California School Cancels Contract With ‘Woke Kindergarten’ After Backlash

(Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Brandon Poulter Contributor
Font Size:

A school in California will no longer be using the services of a program called “Woke Kindergarten” following national backlash, a spokesperson for Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Glassbrook Elementary School spent $250,000 in federal funds designated for failing schools to pay for the service, which provides teachers with social justice-based training. HUSD canceled the contract on Monday and officials claimed that the controversy was “distracting the district,” Michael Bazeley, HUSD spokesperson, told the DCNF. (RELATED: School Districts, Teachers Unions Kick Off ‘Black Lives Matter’ Week Of Action)

“The controversy over this program—including the widespread media attention, the mischaracterization of the Woke Kindergarten work, social media posts by the vendor, and the public response—is all distracting the district from doing the important work of supporting our students. We concluded that now was an appropriate time to terminate the contract,” Bazeley told the DCNF.

The “Woke Kindergarten” website provides “woke read alouds” in which the creator of the program, Akiea Gross, reads books about the importance “for all of us to affirm people’s identities.” Another section of the website is called “woke word of the day,” which introduces children to “liberatory vocabulary” such as “anti-racist,” “ceasefire,” and “abolish.”

“Woke Kindergarten” also pushes anti-police, anti-capitalism and anti-Israel messages. Gross previously said that “when she thinks about a world free of genocide,” she imagines a “world free of the US empire” and “a world free of Israel.”

“Recently, HUSD became aware of statements by Woke Kindergarten staff members. Although we respect freedom of speech and the right for individuals to hold a variety of political views, the social media and other public statements of the vendor do not align with the values of the district and those of many of our community members,” Bazeley told the DCNF. “The personal political and social views are separate from the work Woke Kindergarten did with us.”

The story made its rounds on social media with several accounts criticizing the program, including conservative commentators Ben Shapiro and Jesse Waters and conservative activist account Libs of Tik Tok.

“They really want to create future Left-wing revolutionaries. Reading and writing and math aren’t a priority,” Shapiro tweeted.

English and math test scores at Glassbrook hit new lows in the spring of 2023, with less than 4% of students proficient in math and less than 12% at grade level in English, which was an almost 4-percentage-point drop in each category.

Glassbrook did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact