Elementary School Lecture Compares Immigrant Detention at Southern Border to Japanese Internment During WWII

Senior county education official said 'components of critical race theory embedded within' the curriculum

A school bus drives past demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd / Getty Images
July 13, 2021

Students as young as four years old in a Maryland public school were taught that immigrant detention at the southern border is akin to the federal government forcibly interning Japanese-American citizens during World War II.

A virtual lecture for Asian-American History Month at North Glen Elementary, a pre-K through fifth grade institution in Anne Arundel County, compared the United States imprisoning more than one hundred thousand U.S. citizens in the 1940s to the United States detaining illegal immigrants in the present day.

While both situations occurred under Democratic presidents, the comparisons stop there. Democratic icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt interned Japanese-American citizens during World War II under the false belief that Americans of Japanese descent represented a potential fifth column. At the U.S.-Mexico border, however, it is standard practice to detain non-U.S. citizens who cross illegally.

Republican county councilman Nathan Volke, who represents northeast Anne Arundel County, called the lesson "disturbing," and told the Washington Free Beacon that "there is no parallel to the forced imprisonment of Japanese Americans, who were citizens of the U.S. during World War II, and the temporary detainer of individuals entering the U.S. illegally."

"It's disturbing that this type of teaching is happening, and further reinforces the concerns that so many parents are raising about critical race theory and other divisive topics being taught in our schools," Volke said. "There's no place for this in Anne Arundel County."

This isn’t Anne Arundel County Public School’s only instance of lesson planning that promotes a far-left worldview. An email sent to a parent by a senior education official in the county, reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, confirms that "there are components of critical race theory embedded within [our curriculum]."

In addition to featuring a historically dubious comparison, the lecture promoted the abolish ICE and defund the police campaigns as human rights movements, showing images of Asian activists bearing signs that included "Abolish ICE" and "#DefendBlackLife, #DefundThePolice."

The video described the so-called intersectional solidarity between far-left Asian activists and anti-border security advocates as "another example of how Asian and Pacific Islander people have come together with other communities to speak up for human rights and justice for all."

Steuart Pittman, the Democratic county executive, did not respond to a request for comment about whether he agrees with the lesson plan taught in his county’s schools.

The county’s Democratic council members either did not respond to requests for comment or told the Free Beacon that education falls outside their jurisdictions.