Ethan Hooper, a teacher at Howard Middle School in Orlando, Florida, who teaches sixth grade, has been put on administrative leave following parental complaints about his TikTok videos. The videos in question featured Hooper using his students as “political props” to observe Black History Month. In one video, he was observed walking around the classroom taking books away from students, and declaring that anything associated with race and black history was not allowed. The videos appeared to refer to the “Stop WOKE Act” enacted by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, which forbids school books from covering topics like Critical Race Theory (CRT).
This Florida teacher made students participate in a skit for black history month where white students act like servants for black students pic.twitter.com/g29SgNd3pn
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) February 17, 2023
The videos have caused anger among numerous parents, and according to CJ Johnson, a father at Howard Middle School who spoke to Click Orlando, “If one of the teachers was using my kid for political gain, that would upset me. What if I don’t believe in that, and, you know, that’s not what I’m teaching my kid.” Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Maria Vazquez expressed stronger disapproval, stating that she was “appalled” by the videos that employed children as “political props,” and referred to them as “inappropriate.”
It is clear that Ethan Hooper was attempting to push a political agenda in his classroom by using his students as pawns to promote his own beliefs. While some students have come out in Hooper’s defense, claiming that “we all agreed to it” and “he didn’t really do anything wrong,” it is clear that Hooper was trying to indoctrinate his students with his own political views. It is unacceptable for teachers to use their students as props to push their own political agendas.
The fact that Hooper was willing to exploit his students for his own political gain is a testament to the dangers of Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT is a dangerous ideology that seeks to divide people along racial lines and promote a false narrative of systemic racism in our society. It is important that we protect our children from this toxic ideology and ensure that they are not being used as political pawns by their teachers.
Ethan Hooper’s actions are a perfect example of why Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE Act” is so important. This act prohibits school books that cover topics like Critical Race Theory (CRT) and ensures that our children are not exposed to this dangerous ideology. It is essential that we protect our children from being used as political props by their teachers and protect them from the dangers of CRT.