Washington’s school district recently announced that it will cut music classes because they promote “white supremacy” as well as “institutionalized violence.”
Olympia School District has 19 schools with nearly 10,000 students. At a board meeting held last week, the board voted to eliminate music classes in the district.
In a three-hour session on April 13, the Board discussed cutting band and orchestra classes in fourth and fifth grade to address the district’s budget deficit of $11.5 million and to combat racism.
Scott Clifthorne, the director of the school board, explained that elementary instrumental music classes were administered in an unbalanced manner at each campus.
Clifthorne said, “We know people have different experiences with elementary instrumental music education.” We know that some campuses have students who never miss any core education because they are in instrumental music.” “It is a challenge on all of our campuses.”
The director of the school board added that OSD is “entrenched and surrounded by a white supremacy culture.”
He said that string or wind instrument music is not “intrinsically racist” but the courses could promote a racist culture in the district.
Clifthorne stated that “we have to consider carefully the ways and means in which our institutions — including schools, local governments, state governments, churches, and neighborhoods — continue to propagate and inculcate white supremacy culture and cause significant institutional violence.”
Alesha Perkins is a parent of three children in the district. She told Fox News Digital OSD had “reached an absurd level” that was difficult to ignore.
Perkins said, “We’re losing students by the thousands. I am not talking about just a few students. I’m referring to hundreds upon hundreds of students who are leaving the district and citing this result. A school district cannot survive a mass exodus. It’s not sustainable in terms of funding or anything else.”
A district spokesperson said that the cuts will not affect any secondary music course, but only an elective in music.
The spokesperson for the New York Post said that the policy has a disparate effect on students who participate in bands and strings, and those who do not. The ‘opportunity,’ which is offered to everyone, forces students to choose between lunchtime, recess, and intervention time. This ‘opportunity disrupts teachers’ ability to teach academic content to all children in their class in a packed school day.
The school board will hold two additional meetings to discuss the budget for next year.