Parents angered over 'Black Lives Matter' lesson taught at Burlington elementary school

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BURLINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Activists in Burlington are speaking out after some parents raised concerns because a teacher taught a lesson about the Black Lives Matter movement. 

A fourth grade teacher at Cooper Elementary School in Burlington taught the lesson about social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement. Several parents thought their children were getting indoctrinated. 

Burlington Area School District Superintendent Stephen Plank said the lesson plan was not approved and he wanted to stay neutral on the topic. 

The topic was discussed at a school board meeting last week where opposing sides attended. 

Then, someone vandalized the playground at Cooper Elementary by etching the N-word in wood chips, and now police are investigating the incident. 

Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism (BCDR) President Darnisha Garbade said, she believes it's an important topic to teach at age-appropriate levels. 

"There was a lot of anger. There has been a lot of threats. There's been a lot of racism, heightened racism I should say and attacks on Melissa and her family, attacks on me and my family. People told me if I don't like what's going on in Burlington I should leave. I full support the way that Melissa taught it and I made that clear at the board meeting,” BCDR President Darnisha Garbade said.

Superintendent Plank changed his tune and said in part in a new statement, "upon significant reflection, now I see how my perspective was offensive and understand that there is no neutrality when pursuing equity." 

Read the full statement below: 


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