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Josh Thompson

Blacksburg High School

Josh Thompson is a High School English Teacher at Blacksburg High School in Montgomery County, Virginia.

In a series of videos, Mr. Thompson describes how teaching students to behave is emblematic of white supremacy. At the time, Mr. Thompson was discussing the adoption of PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) materials by the district to improve behaviors.

Published by the satirical Twitter account, “Libs of Tik-Tok,” Mr. Thompson alleges that “positive” behavioral traits among students—such as sitting quietly and following directions—are only present in white cultures and, thus, constitutes “whiteness.”

 “So if PBIS concerns itself with positive behaviors, we have to ask ourselves, ‘Okay well what are those positive behaviors?’ And it’s things like making sure that you’re following directions, and making sure that you’re sitting quietly, and you are in your seat and all these things that come from White culture.”

“The idea of just sitting quiet and being told stuff and taking things in in a passive stance is not a thing that’s in many cultures. So if we’re positively enforcing these behaviors, we are by extension positively enforcing elements of White culture. Which therefore keeps Whiteness at the center, which is the definition of White supremacy.”

 

The Twitter account posted additional videos made by Mr. Thompson, further showcasing his comments on race, whiteness, systemic racism, and attempts to connect social justice-related issues to lessons in the classroom.

 

Mr. Thompson had previously advocated for inserting racial and social justice issues into curriculums used by schools across the country in a June 2020 article titled, “Josh Thompson: Education Justice Provides a More Effective Education.” Writing for the National Education Association, Mr. Thompson describes his vision for schools to create “safe spaces” for LGBTQIA+ and students of color who have grown up in a “hetero, white supremacist, patriarchal society.” He additionally and unabashedly describes his teaching methods as political in order to insert, “racial and social justice” themes into educational institutions.

The Professor Watchlist Team has reached out to the Montgomery County School District—which includes Blacksburg High School—for comment but has not received a response by the time of publication.

In a separate statement to Fox News, the Montgomery County School Public Schools stated, “A teacher is entitled to their personal belief regarding any division program. The statements made by this teacher do not reflect our PBIS program or the behavioral expectations that we have of students in our school.”

 

Parents and Students may contact the Montgomery County School District at (540) 382-5100.

Updated – September 28, 2021

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