Imagine your child comes home from school one day, sullen and quiet. You ask what is wrong, but he will not say anything. Or your child says he must watch a video for school as homework, but the teacher says it is not for parents. Or your child suddenly announces at dinner that the only reason you live in a nice house, drive nice cars and have delicious food on your table is because you have white privilege, not because you worked hard to earn your success.
Not very long ago, you might have thought these examples extreme and impossible. “Not at my kid’s school,” you’d say. But more and more parents across the country are reporting incidents like these and others. This is no longer a hypothetical. It is really happening, and it is highly likely to be happening in your neighborhood school.
If you doubt this assertion, you need to find out for yourself. Check out your school’s curriculum online. Look for classes like Global Learners Initiative, Global Social Theory and Diversity Clubs. Then look for words like equity (not equality), racial justice, anti-racism, and social or political activism or action. These are words from the racist, divisive, unproven theory that asserts all blacks are oppressed and all whites are oppressors and goes by the name of “Critical Race Theory.”
US Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) seeks to help parents and community members understand what is happening in America’s government schools and empower them with confidence and action plans to take back control.
USPIE Advisory Board member Dr. Gary Thompson was interviewed about his thoughts on Critical Race Theory (CRT). Some key points Dr. Thompson highlighted include the assertion that “racism is assumed and need not be proven.” As a matter of fact, it is not allowed to be debated as to do so is racist and tantamount to treason. He also points out that CRT takes a dim view of religion and family, two core values most parents treasure.
Here are some more words and ideas you can look for as you talk with your children, other parents and teachers in your district to see if CRT is being taught:
- Racial justice is a journey and the work will never be finished.
- We must disrupt the current policies and practices.
- Everyone must act, no one can opt out.
- Racism is our country’s original sin.
- Do not say “All Lives Matter.” That is racist.
- “Whiteness” as a term describing traditional characteristics of success, i.e., hard work, punctuality, correct math answers.
- White fragility to describe why white people can’t talk about racism.
Let’s say you find CRT in your local government school. What can you do? First, you need to determine if you should withdraw your child and put them into a safe private or home school. Some children might need to be protected from the helpless feelings that develop from the negative messages in CRT. Some children may find the situation too confusing to be able to focus on reading, writing and math – the primary objective of K-12 education. Some schools may be so distracted by the social-justice teaching that they may actually be ignoring the basics.
If you decide to stay in the school, good for you, but realize, this will be a tough battle. You need to find as many like-minded parents as you can find and work together. Gather your facts about what is being taught in the schools based on what your children bring home. Share with other parents. Try to discern if there are teachers, administrators and school board members who are not comfortable with what is being taught. They are likely to be wary of saying anything, as the pressure to conform is intense.
Once you have completed your data gathering, you can approach the School Board and Superintendent at a School Board meeting. Be sure to be specific about what you would like to see happen. Some parents might like to see an alternate perspective on racism presented to the students. Others may ask that the issue be avoided completely, sticking with core learning. If the administration and school boards are unwilling to cooperate, you may need to escalate further. Research what parents in other communities are doing for additional ideas or contact your USPIE state chapter leader.
Dr. Gary Thompson offers one more very important piece of advice: Racism and other forms of hate develop from fear of the unknown. Parents and citizens within a community can meet people on a personal level, get to know people who are different. Seek to understand others on a personal level. Programs like Critical Race Theory divide us. We must fight back by uniting in friendship and respect.
Visit uspie.org and Join the Movement to get connected with your PIE state chapter! Click the documentary button to learn more about our Truth and Lies in American Education documentary project.