SARATOGA SPRINGS — A Saratoga Springs High School teacher invited local BLM leaders to speak to his class, coinciding with a new “Anti-Racist” book being used in the school’s English curriculum and a new policy being adopted.
The English teacher allegedly violated district rules by having unapproved guest speakers talk to his class. The guest speakers, Chandler Hickenbottom and Lexis Figuereo, are leaders of the local Black Lives Matter organization “All of Us.” Their organization calls for the defunding and abolition of the local police department, and they have been organizing protests around Saratoga Springs and the Capital District for the past year. Their group was responsible for shutting down Broadway and harassing restaurant patrons in Saratoga Springs this past summer. Figuereo was arrested in Albany at the end of April for being a part of a group attempting to destroy the Albany South Police Station.
During a Board of Education meeting on April 29, it was announced that the Saratoga Springs City School District is using a new book in the ELA curriculum for grades 9-12. This book, titled “Letting Go of Literary Whiteness, Antiracist Literature Instruction for White Students,” has sample lesson plans for teachers to introduce discussions on the topics of White Privilege and White Supremacy; the lessons are calling for “Alternative Voices” to be presented to the students.
At the same April 29 meeting, the Board of Education had their first reading of an Equity, Inclusivity, and Diversity in Education policy that they were looking to adopt. The policy was adopted at the May 11 meeting, and the administrative regulation was tabled so that it could be further discussed by the policy committee.