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California teacher who criticized 'Woke Kindergarten' program put on leave

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A California teacher who publicly criticized his school district’s investment in a “Woke Kindergarten” program was placed on administrative leave Thursday, the teacher said.

Hayward Unified School District teacher Tiger Craven-Neeley told the San Francisco Chronicle he was asked to hand over his keys and laptop and not return to his classroom at Glassbrook Elementary until further notice. 

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School officials told the teacher he was being placed on paid leave over “allegations of unprofessional conduct,” but gave no other reason, Craven-Neeley told the paper. 

“We don’t comment on private personnel matters,” district spokesman Michael Bazeley wrote in an email response to Fox News Digital’s questions. He denied that Craven-Neeley was put on leave for “retaliatory purposes” or that he was being punished for speaking to the press. 

STUDENTS AT CALIFORNIA SCHOOL STRUGGLING AFTER $250K IN FEDERAL FUNDS SPENT ON ‘WOKE KINDERGARTEN’ PROGRAM

Glassbrook Elementary teacher Tiger Craven-Neeley says he was placed on administrative leave after publicly criticizing a “Woke Kindergarten” training program at his school.  (Tiger Craven-Neeley/ Facebook)

Craven-Neeley was placed on leave days after he raised concerns about Woke Kindergarten, a for-profit company Glassbrook Elementary hired to train teachers. 

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The school spent $250,000 in federal funds provided by a program meant to help boost test scores for some of the country’s lowest-performing schools, according to the Chronicle, but after two years with Woke Kindergarten, students’ scores are reportedly worse. 

In a 4% drop in both areas in the last two years, less than 12% of the students at Glassbrook Elementary in Hayward, Calif., can read at their grade level, and under 4% are proficient in math, according to the Chronicle. 

Woke Kindergarten describes itself on its website as “supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.”

REAGAN’S EDUCATION SECRETARY URGES SCHOOLS TO BECOME A ‘TEMPLE OF LEARNING, NOT SOCIAL EXPERIMENTATION’

The front entrance to Glassbrook Elementary School seen from the sidewalk

A general view of Glassbrook Elementary School in Hayward, California.  (Google Street View)

The organization also has “Woke” words of the day like ceasefire “abolish” and “Woke Wonderings” about challenging the “legitimacy of the Supreme Court” and abolishing the police, money and the military. 

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Glassbrook is predominantly Latino/ Hispanic and more than 80% of students are English learners, the Chronicle reported. Some teachers complained anonymously about the funds spent on teaching children to be “abolitionists” while reading scores are low, but Craven-Neeley spoke out on the record. 

He was quoted saying that Woke Kindergarten trainers told him he should try to “disrupt Whiteness” in the classroom. 

“What does that mean?” Craven-Neeley said to the Chronicle. “I just want to know, what does that mean for a third-grade classroom?”

US DATA SHOWS 50,000 STUDENTS MISSING FROM EDUCATION SYSTEM SINCE PANDEMIC

Other teachers have defended the program, arguing that a new approach is needed since a strict focus on academics has not improved learning. 

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“We need to try something else,” kindergarten teacher Christina Aguilera told the Chronicle. “If we just focus on academics, it’s not working. There is no one magic pill that will raise test scores.” 

Since the Chronicle report and subsequent national media coverage, Glassbrook has received dozens of “threatening and racist” messages, district spokesman Michael Bazely confirmed to Fox News Digital.

Craven-Neeley, who said he supports discussing racism in the classroom, told the Chronicle he attempted to voice his concerns at a staff meeting on Wednesday before going to the press.

MAJOR LEGAL SETTLEMENT IN CALIFORNIA HIGHLIGHTS COVID SCHOOL CLOSURE’S NEGATIVE IMPACT ON STUDENTS OF COLOR

He described the meeting as tense and recounted one moment when another teacher allegedly stood up, pointed a finger in his face and said, “You are a danger to the school or the community,” and then left the room. 

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Another Glassbook teacher, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions from the school, confirmed that a teacher put a hand in Craven-Neeley’s face and called him a disgrace and threat to the school, the Chronicle reported. The teacher also said Craven-Neeley did not raise his voice even as others were arguing and talking loudly. 

“There was so much anger toward me,” Craven-Neeley said. “I was explaining my point of view. They were talking over me.”

He said a district administrator eventually asked him to leave the meeting. 

“I was shocked. This is my school. I didn’t do anything inappropriate,” he told the Chronicle. “I left. I was very shaky.”

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“We are not commenting on what happened during the faculty meeting,” Bazeley told Fox News Digital when asked if the district disputed Craven-Neeley’s account of what happened. 

After the meeting, Craven-Neeley said he received an email telling him not to report to school the next day and to attend a video conference with district officials. At the video meeting, he was informed he had been put on leave pending an investigation into the allegations of unprofessional conduct levied against him. 

He expressed concerns to the Chronicle that officials were “going to twist things to try to justify retaliation or trying to appease the staff or they’re tired of me being a whistleblower or all the above.”  

“I can say unequivocally that we do not place employees on leave for retaliatory purposes, nor have we ever attempted to limit any employee’s free speech rights,” Bazeley told Fox News Digital. “The leave was not in response to any of his contacts with news media.”

Fox News Digital’s Brie Stimson contributed to this report.

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West

FBI to examine possible debris of Chinese spy craft found by Alaskan fishermen

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The FBI is investigating possible debris from a Chinese spy craft that flew over Alaska early last year after a fisherman reported the curious finding on Friday.

An Alaskan fishing vessel recovered the debris days ago and is expected to return to the coast sometime this weekend and turn it over to the FBI for examination, according to ABC News.

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“The FBI is aware of debris found off the coast of Alaska by a commercial fishing vessel. We will work with our partners to assist with the logistics of the debris recovery,” the FBI said in a statement on Friday.

FBI sources emphasized to the outlet that it has yet to determine whether the craft if of foreign origin, but the recovered material is being taken to the FBI lab in Quantico, as was material recovered from a confirmed Chinese spy balloon last year.

GREAT BASIN TRIBES CAMPAIGN TO GET SACRED NEVADA SITE PROTECTED, NAMED NATIONAL MONUMENT

U.S. forces haul debris from China’s surveillance balloon onto a boat off the coast of South Carolina in 2023. Similar debris has reportedly been found off the coast of Alaska. (US Fleet Forces)

 President Biden’s administration was met with a firestorm last year after U.S. intelligence tracked a Chinese balloon as it entered U.S. airspace over Alaska and then crossed the entire continental U.S. before being shot down just off the coast of South Carolina.

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U.S. intelligence admitted at the time that the balloon was not an isolated incident, and the debris recovered in Alaska this week may be of the same origin.

MILITARY TRACKS HIGH ALTITUDE BALLOON OVER WESTERN US

high altitude balloon

In this image provided by the Department of Defense, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, a U.S. Air Force U-2 pilot looks down at a Chinese surveillance balloon as it hovers over the United States on Feb. 3, 2023. (Department of Defense via AP, File)

The U.S. intercepted another high-altitude balloon over Utah in late February, but officials said they determined it was a hobbyist balloon and it eventually left U.S. airspace.

“The balloon was intercepted by NORAD fighters over Utah, who determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon,” NORAD said. “The FAA also determined the balloon posed no hazard to flight safety. NORAD remains in close coordination with the FAA to ensure flight safety.”

Balloon recovery

Debris from the shot-down Chinese balloon was taken to the FBI’s facilities in Quantico. (US Fleet Forces)

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China initially claimed that last year’s balloons were merely weather balloons that blew off course and sailed into U.S. airspace. U.S. authorities deemed that to be untrue, noting surveillance equipment found on the craft.

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San Francisco, CA

SF Giants manager Bob Melvin requiring everyone in team's dugout to stand during national anthem

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SF Giants manager Bob Melvin requiring everyone in team's dugout to stand during national anthem


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin is now requiring everyone in the team’s dugout to stand during the national anthem.

Melvin says the decision is more about letting the other team know that the black and orange are ready to play.

He adds that the same rules applied during his time as manager with the A’s and the Padres.

VIDEO: Giants introduce Bay Area native Bob Melvin as new manager

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The San Francisco Giants have hired manager Bob Melvin away from the division rival San Diego Padres.

Melvin occasionally cracked down if he noticed a lack of participation during the national anthem.

He says the team is embracing the policy change.

Bob Melvin, a Bay Area native and former Giants player who also managed a decade in Oakland, was formally announced as San Francisco’s new manager last October, replacing Gabe Kapler.

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Denver, CO

Keeler: Broncos, Russell Wilson, congrats! You just topped Dick Monfort, Nolan Arenado for worst trade in Colorado sports history.

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Keeler: Broncos, Russell Wilson, congrats! You just topped Dick Monfort, Nolan Arenado for worst trade in Colorado sports history.


Russ is cooked.

Dick Monfort should send the Broncos a thank-you card. Heck, throw in another $51 million check while you’re at it.

Because Greg Penner and George Paton somehow just got the Rockies, the dumbest franchise in town, off the hook.

Russ is cooked.

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The worst trade in Colorado sports history is official now. And it wears orange and blue.

After 12 bathrooms and 11 wins, the Broncos announced Monday what everybody knew was coming since Sean Payton flipped his visor in Detroit.

They’re cutting quarterback Russell Wilson at the start of the 2024 league year next week, almost exactly two years after acquiring him from Seattle for (deep breath): a 2022 first-round pick; a 2022 second-round pick; a 2022 fifth-round pick; a 2023 first-round pick; a 2023 second-round pick; tight end Noah Fant; defensive lineman Shelby Harris; and quarterback Drew Lock.

Paton bet the farm.

Pete Carroll laughed all the way to the bank.

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Russ is cooked.

Monfort should be doing backflips. The Rockies CEO seemingly had the title of “worst trade” locked up in perpetuity in 2021 when he handed third baseman Nolan Arenado, the Mike Schmidt of his generation, along with $51 million, to the stinking Cardinals for Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp and Joe Besser.

Nolan’s averaged 30 homers and 100 RBIs in the three seasons since. The Rox have averaged 95 losses.

Heck of a bar, that. Yet the Broncos cleared it, even somehow managing to hit their head on the descent.

Arenado cost the Rockies $51 million and a generation of shame. Wilson’s divorce is going to cost the Broncos $85 million in dead cap money and $39 million in salary for next season. Russ landed a five-year, $242-million extension from Penner and Paton, $161 million of it guaranteed, and was out the door before the freaking thing even kicked in.

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Russ is cooked.

Paton should’ve known that, of course. He should’ve known that Big Russ was allergic to throws between the hash marks. He should’ve known that No. 3 was a lost cause in the red zone if Plan A — which became Courtland Sutton in 2023 — happened to be covered. He should’ve known that a 5-foot-11 quarterback who relied on his athleticism had put on weight and lost a step. Or three.

He should’ve known that bringing Russ meant bringing a personal coaching team, a personal social media team, a personal security team, a personal cook, a personal masseuse, personal everything. He should’ve known that Wilson, at 33, stopped being worth the baggage about the time that the Cards fleeced Monfort.

Russ is cooked.

Oh, the Broncos had their reasons. Even noble ones. No one would say it out loud, but Mission: Franchise Quarterback was a “go” the minute Lock’s development stalled, and Russ was always Plan B. The backup big swing. There is a thread in the loom of multiverse in which the Broncos really do consummate that trade for Aaron Rodgers two winters ago in order to pair him with his best bud Nathaniel Hackett — which is the only way you can justify the hiring of the latter, in hindsight.

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In this universe, our reality, Hackett and Russ were a disaster, a coach in over his skis and a QB1 past his prime. Sean Payton and Russ were better, but the egos were hilariously incompatible. Last August, they were Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Miyagi. By December, they were Bart and Homer Simpson.

Russ is cooked.

Wilson was supposed to hand the ball to Herschel Walker on the option read and get the heck out of the way. Only he misread the end and got a franchise stuck even farther behind the chains. The Broncos are staring at third-down-and-$85-million, and not even Payton has a play for that.

Want more sports news? Sign up for the Sports Omelette to get all our analysis on Denver’s teams.



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