Jan 15, 2013Print This Post
A school district in Wisconsin said they will review a high school diversity class that exposed students to radical leftist thinkers and promoted a critical race theory that alleges white people are oppressors.
The “American Diversity” class was taught to students at Delavan-Darien High School in Wisconsin, Fox News has learned.
“They’re teaching white guilt,” one parent told Fox News. “They’re dividing the students. They’re saying to non-whites, ‘You have been oppressed and you’re still being oppressed.’”
The parent, who asked not to be identified, has an 18-year-old son who was enrolled in the class and became alarmed after she looked at some of the handouts provided to the students.
“I felt it was indoctrination,” she said. “This is a radical left agenda and ideology that is now embedded in our school.”
The parent said the students were taught “if you’re white, you’re oppressing. If you’re non white, you’ve been a victim.”
According to handouts obtained by Fox News, “white privilege” was defined as “a set of advantages that are believed to be enjoyed by white people beyond those commonly experienced by non-white people in the same social, political, and economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.”
Students were also given a handout from University of Texas professor Robert Jensen arguing that people don’t have complete control over their fate.
“There is not space here to list all the ways in which white privilege plays out in our lives, but it is clear that I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased from society,” he wrote.
Students were also instructed to visit the toy aisle at Wal-Mart for a hands-on illustration of white privilege.
“They were told to go and count the number of dolls that were representative of blacks as opposed to whites,” the parent said. “It’s meant to divide and victimize non-whites and condition whites to feel guilty and to be more passive.”
She brought the material to the attention of school officials and eventually to Robert Crist, the new superintendent of the Delavan-Darien School District.
“A lot of red flags go up in my mind when I look at the materials,” Crist told Fox News. “Her concern has merit.”
“Ideally, you would want to present one theory that might be way on the left and another theory that may be way on the right and if you find one in the middle you can present that, too,” he said. “Now you have a well-rounded discussion in my opinion.”
Crist said he believes the class was being taught long before he became superintendent. The course is currently undergoing an evaluation.
“The class will not be taught again until that process is fully complete,” Crist said.
He said the teacher, who is young, used the materials to “stimulate the thought process.”
“I don’t believe he intended to indoctrinate anybody,” he said.
But the material that has been presented to students in the conservative community did concern the superintendent.
“I’m out of an old-fashioned school,” he said. “I believe in helping kids understand the basic objectives of curriculum and not use some radical material to get a student to support some kind of a special theory.”
The parent also reached out to the Young America’s Foundation – who first shed light on the controversial course.
YAF staff member Brendan Pringle, called the course “race-baiting.”
“This course offers a snapshot of a larger trend that has plagued university curriculum for years and has only recent crept into high school classrooms,” he wrote in an essay. “Professors and teachers are increasingly telling white students that they are part of the problem of racism, and are telling black students that they are second-class citizens. This race-baiting technique is an attack on American values and can only breed bitterness and envy.”
At the same time, Crist said schools have a responsibility to prepare students for the real world.
“There are a lot of radical people in our country and across the world,” he said. “They need to be ideally attuned to some of the different thought patterns that different cultures may have.”
But did the teacher cross the line?
“Ideally a teacher is not supposed to share their own viewpoint,” Crist said. “With this type of class, the teacher looks for controversial items like that to stimulate the kids into discussing things in regard to cultural diversity.”
The parent said that’s all well and good – but the teacher only offered students one perspective and were not allowed to debate the theory.
“This teacher has free reign to pick the material that he wanted to use,” she said. “He chose extremely radical left thinkers. He didn’t give those kids alternative information.”
The parent said last summer her son got a job washing dishes – working sometimes 10 hours a day.
“I was so proud of him,” she said. “And then to have a teacher tell you that you have these unearned privileges – that because you are white somehow you infringe on other people’s rights. It’s really just awful.”