Scott Wilson, the president of the Washington state-based Pasco Association of Educators (PAE), stated in a Zoom meeting that re-opening schools so students could benefit from in-person learning is an example of “white supremacy.”
Wilson further stated that concerns over students’ mental health during a spike of adolescent suicides, which have been repeatedly linked to stay at home orders and lockdowns, are also form of “white privilege.”
The President of the Pasco Association of Educators in Washington state says the cries for returning to in-person learning are the product of "white privilege."https://t.co/fIjlbg3bkY
— KFOX14 News (@KFOX14) January 14, 2021
Wilson, captured on video, began his unhinged rant by attempting to compare the effort to reopen schools to the chaos at the United States Capitol Building on January 6.
“There are decisions to be made. You stand on the lawn of the US Capitol as people break down barriers and head to the doors. Do you follow?” Wilson asked. “You stand at the governor’s mansion. The crowd breaks down barriers to enter the grounds. Do you follow? Or do you choose a different way? We must not ignore the culture of white supremacy and white privilege.”
Wilson went on to explain his convoluted idea of “white supremacy” and “white privilege,” giving obtuse examples in order to skirt the board’s arguments in favor of teachers actually having to return to the classrooms to execute the jobs they were hired to do.
“We speak of equity, we speak of care of all students, yet we listen and attend to voices saying ‘Reopen everything, I’m free to breathe,’ supporting white privilege,” he said.
The switch away from in-person instruction has disproportionately affected low-income and minority students. This is particularly true in major cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.
Wilson then played the victim card in attempting to play on the emotions of those on the call.
“[Parents] complain their children are suicidal without school or sports,” Wilson said. “As a father, daily surviving the suicide of my son, I find these statements ignorant and another expression of ‘white privilege.’”
A recent New York Times report highlighted the growing epidemic of adolescent suicides due to sequestration and denial of social interaction.
“Superintendents across the nation are weighing the benefit of in-person education against the cost of public health, watching teachers and staff become sick and, in some cases, die, but also seeing the psychological and academic toll that school closings are having on children nearly a year in,” The Times reported last Sunday. “The risk of student suicides has quietly stirred many district leaders, leading some, like the state superintendent in Arizona, to cite that fear in public pleas to help mitigate the virus’s spread.”
"Part of me will always wonder if he’d had access to his teachers, and his peers, and me, if it would’ve changed the outcome."
A spate of student suicides in and around Las Vegas has pushed schools toward bringing students back as quickly as possible. https://t.co/heweibRKvt
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 24, 2021
And The Washington Post reported last week that mental health problems are the charted reason for a growing number of emergency room visits by children, this statistic provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“From March, when the pandemic was declared, to October, the figure was up 31 percent for those 12 to 17 years old and 24 percent for children ages 5 to 11 compared with the same period in 2019,” The Post reported.