LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source)- Michigan Liberty Leaders, a non-profit organization that supports conservative views and strongly advocates for education, posted a flyer from the Michigan Education Association (MEA) on their Facebook page on Wednesday that promotes a webinar series that they are offering through the MEA’s Center for Leadership & Learning. The flyer can also be found on the MEA website.
One of the classes listed is called “Speak up!: Confronting White Nationalism in the Classroom.” The class is being offered on Wednesday, April 12th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and the class description says, “Internet enabled isolation has caused many young people to lose a sense of belonging. With conspiracy theories and anxieties about social justice protests growing, white nationalist groups are taking advantage of this moment to target young people. This training will prepare educators to respond to bigoted rhetoric and the organizing behind it when it makes its way into classrooms.”
The speakers listed for the class are Joni Watson from Dayton Public Schools in Ohio; Keri Roberts from Central Kitsap School District in Washington and Andrew Montoya from the NEA. All three speakers, when researched, were found to be described as having an interest in and/or a background in speaking about equity issues.
The series offered by MEA on the flyer also includes DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) and SEL (social and emotional learning) in the classroom. The description for this class says, “SEL and culturally responsive teaching are most effective when they are embodied practices. Learn about the nervous system and its impact on the processes and practices for classroom management, instruction and assessment. Educators will gain the support and the tools to go from reactive to responsive using cultural contextualization in their teaching and learn the tools to re-pattern their nervous systems from reactivity to regulation to resilience.”
The entire series on the flyer is called “Planting the Seeds of Change” and the MEA says, “As educators, it is our profession and mission to nurture and guide the generations that will inherit the future. Join us as we explore topics that will enable us to insure that the seeds we plant today will grow into the bright future we all hope for tomorrow.”
The virtual courses are included in SCECH (State Continuing Education Clock Hours) certification which teachers need to keep their teaching certificates up to date. The classes taken include hours that are earned by attending professional development activities that are provided by SCECH sponsors and approved the MDE. Educators need 150 education-related professional learning hours in order to renew MDE issued certificates and licenses. They can be obtained by college credits, SCECHs or district provided professional development (DPPD).
Michigan News Source reached out to the MEA for more information about the materials to be used in the classes but they did not return our request for comment.