A Virginia high school teacher has sparked outrage on social media after posting a TikTok video in which he argues that expecting students to behave, follow directions and sit quietly is ‘the definition of white supremacy.’
Josh Thompson, an English teacher at Blacksburg High School in Montgomery County, specifically referred to his district’s use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a model educators use to keep students focused and respectful in school.
It is not clear how parents or students at the school are reacting to Thompson’s video or if they’ve seen it, but many Twitter users are asking that the district address it and some have even demanded that he be fired.
Josh Thompson, an English teacher at Blacksburg High School in Montgomery County, said in a TikTok video that expecting kids to behave is white supremacy
Josh Thompson, an English teacher at Blacksburg High School in Montgomery County, specifically referred to his district’s use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a model educators use to keep students focused and respectful in school
In the since-deleted video, which was originally posted in May, Thompson says, ‘I stated that PBIS is white supremacy with a hug and a lot of y’all wanted to know more about that . . . so if PBIS concerns itself with positive behaviors, we have to ask ourselves, “Okay well what are those positive behaviors?” And it’s things like making sure that you’re following directions, and making sure that you’re sitting quietly, and you are in your seat and all these things that come from white culture.’
He adds, ‘The idea of just sitting quiet and being told stuff and taking things in, in a passive stance, is not a thing that’s in many cultures. So if we’re positively enforcing these behaviors, we are by extension positively enforcing elements of white culture. Which therefore keeps whiteness at the center, which is the definition of white supremacy.’
Conservative author Brigitte Gabrielle shared the clip with the caption, ‘FIRE this teacher,’ and Max Lugavere, also an author, shared it with the caption, ‘This is actual racism. And condescending af to people of color.’
Blogger Ian Miles Cheong shared the video with the caption, ‘Where does he teach? Do the parents know?’ And Twitter user Jovon, a black athlete and alumnus from Florida A&M University, tweeted the clip with the caption, ‘We are at the most comfortable period in human history.’
Thompson’s TikTok and Twitter accounts have since been set to private and the original TikTok has been taken down, but not before it was been shared on the Twitter page ‘Libs of TikTok’ where it collected 192,100 views.
The satirical account, whose bio reads ‘All things insane & hypocritical,’ mockingly shares various TikTok videos from left-leaning users. It posted two of Thompson’s other TikTok clips, which have since received 23,500 and 18,200 views.
The Montgomery County School District said that they support Thompson’s right to free speech, but asserted that his views are not their own and defended their use of PBIS.
District officials told Fox News that, “A teacher is entitled to their personal belief regarding any division program. The statements made by this teacher do not reflect our PBIS program or the behavioral expectations that we have of students in our schools.”
The district added that it ‘has used PBIS in our schools for eight years. We are proud of our PBIS work. This work helps create a standard for social-emotional learning and behavior expectations in the school building.’
In another video of Thompson shared by Libs of TikTok, which yielded 23,500 views, he asserts that police brutality is ‘directly connected’ to education
In another video of Thompson shared by Libs of TikTok, which yielded 23,500 views, he asserts that police brutality is ‘directly connected’ to education.
He said, ‘I want to remind educators that instances of police brutality and the murders of black and brown people by police officers is directly connected to the work that we do Because if any of those people had been white, chances are they wouldn’t have been murdered. Chances are they wouldn’t have been brutalized. And if you don’t believe me, just take a look at all the instances of white people, especially white men, who oftentimes are brandishing weapons and who were taken into custody alive.’
He adds, ‘But much of this is wrapped up in implicit bias and we have incredible power to changes peoples’ biases when they’re young. We have to talk about these issues in school because every bit of it impacts our work. The ways in which we teach, the ways we interact with students, the practices and policies we have, the way in which they’re implemented. There’s so much. And many of us our talking about this, many of us are advocating for these changes, but not enough of us are.’
Thompson’s videos come after two teachers in California faced backlash for politicizing their classrooms earlier this month. In one case, an Orange County teacher was fired after admitting on TikTok that she hid her classroom’s American flag and told students to say the pledge to a pride flag instead. And in another, a Sacramento teacher displayed an Antifa flag and Mao Zedong flag in his classroom and suggested that students were fascist if it made them uncomfortable.
Kristin Pitzen of Newport Mesa School District in Orange County sparked outrage when she boasted she’d got her class to say the pledge of allegiance to the gay pride flag
Kristin Pitzen, of Newport Mesa School District in Orange County, said in her viral video, ‘My room does not have a flag,’ before whispering to the camera, ‘because it made me uncomfortable.’
‘In the meantime, I tell this kid, “We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to. And he like, looks around and goes, ‘Oh, that one?’ ” and pointed to the pride flag.
She added of the American flag that she ‘packed it away’ but doesn’t know where, laughing in a way that implied otherwise. ‘And I haven’t found it yet,’ Pitzen added, as she put her hand over her mouth to stifle another laugh.
She has since been removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave
AP Government teacher Gabriel Gipe, of Inderkum High School in Sacramento, was put on unpaid leave after he displayed an Antifa flag and Mao Zedong flag in his classroom
Meanwhile, AP Government teacher Gabriel Gipe, of Inderkum High School in Sacramento, was put on unpaid leave and will be fired by the school district for ‘clear violations of political activity’ after he was caught on video being interviewed by Project Veritas, a far-right media group, over his use of an Antifa flag in his classroom.
He said, ‘I have an Antifa flag on my [classroom] wall and a student complained about that — he said it made him feel uncomfortable. Well, this [Antifa flag] is meant to make fascists feel uncomfortable, so if you feel uncomfortable, I don’t really know what to tell you . . . ‘I have 180 days to turn [students] into revolutionaries.’
The teacher also had posters of Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong in the classroom, had stamps with images of Josef Stalin, Fidel Castro and Kim Jung Un to mark student’s school work, and had offered extra-credit to students who attended protests, the New York Post reports.