Third-party educational website BrainPOP, which is used in Leon County Schools, has come under fire recently for their release of a video discussing the history and issues regarding the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
After receiving complaints from several parents in Leon County, TR is seeking more information about how the BLM video is used in the classroom.
During a school board meeting in Sarasota, Florida, parents and students expressed their reactions to the BrainPOP video, with one mother asking that educators not “indoctrinate” her child with their “beliefs and political agenda.” On the other hand, a group of students spoke in favor of the lesson, believing it to be “extremely empowering for all students, but especially students of color.”
The Sarasota district ultimately pulled the BLM video and will allow families to request access from the district.
The BLM video transcript can be viewed here.
The nine-minute video, titled “Black Lives Matter Protests,” touches upon the history of racism in the United States, dating back to slavery and the Civil Right Movement. It also brings up the concept of systemic racism, explaining how people of color are often at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.
“Structural Racism is a factor in some disturbing trends,” the video states. “Black men are nearly six times more likely than whites to be imprisoned. And Black men are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white men…Like on May 25, 2020.”
The lesson also discusses the death of George Floyd, which was a catalyst for many of the protests that sparked the conversation on race across the country. The video also mentions the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Breonna Taylor among others, all of which led to civil unrest and public demonstrations.
The video addresses the social unrest by stating, “if you’ve been watching the news, you might think it’s all been riots. News and social media tend to highlight what’s most sensational: unusual, exciting, or scary stuff that gets people to watch.”
The video also said the demonstrations in Minneapolis are “already starting to work. In Minneapolis, the city council voted to remake the police department from the ground up. Other cities are thinking about similar measures. It seems like overnight, the whole country has woken up and realized what a big problem racism is.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has been the subject of controversy since its inception in 2013, especially in response to its calls for police reform.