Elmbrook School Board Race Flyer Urges ‘Return to American Values’

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The Waukesha County Republican Party is funding political ads as part of the Elmbrook School Board Race, alleging that public school students learn that “all white people are racist.”

The ads support candidate James Gunsalus, who is running against incumbent President Mushir Hassan in the non-partisan race.

The election is April 6.

One of the leaflets says that public school students learn that “all white people are racist, so equality never existed”.

The leaflet says that students should learn that “all people are created equal.”

This leaflet also says, “Your taxes fund left-wing indoctrination in Elmbrook schools” and encourages voters to elect Gunsalus to bring “American values ​​back to our classrooms.”

Another flyer includes graphs that show the declining math and reading scores of students at Elmbrook schools.

You can find information on recent test results at bit.ly/ForwardTestScores. Data on this site shows that English and math scores in the Elmbrook School District have declined slightly in recent years, but also that the district is well ahead of state averages.

“The Elmbrook 5-part Parent Program for Fall 2020 was titled ‘Paving the Way for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’… while our students’ academic skills are collapsing! Says the flyer.

Dr Michael Sereno, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for the district, declined to comment on the school board race. But he responded to claims about declining scores in reading and math.

“Our student results and the ranking of our report cards consistently place us among the top of all school districts in the state of Wisconsin, and we were recently ranked as the best distinct school in the state of Wisconsin by Niche. ”Sereno said.

Sereno added that the information from the district school report can easily be found online.

Chris Thompson, director of strategy for the Elmbrook School District, mentioned a 2020 petition from a group of Elmbrook School District alumni who called on the district for its “lack of response to current injustices affecting our community, as well as district curriculum practices that overlook racial justice issues.

“Our work on equity has also been very public this year,” said Thompson.

“It’s important work,” he added.

Thompson also denied the leaflet’s claim that the Elmbrook District teaches that “all white people are racist, saying” of course “that this is not the case.

In an email to a reporter, Gunsalus wrote: “My view is that the Elmbrook School District is no longer a non-partisan institution. staff training and programming for parents. ”

A leaflet supporting Gunsalus says public school students learn that “success depends on systemic racism, privilege and group thinking.”

Gunsalus called the district’s non-negotiable equity task force, which met to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in Elmbrook schools, a “form of partisan DNC dogma and indoctrination. ideological disguised as social justice, disguised as a new normal for the operations and programs of our school district. . “

“I believe education should serve all students and transcend identity politics,” Gunsalus wrote.

Meanwhile, Hassan, who has been on the school board since May 2020, called the flyers “misleading and shocking.”

“Why is there such partisan influence in a non-partisan race? Hassan asked.

Hassan praised the district’s work on equity and inclusion.

“The recognition of racism does not nullify culture. It is simply the recognition of a historical fact,” said Hassan.

In August 2020, a community member made defamatory comments against Islam, which Hassan practices, at a meeting of the Elmbrook school board. Hassan was a former secretary of the board of directors of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.

In January 2021, Hassan also said he was an “active participant” in the work of the working group on non-tradable equity.

In the February 16 primary elections, Hassan won 39.8% (1,789 votes), while Gunsalus received 33.8% of the vote (1,522 votes).

Elmbrook includes voters in Elm Grove and Brookfield and some in New Berlin. There are approximately 7,400 students enrolled in the district.

The Waukesha County Republican Party did not respond to a reporter’s request for an interview for this story.

Evan Casey can be reached at 414-403-4391 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ecaseymedia.

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