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PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — A syndicated conservative radio host took aim at the Newberg School District during a recent broadcast, drumming up theories that local students are being taught radical left-wing positions in the classroom.
Lars Larson, a longtime radio voice and former TV journalist based out of Portland, shared an edited clip of a private student support session at Chehalem Valley Middle School, during which a teacher said “we should all be antifa.”
The teacher went on to explain that antifascism is an ideology born out of the history of fascism in Europe and elsewhere, and that it is not an organized group.
Larson interpreted the portion of the private conversation as evidence that the teacher was encouraging students to be like the anarchists and rioters in Portland, some of whom have identified themselves as “antifa,” and that this line of thinking was part of the curriculum in Newberg schools.
Newberg School District communications coordinator Gregg Koskela issued a statement on the matter.
“This week on the Lars Larson radio show, a partial recording of a student support session at Chehalem Valley Middle School was played and discussed,” Koskela said. “We have been made aware of the incident and want to clarify it took place in a small help session, where the teacher was responding to a student question. It was not a lesson and is a short clip without context.
“Unlike the comment made in the radio program, we don’t have specific curriculum dedicated to teaching about ‘antifa,’ either the idea thereof, or the loosely affiliated groups across the country taking that name. Newberg Public Schools denounces violent acts of all kinds, including those locally in the Portland area, as well as nationally, by any group.”
It is unclear if the student or one of their family members recorded and shared the clip with Larson, but an investigation is underway. Koskela added that, after the clip was shared with Larson, a complaint was filed with the district about the teacher’s statement and it will go through proper protocols with the district’s board of directors.
“We will handle this complaint according to board policy and district procedures in a confidential manner because it involves personally identifiable information about a student,” Koskela said. “Further, the district does not comment on personnel matters of any kind.
“We would like to note that our district does not record any class sessions. Recording by a third party without express permission of all students and/or parents in an online session and sharing it with others may violate the law.”