To the editor:

A retired teacher, I was relieved by the ebbing of rattled parents’ recent enthusiasm for putting cameras in classrooms. I spent a professional lifetime encouraging free exchange of ideas, a goal unlikely advanced by the presence of a technological snitch.

My position changed on Tuesday, when a visiting relative tuned in ABC’s daytime interview show “The View” in order to hear Nikole Hannah-Jones discuss her new book, an outgrowth of The New York Times Magazine’s “The 1619 Project.”

Midway through the interview, Hannah-Jones defended her efforts to push back against the “propaganda campaign against Critical Race Theory” by alluding to reports that teachers conduct “mock slave auction[s]” in their classrooms.

This assertion struck me as implausible. However, Hannah-Jones and her work are held by our betters (including the Pulitzer folks) to be beyond criticism, so I concluded that I must’ve misheard.

Not so. I’ve gone to the tape, as they say. Hannah-Jones’ exact claim is this: “For every story of a teacher who may or may not be doing a white privilege exercise, you have a story of a teacher who’s doing a mock slave auction in their classroom. We’re only hearing that one is a problem.”

If Hannah-Jones says it, it must be so. Let us waste no time doing whatever it takes to identify and fire teachers who would behave so reprehensibly, who would violate the public trust so flagrantly. Bring in the cameras!

Debra Kaczmarek


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