Worksheet at Boston High School Suggests Assassinations as Legitimate Form of Resisting ‘Oppression’

By J.M. Phelps
J.M. Phelps
J.M. Phelps
Freelance reporter
J.M. Phelps is a writer and researcher of both Islamist and Chinese threats.
July 18, 2022 Updated: July 20, 2022

At Charlestown High School in Boston, certain teachers instructing students learning English who have recently arrived in the United States may be indoctrinating these children to incite violence as a form of resistance to their alleged oppressors, according to experts.

The “classroom files” of three of the school’s teachers in the Sheltered English Immersion Program were previously available for download on the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) website. These teachers teach Humanities to ninth- and 10th-grade students who have recently arrived in the country from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and China, the website states. After the initial publication of this article, the page has been taken down.

One part of the curriculum profiled on the website involves “notes and assignments around oppression, resistance, and narrative structure.”

“It includes detailed note-taking sheets and powerpoints on institutional, interpersonal, and internalized oppression,” the BTU website reads. “Students are invited to critically examine when certain forms of resistance might be appropriate.”

A worksheet dubbed “Forms of Resistance” is included as an example of what’s taught in the course.

The first page of the worksheet identifies three types of oppression as “Instituional [sic],” “Interpresonal [sic],” and “Internalized,” and then lists examples of each. One example of oppression at the institutional level listed is, “Trump builds a wall on the border so it is harder for Latinos to enter the US.” At the interpersonal level, an example given is, “A husband tells his wife she must stay home to cook and clean.” An example of oppression at the internalized level used by the worksheet is, “An Asian girl hates her eyes, she thinks she is ugly so she gets surgery to change them.”

Students were next asked to “list different forms of resistance for each level of oppression.”

The following pages of the worksheet with the heading “Forms of Resistance Notes” contains 11 rows identifying 11 types of resistance that could be employed to end certain forms of oppression. The column on the far left contains pictures identifying each type of resistance and students are made to name the type of resistance in the next column. Next, students are meant to fill in the blanks in the column that provides the “explanation” for each form of resistance. In the last section, students are to choose which of the three levels of oppression—institutional, interpersonal, or internalized—that the type of resistance was “most effective at ending.”

Alongside peaceful protest methods, such as boycotts, sit-ins, and petitions, the worksheet also contains three images that appear to portray violent forms of revolt: riots, shown by masked protestors wearing all black throwing projectiles, including what appears to be a flare; fights, depicted by a cartoon image of two people brawling; and political assassinations, shown by an image of President Richard Nixon as a target of crosshairs.

‘Indoctrination’

Parental rights advocates expressed alarm at what was apparently being taught to English as a Second Language students at the Boston high school.

Rebecca Friedrichs, founder of advocacy group For Kids & Country and author of “Standing up to Goliath: Battling State and National Teachers’ Unions for the Heart and Soul of our Kids and Country,” said that as a teacher for 28 years and a parent of two children, she was “disgusted” by the worksheet that she described as “damaging and dangerous.”

“These English language learners [in these classrooms] are likely new immigrants to the country, coming to this country to experience freedom. [But in Boston], they’ve run smack dab into Marxist indoctrinators posing as educators,” Friedrichs said. “Schools are meant for educating children, not indoctrinating them in radical ideology.”

The worksheet is “full of lies,” she said, noting that teachers are using these lies to indoctrinate children.

Alex Newman, award-winning international journalist and executive director of the advocacy group Public School Exit, agrees.

“The material was clearly designed to indoctrinate children into seeing themselves as victims of oppression,” he said.

Newman was most alarmed by the worksheet’s examples of violent resistance that he said implied a need to “overthrow” anyone who’s allegedly responsible for the oppression.

“They seem to be promoting revolt and resistance to legitimate forms of authority,” he said.

Newman is also a contributor to The Epoch Times.

The goal of such teachings is to prime children to accept illegitimate forms of authority and encourage them to engage in violence to achieve those ends, he said.

“Legitimate authorities must be brought down if they want to impose new authorities,” Newman said.

And this “indoctrination program” is “an extension of that same lawless agenda.”

Justifying Violence

The worksheet’s attempt to justify violence could be seen through the picture of three individuals dressed in black throwing various objects, including a flare. Both experts noted that the image alludes to groups such as Antifa, a far-left anarchist movement that seeks the overthrow of capitalism.

The explanation listed alongside the picture on the worksheet reads, “Protesting or marching with [blank].” Friedrichs took issue with the characterization.

“They’re clearly engaged in violence, throwing bottles and more,” she said.

In a second example, depicting crosshairs on the chest of President Nixon, Friedrichs said this type of image is “extremely dangerous in the mind of a child.”

“When children are being encouraged to view assassination as a legitimate form of resistance, we’ve entered into some very, very dangerous territory,” Newman said. “The blatant encouragement of assassination as a tactic of resistance to oppression is how this image needs to be understood.”

Images such as this are “paving the way to more widespread violence in society,” he said, noting that “there are very, very powerful forces that want to see America break out into some very significant violence.”

“In America, there’s a centuries-old tradition of tolerance for peaceful protest, for peaceful assembly, [and] for peaceful seeking of redress of grievances that’s being lost,” Newman said. “A lot of these children are being indoctrinated to believe that the alleged oppression they are facing is so severe that violent rebellion is not only justified, but necessary.”

Teachers Taught to Radicalize

Both Friedrichs and Newman said there have been great efforts to radicalize children against lawful and legitimate authority for quite a long time.

“Part of the problem is that [U.S. education] has gone through a multi-generational process of indoctrination that has resulted in a situation where each generation is more indoctrinated,” Newman said. “As these teachers continue to accept even more extreme and more destructive ideas than the previous generation, they’re not realizing that they’re actually being subjected to the indoctrination programs.”

After a K–12 education, Newman said that “they are further radicalized, [as] the indoctrination is often turbocharged at a four-year college, where they are brainwashed even more to believe that not only are these ideas legitimate, but that they are the correct pedagogy, and this is the way children should be educated.”

“They are made to believe that their education is for justice, education is for social justice, [and] their education makes the world a better place,” he said. “Many of these teachers are so brainwashed that they have a feeling of self-righteousness about this—and it’s very sad to see.”

Friedrichs also noted that “a small amount of activist union teachers have been planted in our schools who quietly push this type of nasty agenda.”

“Teachers unions have made gains in the political arena, and they’ve gotten people into key places of power, which often allows them to get away with this nightmare,” she said.

Friedrichs also pointed out the “glaring” misspellings on the worksheet. On the first page, it reads “INSTITUIONAL” and “INTERPRESONAL.” With three people using the document, she considers this “a dead giveaway that these are not truly professional teachers, but union activists masquerading as teachers.”

She said the misspellings are “a huge embarrassment to professional teachers.”

“People are masquerading as teachers and unions all across the country so they can push a very radical agenda,” Friedrichs said.

Potentially Criminal

The advocates called for those responsible for the worksheet to be investigated.

“Those involved in putting together this worksheet need to be removed immediately and disciplined over this,” Friedrichs said.

Had she presented a worksheet like this to her students in the past, she said she would have been fired.

“It was out of the realm of possibility that anyone would have ever done this until recently, when the teachers unions opened the floodgates of their evil agenda,” she said.

Newman said, “Somebody who thinks this is appropriate to teach to children has absolutely no business teaching children; that much is clear; they should not be in a classroom.”

Both Friedrichs and Newman believe that the document warrants a criminal investigation.

“There’s a fine line between free speech and advocacy for violence, and this document appears to cross over that line,” Newman said.

The responsible person or party for this document needs to be questioned, he said.

“If it is determined that this was actually intended to encourage children to use violence as a political tool, I think serious measures and accountability are going to be justified.”

At the very least, Newman is calling for “a full investigation that results in a strong measure of discipline from education authorities.”

Free Speech Exception

Attorney Daniel Schmid, senior litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel, agrees with Friedrichs and Newman. He told The Epoch Times that while the First Amendment allows for free speech, “there are certain well-delineated exceptions—one of which is incitement to violence.”

In Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court established in 1969 that the First Amendment doesn’t protect speech that incites people to violence or to imminent lawless action.

“Encouraging people to commit an act of violence against political leaders, that’s not protected speech,” Schmid said regarding the worksheet. “It probably falls under fighting words [according to the court case Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire] or incitement to violence.

“Assassinating a political leader and committing acts of violence is not to be celebrated and encouraged. It’s a crime, and it ought to be punished as so.”

While he said there’s always a question of intent, U.S. law, 18 U.S.C. Section 373, makes it a crime to solicit people to commit an act of violence. According to the law, “it’s a felony to encourage people to commit an act of violence.”

These teachers should be held accountable, Schmid said.

The Epoch Times contacted the Boston Teachers Union to determine if some of the “classroom files” were meant to incite violence. Neither BTU President Jessica Tang nor Professional Learning Director Paul Tritter have returned a comment. Representatives for Charlestown High School also didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

This article was updated to reflect that the BTU webpage was taken down after this article’s publication. 

J.M. Phelps
Freelance reporter
J.M. Phelps is a writer and researcher of both Islamist and Chinese threats.