JASON RANTZ

Rantz: WA Dems force critical race theory training, Highline Schools leans in

May 18, 2021, 11:16 PM | Updated: May 23, 2021, 7:19 pm
Highline Public Schools training session. (Screenshot) Highline Public Schools training session. (Screenshot)

This is part of an ongoing series by the Jason Rantz Show that will explore equity and critical race theory training in Washington schools.

Governor Jay Inslee and Washington Democrats successfully institutionalized Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Washington schools. But Highline Public Schools isn’t waiting for state-mandated training. Their work is well underway.

Under several new laws, all staff at public schools, including high schools and colleges, must undergo CRT education. The training includes sessions on becoming anti-racist activists.

SB 5044, SB 5227, and SB 5228 will be tough to undo, with mandatory training starting in 2023. But what many parents do not realize is that individual districts are already applying the training across the state.

Rantz: School district equity training pushes Ze, Fae, Hu personal pronouns

Critical Race Theory is mandated, and it’s already begun

CRT is a demeaning and racist ideologically-driven framework that teaches people to see the world through a radical racial lens.

You are taught that you either an oppressor or oppressed. You are either the victim who is failing through no fault of your own, or you are the victimizer who must change your ways. The categories you fit into are based exclusively on your racial identities.

In the 2023-24 school year, public school staff must receive annual training on cultural competency, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Its goal is to dismantle institutional racism “by examining school district policies with an equity lens.”

But what does that look like? It means labeling every American institution as racist, normalizing extreme white guilt, and excusing actual racism at Highline Public Schools.

The district serves nearly 20,000 majority-minority students in Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, and SeaTac.

Race is a social construct, except when it comes to white privilege

At Highline Public Schools, CRT training has been underway for years. The staff must attend several equity training sessions, the most recent conducted by Potential Unleashed Consulting.

Documents and videos from training sessions from February, March, and April were shared with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH by a staff member upset with the nature of the training. A fourth session is scheduled for May 19.

The goal for the district is to become an “anti-racist organization focused on eliminating racism, racial and other identity inequities, and institutional bias.” They do that by labeling everything racist and adopting a radical ideology.

At monthly CRT training sessions, staff are taught that “race is a made-up social construct” and that the concept of race “changed over time, it’s not a set-in-stone piece, but it’s been adapted to meet the needs of white supremacy culture.”

But also, racism is a system, and only white people can be racist because of their power. In fact, a Black facilitator explained to the staff that it’s not racist if he discriminated against a white woman based on her race.

White supremacy and white fragility: everything is racist

Staff was to self-reflect on their intersectionalities so that they could better understand privilege and oppression. They focused on white privilege with a facilitator retelling the story of one of her friends who finally recognized her white privilege despite growing up in “high poverty.”

Facilitators told staff that white supremacy was behind almost every American institution we currently enjoy.

One facilitator said the following historical systems were “designed” through a white supremacy lens: education, legal, law enforcement, financial/banking, housing, community design (suburbs), and health. So, in other words, everything is white supremacy culture.

In fact, slavery may still even exist. Who knew?

“Did the 13th Amendment actually abolish slavery, or did it just shift it from private to government?” a facilitator asks.

And you cannot disagree with anything. Facilitators say defensiveness is a cornerstone of white supremacy culture.

Whites don’t work for their privilege

Highline Public Schools is so committed, it holds an annual Equity Symposium. At the last event, attendees watched video vignettes from Highline staff and a student sharing experiences around race.

“I felt like yesterday I realized that I’m white and that I have all the advantages of being part of that group,” one white staffer says. “Privileges that I don’t really think I fully understood until yesterday. I was reading ‘White Fragility,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, OK.’ I think I’m taking that next step in my journey to understanding what’s happening, what equity is about, what racial equity is about, what anti-racism is about, and what racism is about.”

In one, a Mexican-American middle school student explains what white supremacy culture means to her.

“For my people, Mexican Americans, they have to go through the struggle of coming to America and having to work for their family to give them a better life, but for white people, it just comes to them,” the student says. “They don’t have to work for it. I guess that’s what it seems like to me.”

She’s wrong, of course. But is it a surprising takeaway given the radical frameworks her teachers are taught?

Update

Catherine Carbone Rogers, chief communications officer for the district, emailed staff to respond to this story. She defended the racist training and claimed quotes I use were “cherry-picked” and “taken out of context” but did not explain how. I’ve asked her to clarify.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Parler and like me on Facebook

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Rantz: WA Dems force critical race theory training, Highline Schools leans in