Rantz: Sammamish HS training labels white teachers racist, warns against phrases

Feb 13, 2023, 9:48 AM | Updated: 9:57 am

Sammamish High School’s teachers were given a print-out of language and phrases they should not use when talking with black, Latino, and Asian students. It was meant to combat their imagined white supremacy.

White teachers were warned not to establish themselves as being in charge in the classroom because that’s “white supremacy,” told to never claim they’re not racist, and to never label classroom topics as “need to know” because it does not address the racist “system that prioritizes knowledge.”

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH obtained the PowerPoint presentation of training held on February 8. It explains that the school met with a panel of eight activist students from the Black Student Union, Latino Heat, and Asian American Pacific Island Club to elicit student feedback on issues around race. Unsurprisingly, the future progressive activists found that “teachers are not doing enough when it comes to disrupting racist, homophobic, and ableist speech and behaviors.”

With the feedback in mind, the Sammamish High School diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) team held a professional development session to set the teachers straight.

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‘What not to say’

The session was informed by students who were taught to be victims, looking for reasons to claim racism, homophobia, and ableism.

One slide quotes a student saying, “It feels like I’m being targeted,” but doesn’t explain how or why. But another student quote demands, “teachers need racial bias training,” so that’s what the school opted for.

Staff was given a “What Not to Say” print-out broken down into three sections: 1) category of interest (like Eurocentric Norms, Unresponsiveness to Student Needs), 2) statements that have been said that should be removed from the vernacular; and 3) statements to make instead.

White teachers are racist

Consistent with left-wing, critical race theory-inspired propaganda, staff are warned not to deny their racism.

They’re told not to say, “I cannot be racist” or “I am colorblind.” The print-out insists you can be racist if you’re white and married to a black person or that it’s not possible to not see race “with the exception of someone with vision limitations.” Instead, staff should say, “I value being in a diverse community” and “It is important to me to be kind to all people.”

If a student tells you they’re the victim of racism, staff are warned they must validate the experience or feelings. If the teacher says, “I am sure they didn’t mean it that way, don’t be upset,” the print-out claims, “This invalidates the student’s experience and/or feelings. As a white educator, saying things like ‘that wasn’t the point’ can be a form of gaslighting and is also a way of claiming superiority. White people cannot understand racism in the same way as BIPOC.”

Instead, they’re instructed to ask the victim of the supposedly-racist slight, “What would help you heal or be able to learn or feel better moving forward?” Presumably, staff must implement what the student suggests.

Whites-only advice

Above all, white staff must not ask students to alert them if they say something that offends them.

The print-out says it “can also be problematic for white, male, cis, hetero, abled educators to ask this because it puts the burden on students.” Sammamish High School’s DEI team would rather you cluelessly make comments that others find offensive without knowing.

White teachers are also told not to establish that they are in charge of the classroom and know the subject matter they teach because it “reinforced white supremacy as a white teacher is the authority figure.”

They’re also warned to never explain that topics taught in the classroom, like who was our first President or what is the Pythagorean theorem, is something a student might “need to know.” The print-out claims that this is problematic because “different communities, different cultures, and different people have different needs.” It says that “‘Need to know’ without putting in context of white supremacy culture can lead to increased invisible and legacy of white supremacy.”

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Teachers are not fans of the training

Some teachers were understandably critical of the training, implying they were racist based on their skin color. One connected with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH on the condition of anonymity.

“I’m mainly concerned that this organizational mission of ‘identifying, challenging, and dismantling white supremacist structures, practices, and beliefs’ is a complete witch hunt that is taking our focus off the very real learning loss that our students have experienced due to the extended school closures,” the teacher explained. “The percentage of WA students meeting standard in math drops from 50% to 33%, and our priority now is dealing with microaggressions?”

The very basis for the training — that the school has a white supremacy issue — is wholly contrived. So why should staff have to sit through condescending training?

“Despite what the DEI propaganda would have you believe, we don’t have white supremacists in our schools. Sure, implicit bias does still exist, but our students are struggling every day with pandemic learning loss, depression, and drug abuse. Those are much more significant threats to their well-being,” the teacher said.

The district did not respond to my requests for comment.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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