The Condon Community School in South Boston has been the site of rising tensions this academic year. Parents of students, and even some staff members, current and former, have registered complaints ranging from mistreatment of staff by some in the administration to accusations of sexual harassment and failure to act on those complaints by those in charge.
In addition, what some see as the attempted political indoctrination of students by school officials is also a charge being raised. Fliers have been circulating in the area around the school, accusing Condon Headmaster Robert Chisholm of failure to act when complaints are brought to his attention.
As far as the complaints about indoctrination, leaked photos to news outlets have shown what parents consider anti-police literature being distributed to students at the school. Fliers and other literature express to students that police are there to protect only certain students – race being the deciding factor. Parents say they are not happy with the idea being conveyed to their children that police are not protectors but are actually oppressors. This literature is apparently being made available to the young students with the permission of the school’s administrators.
To add to the tension, at the Condon’s recent 8th Grade graduation, an announcement was made to the graduates and others in attendance that this year, there would be no playing of the National Anthem and the American Flag would not be displayed. Yet, with the decision not to have the American Flag present, the BLM and the ‘Pride’ Flags were clearly visible on school property.
At the request of upset parents and staff, South Boston Today Newspaper made a call to the Condon and asked to speak with Director of Operations Mr. James Lambert in an effort to confirm or deny the claims. We were assured that he would return our call as soon as the graduation ceremony had ended. No call was ever returned from Lambert.
We then contacted the Boston School Department Headquarters downtown. We got a fast response from Mr. Jonathan Palumbo at school headquarters who did in fact check into the situation at our request. Mr. Palumbo spoke to those in charge at the Condon and they sent him a copy of the statement read at the graduation ceremony’ It reads as follows:
“At this time, we are going to move forward with the ceremony. In years past, we would stand and say the pledge followed by an anthem. This year, in light of all the trauma and endless pain, we want to come together by standing for a moment of silence. Here, at the Condon, anti-racism is embedded into our mission. From our leadership staff down through our student body, we are all encouraged to call out what isn’t right and fair and hold each other accountable to growth despite the discomfort. This collective moment of silence will represent unity, show respect to those who’ve sacrificed and lost their lives that they may not be in vain. As well as to further embody our tone of resilience and show commitment to not participating to intentional ignorance. May all in attendance who are willing to commit to taking responsibility to ending intentional ignorance, violence and racism and believe that all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity, please stand with me”
In response, this newspaper issued the following editorial statement”
“To the Condon School Administrators”
What was written as justification for your decision seems to say that those in charge at the school feel that the Pledge of Allegiance, the Anthem and the Flag are in some way symbolic of intentional ignorance, violence and racism. The Pledge, Anthem and Flag individually and collectively symbolize unity to many proud Americans of all races. And yet, this unusual directive appears to be inculcating a questionable and dangerous underlying tone of anti-police and anti-American rhetoric into the minds of young, impressionable students.
As evidenced in the national news these last 2-3 weeks, one may have noticed that parents all over the country are speaking out, rising up and organizing against the notion Critical Race Theory (CRT) that has infiltrated schools. It has already been banned in several states with many other states to follow, because it is divisive. The opposition includes parents of every race and ethnic background. They have had enough of this and local parents in South Boston and beyond, as they learn that this form of indoctrination is happening here as well, are preparing to oppose it too.
The basis for the ‘anti-racism mantra’ that the Condon Administration is cloaking itself in, we believe, is up for debate and should not manifest itself by decree at an 8th grade graduation but should have been part of a collective discussion and vetting among teachers, administrators and parents.
Shame on adults who use young children to push an ideology that has political and social consequences with students as the pawns. As the saying goes, if students know your politics, you have failed as educators.
It was mentioned in the Condon’s statement that there is ‘trauma and endless pain’. What is the real evidence for this within the walls of the Condon, where it is the responsibility of the School System? Once the student leaves the school, the parents are left to deal with the confusion that this type of rhetoric causes in their child’s minds. If parents are not on board, then divisiveness will set in – the exact opposite of what the Condon purports to achieve with this unilateral directive.
Americans, especially many parents, are waking up to what’s going on, they don’t like it and are not going to tolerate it any longer, nor should they”.
Critical Race Theory, which is what parents say is being put into the curriculum at the Condon and other schools, as mentioned above, is currently a source of controversy in many states. Its supporters say it’s a program designed to expose and combat racism while its opponents insist the goal of CRT is to foster division and suspicion among the races where none exists, turn people against law enforcement and push the idea that America is a country that is racist to the core.
Legislatures and governors in several states have already banned CRT and many others are considering taking the same action. The Governor of Florida stated that “CRT is toxic and that no tax money should go to anything that teaches children to hate their country”. CRT is being strongly opposed by parents of every race.
With parents, unions and elected officials getting involved in what’s going on at the Condon, there are sure to be new developments. South Boston Today will continue to follow the situation.