The Southwest Legal Foundation has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Evanston, Ill. school district, alleging teachers have been engaged in segregating students by race and teaching anti-white curriculum to kids as early as kindergarten.
The lawsuit, which is premised on alleged violations of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause as well as statutory violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claims that educators at Evanston/Skokie School District 65 are engaged in “treating individuals differently because of their race.”
The suit accuses Superintendent Devon Horton of telling teachers, “If you’re not antiracist, we can’t have you in front of our students,” and contains an infographic depicting whiteness as the devil while teaching kids that whites are inherently evil.
“For years now, race-based programming has overtaken District 65 in the name of racial ‘equity,'” the lawsuit says. “What seems like a relatively benign cause—also euphemistically called ‘social justice,’ ‘diversity and inclusion,’ ‘critical race theory,’ and ‘culturally responsive teaching’—is actually code-speak for a much bigger and more dangerous picture: the practice of conditioning individuals to see each other’s skin color first and foremost, then pitting different racial groups against each other.”
A lawsuit has been filed against Evanston School District.
Students as young as kindergarten were told to participate in “privilege walks” based on their skin color & taught that color-blindness is racist. The school website proclaimed white children are not “racial innocents.” https://t.co/YxftkvzM7F
— Melissa Chen (@MsMelChen) June 30, 2021
The suit further states that in its policies, which are listed on District 65’s website, the school “proclaims that it ‘is committed to focusing on race as one of the first visible indicators of identity.'” It also states that beginning in 2017, teachers at the school were required to attend “antiracist training” within two years, and that the training is ongoing.
“In the so-called antiracist programming, District 65 requires its teachers” to accept statements that are inherently anti-white, the suit states, including:
— To accept that white individuals are “loud, authoritative . . . [and] controlling.”
— To understand, “To be less white is to be less racially oppressive.”
— To acknowledge that “White identity is inherently racist[.]”
— To denounce “white privilege.”
— To participate in exercises with individuals of only the same color called “affinity groups”—that is, to racially segregate themselves.
— To participate in so-called “privilege walks,” a group exercise whereby teachers standing in a line separate from each other in response to the prompt, “[b]ecause of my race or color . . . .
Any teacher who opposes these statements is “blatantly” called a “racist” by the district, the suit alleges.
Statements supposedly passed along to students that are listed in the suit include:
— “Whiteness is a bad deal. It always was.”
— “Racism is a white person’s problem and we are all caught up in it.”
— “White people have a very, very serious problem and they should start thinking about what they should do about it.”
— “In the same way that the systems and the government are controlled by White people and racism being a result of it, so is it with men controlling systems and government and messages about women being dumb, weak, and inferior being a result.”
— “It [is] important to disrupt the Western nuclear family dynamics as the best/proper way to have a family[.]”
— “White people play a big role in the problems of racism today and throughout world history.”
“Students should sign a pledge to be anti-racist,” the lawsuit says, pointing out additional materials taught to District 65 students. “Students should gather in affinity groups segregated by skin color. Students should participate in privilege walks.”
“Throughout its curriculum and programming, District 65 promotes and reinforces a view of race essentialism that divides Americans into oppressor and oppressed based solely on their skin color. District 65 sets up a dichotomy between white and non-white races that depicts whiteness as inherently racist and a tool of oppression,” the lawsuit continues. “In furtherance of this ideology, District 65 employs ‘affinity groups,’ whereby it segregates faculty members and students into groups on the basis of race.”
The suit states that plaintiff Stacy Deemar, a white teacher who has been with the district since 2002, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in 2017 alleging “that District 65 was segregating teacher meetings by race, imposing hiring quotas based on race, hosting racial affinity groups for staff, forcing teachers and students to undergo frequent race-based programming, and maintaining general policies and practices that classified individuals based on race.”
The OCR initially found that District 65 was in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but later rescinded its determination, the suit says.
The suit names Horton, along with Deputy Superintendant LaTarsha Green and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Stacy Beardsley as defendants.
Reaction to the lawsuit and the school district’s alleged actions online were strong.
Erielle Davidson, a senior policy analyst at the Jewish Institute for the National Security of America, responded by tagging MSNBC’s Joy Reid, who said critical race theory wasn’t being taught in schools.
“The Specter of Communism is haunting America, & if we don’t stand firm now we’re going to lose our country. No hyperbole. We can disagree about many things w/in a shared moral horizon, but if we insist on sawing off the branch that we stand on we’re all going down at once,” one Twitter user noted.
“People really need to listen to their conscience. Surely they know deep down their actions are very wrong? Kindergarten kids?! This is disturbing in the extreme,” said another.
“We need calm solutions to people pushing this before it has to be non-calm solution time. The latter will happen if we can’t do it calmly. We’re 12 years away from 100 years after the Weimar era of debauchery ended and a different political force replaced it,” said a user.
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