilant with your children’s curriculum. My son attends a public middle school in a conservative suburb of Salt Lake City and they are implementing Transformative SEL. I recently submitted an SEL opt-out form to let the principal and all his teachers know what my boundaries are regarding what my son is taught. It’s time we push back and hold teachers, administrators and school boards accountable! Our children are the future!
Written by Laura Sanger, Ph.D.
1. Hamilton, Laura S., Christopher Joseph Doss, and Elizabeth D. Steiner (2019). Support for Social and Emotional Learning Is Widespread: Principals and Teachers Give Insight into How They Value, Address, and Measure It, and Which Supports They Need. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10064.html.
2. Utah Parents United (August, 2021). Sinister SEL: The TRUE Agenda of Social Emotional Learning. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Qf3bX6q4q7M5aRTYLZuBKJpcmC6Ua7XJFeQK_LnFwNM/edit#slide=id.p5
3. Ells, K. (2020). The Invincible Family. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway Publishing.
4. Utah Parents United (August, 2021). Sinister SEL: The TRUE Agenda of Social Emotional Learning. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Qf3bX6q4q7M5aRTYLZuBKJpcmC6Ua7XJFeQK_LnFwNM/edit#slide=id.p5
5. Jagers, R. (2018). Equity and Social & Emotional Learning: A Cultural Analysis. CASEL Measuring SEL. Retrieved from https://measuringsel.casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Frameworks-Equity.pdf
6. CASEL Transformative SEL (2020). Defining Transformative SEL. Retrieved from https://casel.org/fundamentals-of-sel/how-does-sel-support-educational-equity-and-excellence/transformative-sel/
8. [Project Veritas]. August 31, 2021. CA High School Teacher Admits Communist Indoctrination of Students. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83b_u5V51U8&t=5s
9. Graviet, Jennifer (2020). Resolution Denouncing Racism and Racial Inequalities in Utah Schools (Graviet Version). Utah State Board of Education Member. https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/my-drive
10. National Fatherhood Initiative (2021). Proof Is In: Father Absence Harms Children. Retrieved from https://www.fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistic
11. The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center (December, 2020). Children In Single-Parent Families By Race in the United States. Retrieved from https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/107-children-in-single-parent-families-by-race#detailed/1/any/false/1729,37,871,870,573,869,36,868,867,133/10,11,9,12,1,185,13/432,431