BLM or Social Emotional Learning (SEL) help?

From Representative Holly Brink, Chair of the House Oversight Committee following the March 9 hearing:

  1. Contact the Department of Education about age appropriateness. If you have coursework or materials that were shared that were not age appropriate, you can contact the Department of Education for review. There are state standards in some areas that could apply to what was taught in Ames.
  1. Filing Ethics Complaints with the BOEE (Board of Educational Examiners)

To do this you can contact Darcy Hathaway at Or go to

Ethics charges can be filed by licensed practitioners, recognized educational entities, professional organizations, local boards of education, parents and guardians of students involved, or the executive director of the BOEE.

From the BOEE website: “To warrant investigation by Board staff, complaints must relate to an alleged violation of one or more rules in the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics, which can be found in Chapter 25 of the Board’s administrative rules. The complaint must be of a sufficient magnitude to warrant a hearing by the Board, and there must be sufficient, concrete evidence (not just suspicion or conjecture) to support the allegations. Unless there is good cause for a delay, the complaint must be filed within three years of the events in question.”

The standards referenced above can be found here:

  1. Contact an attorney

If you believe, or have any reason to believe, that your child’s rights were violated or if ACSD broke the law, please contact an attorney. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. If you believe that legal violations are a possibility, I strongly recommend that you contact an attorney.

If you feel you have reasonable person(s) on your local school board, contact that person with your concerns.  If you feel you have a reasonable teacher, principal or superintendent, contact that person with your concerns. It is possible there are individuals afraid to speak up who also occupy positions of influence.  If they know they have allies, they may be more inclined to help.

The efforts of community members like you are having an impact.  Last week the Iowa Department of Education notified the Legislature that the 2021 Social Justice and Equity in Education Conference has been postponed.  The postponement is due to the House File 802 which takes aim at critical race theory being taught in K-12 classrooms.  Should that bill become law, the Department wants to be mindful of how to deliver content related to diversity, equity and inclusion in order to comply with this legislation.  The Department is also removing any content from its website that touch upon the issue of equity until further review.

Provided by Representative Norlin Mommsen:

Ames Officials Set to Testify on Controversy Over BLM Week of Action Curriculum March 9
Officials from the Ames Community School District (ACSD) are rescheduled to explain their politically charged curriculum surrounding the Black Lives Matter Week of Action curriculum.  Prominently featured as part of their BLM Week of Action curriculum are 13 principles of the BLM movement.

One of those principles is “Restorative Justice.”  This principle says “we engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.”

The suggested resource for this principle uses material developed by the Zinn Education Project based on the research of Howard Zinn.  Howard Zinn was a political scientist and left-wing social activist.  He wrote “A People’s History of the United States,” which is a Marxist retelling of American history that Zinn himself admitted is a biased account.  Zinn acknowledged the fact that most people would describe him as a “leftist.”  FBI files declassified in 2010 also strongly suggest he was a member of the Communist Party of the USA.

Howard Zinn once said objectivity is undesirable so it makes sense why the Zinn Project is so politically biased.  Here is an example of the political bias contained with the Zinn Education Project material.  Under the 15th Amendment tab on the Zinn Education Project website it directs people to a Voting Rights Lab where it rates bills in each state.  For Iowa, it lists 15 bills on voting rights.  11 bills are sponsored by Democrats, 4 by Republicans.  All 4 of the Republican bills are rated as anti-voter, while 10 of the Democrat bills are labeled as pro-voter, the remaining Democrat bill is labeled as neutral.  The bias is obvious.

This curriculum used by the ACSD seems to use taxpayer dollars for political purposes by indoctrinating K-12 students with left-wing political ideologies instead of widely agreed upon American values contained in the Declaration of Independence, the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 such as treating all Americans equally under the law.


From a District Administration newsletter: ‘In states and districts banning critical race theory, educators may have to take a stand on critical race theory and anti-racism.

This is where administrators can bring their privilege to bear, Hayes says.

“If you’re doing the right by the teachers in your district, they will rally around you when people at the school board start pushing back on you,” he says. “It all boils down to courage and not being intimidated or afraid to have conversations with people in the community.”’