The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) uncovered a digital resource library intended for use in Oklahoma public schools from Pre-K to 12th grade. The resource library, which was compiled by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA), prominently featured ideologically-driven content that has no place in public schools—and especially not in an elementary school classroom.
Until recently, the resources showcased at the top of the page for each grade category (Pre-K through 5th; 6th through 8th; and High School) came from Apple’s “Taking Action on Racial Equity and Justice” Learning Challenge series. The series includes discussion guides on topics such as “Creat[ing] Opportunities for Meaningful Conversations About Race” and “Creat[ing] a Better World Through Environmental Justice.” The content is exactly what you’d expect, featuring such gems as the open rejection of equality in favor of “equity,” a definition of “microagressions [sic]” (“the everyday slights, indignities, put-downs, and insults that people of color, women, LGBTQ populations, and other marginalized people experience in their day-to-day interactions”), and an explanation of racism that clarifies that only white people can be racist.
Shortly after the OCPA broke the news about the digital resource library’s radical agenda, the Apple guides were removed from all resource pages, although the pdfs are still accessible through the OSSBA website. (Based on records from the Wayback Machine, it appears that the Apple guides were removed from the resource library sometime between February 1st and February 4th, 2022.)
Why would the OSSBA feel the need to remove these guides from their place in the spotlight? One would hope that they came to realize that preschool teachers shouldn’t be encouraged to force-feed four-year-olds definitions of ‘equity’ and ‘microaggressions’ or propaganda about environmental justice. Or perhaps the OCPA’s insightful reporting helped them to see that Apple’s definition of racism was itself racist and that equality is actually a good thing. Or maybe they simply took a step back to think about what makes Apple qualified to dictate what children are taught in the classroom. (The company surely couldn’t have any other motivation for getting involved in public education than a pure-hearted desire to do good, right?)
Of course, the more likely answer is that the Oklahoma State School Boards Association realized that parents would catch on to what their children are being taught and would make their voices heard in the next election cycle. Thanks to the work of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, the removal of the radical Apple guides may have been too little too late.
Marina Ziemnick is a Communications Associate at the National Association of Scholars.