On the eve of the anniversary of the Capitol insurrection, a Pennsylvania school district warned teachers against discussing Jan. 6 with students “due to the current polarization and strong emotions.”
"In an email sent Wednesday to social studies teachers and school principals in the Pennridge School District, administrator Keith Veverka, who supervises social studies classes, wrote that, if students ask about the insurrection, teachers should 'simply state that the investigation is ongoing and as historians we must wait until there is some distance from the event for us to accurately interpret it,'" WHYY reports. "The note asked teachers to stick to 'business as usual.'"
Joan Cullen, the president of the Pennridge School Board, is a supporter of former president Donald Trump who attended his "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington on Jan. 6.
"There is no evidence she did anything illegal while she was there, but her presence at the rally-turned-riot angered many in the district, and has contributed to lasting political unrest among parents, teachers, and the board," WHYY reports. "Some teachers believe the guidance stems from the politics of the board. Faculty who asked to go unnamed for fear of reprisal worry about the precedent the directive could set in regards to teaching history and current events."
Another district official, assistant superintendent for secondary education Kathleen Brewster-Scheid, said the purpose of Veverka's email was to remind teachers that “not enough time has passed (since the Capitol insurrection) to be able to design clear lessons on all of the outcomes."
Kevin Foster, whose children attend schools in the district, said he found the email “immensely concerning.”
“When we start to meddle with what we want to tell kids or not tell kids in terms of history, I mean, that’s something that you find in authoritarian countries,” Foster said. “There are those that are so focused on politics instead of the kids that they are going to meddle and put their thumb on the scale."
The Pennridge School District is in Bucks County, an affluent area outside of Philadelphia that is home to more arrested Capitol rioters (six) than any other county in the nation, according to Patch.com.