The Anti-Racist Teaching and Learning Collective (ARTLC), which wants to transform Connecticut education through anti-racist curriculum and pedagogy, is already leveraging the devastating fires in Maui to push educators to Teach Climate Justice. The group blames the alleged "raging" climate crisis, including the fires in Maui, on the "compounding harms of colonization, extractivism, militarism, racism, and government inaction."
Therefore, the group desperately wants educators to adopt lessons from the Zinn Education Project "Teach Climate Justice Campaign" to teach students about "the unfolding environmental crisis in a way that also confronts racism, economic inequality, misogyny, militarism, xenophobia, and that imagines the kind of world that we would like to live in".
Because that's what schools need most right now. More social justice.
Zinn's environmental justice lessons for K-12 educators can be used everywhere—in social studies, language arts, science, and other subjects. For instance, Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents provides a guide for middle and high school English language arts teachers on how to engage students in environmental justice writing, how to interpret climate change portrayals in the mainstream media, and how to adopt advocacy stances in order to become an effective social justice warrior. Why bother with teaching regular English when you can instruct students on how to become activists at the same time?
Another guide, A People’s Curriculum for the Earth, offers articles (e.g., on how to tax the rich to fight climate change, on how gender is a crucial variable in determining how the climate crisis affects people), role plays (e.g., Who's to Blame for the Climate Crisis?, What About "Dirty Oil"?), and other mechanisms to teach about the alleged environmental crisis.
According to Influence Watch, Zinn is a joint project of Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change, both left-of-center organizations that want to promote far-left and anti-American interpretations of history in the K-12 educational system.
In addition to climate justice, Zinn also provides free lessons on a wide range of topics, including race and racism, LGBTQ issues, criminal justice and much more, all from a progressive perspective. Zinn embraces critical race theory concepts in lessons like "Riots, Racism, and the Police" which starts off by telling students that "police violence against Black people is a fixture of students’ lives in the 21st century." The lesson goes on to tell students about the "genocidal and oppressive machinery" of the U.S. state, and how the relationship between police and Black communities is oppressive and violent.
Another Zinn lesson argues for abolishing Columbus Day.
Zinn even brought in Kimberle Crenshaw, an original architect of critical race theory (CRT) who coined the term intersectionality to describe "simultaneous oppressions" of race, gender, and so forth, in order to promote the usage of CRT in classrooms.
No wonder the anti-racists at the ARTLC are aligned with Zinn!
In fact, the ARTLC got started in 2019 by several groups that were lobbying in favor of teaching what they called “A History of Race and Racism in the United States.” The groups explained:
“Racism played an immeasurable role in the formation of the United States. As a result, race and ethnicity largely determine social status and opportunity in this country. However, our American History curricula continue to ignore and deny this injustice and its devastating impact, compelling students to accept the myth of meritocracy--the false ideology that hard work is more determinative of success than one’s racial, gender, and socioeconomic privilege. Denial of this reality harms young Americans.”
The legislation that ultimately passed, HB7082, “An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Black and Latino Studies in the Public School Curriculum”, failed to incorporate several of the key amendments demanded by the groups that became ARTLC. However, HB7082 does require high schools to offer a course that includes several units that promote critical race theory and Black Lives Matters.
In case you are wondering, there are anti-racist educators located throughout the state of Connecticut, including Stamford, New Haven and Windsor.
Of course, the whole narrative around "climate justice" fits nicely with the Connecticut Democrats recent fear-mongering about climate change.