Education

School District Denies That Voicemail Says ‘Woke Special Services’

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Kendall Tietz Education Reporter
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Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) in Virginia denied that one of its departments calls itself “woke” in an automated voice message, Fox News reported Friday.

“Sorry, woke special services 2 email is not available, record your message at the tone,” the Department of Special Services automated voicemail appeared to say. FCPS said the message actually said “Wok” for one of their administrative centers, Willow Oaks, Fox News reported.

The Department of Special Services organizes into four different offices which includes help with psychology services, student safety and wellness, social work and special education.

The Department of Special Services is also responsible for the district’s “Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener.”

“Schools operate as the de facto mental health provider in communities throughout the U.S.” the SEL screener document said. “As a result, it is essential that school staff are able to appropriately and proactively identify social-emotional barriers to students’ ability to access the academic curriculum.”

The SEL screener includes questions such as “How often do you think about what someone of a different race, ethnicity, or culture experiences?” and “How confident are you that students at your school can have honest conversations with each other about race?”

The district is reallocating $78.8 million of its COVID-19 emergency relief funds from the federal American Rescue Plan and will now use the money to promote “equity” programs and a “culturally responsive” student learning environment.

Part of that money funds the SEL screener from Panorama Education, which is supported by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Startup:Education, Boston Business Journal reported. The district will pay Panorama Education $1,845,660 over five years, according to the agreement.

“It’s outrageous Fairfax County Public Schools is collaborating with a for-profit company funded by Mark Zuckerberg,” Parents Defending Education (PDE) Vice President of Strategy and Investigations Asra Nomani told Fox News. “His involvement today with surveys examining students’ mental health is beyond the pale. Schools must stop trying to manipulate students and focus instead on educating students.” (RELATED: Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor, Ditch School Mask Mandate)

PDE is a non-profit “fighting indoctrination in the classroom” that has been critical of FCPS reallocation of federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Fairfax County Public Schools did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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