Among the material being shown to students in third through fifth grades is an interview clip of author Sonya Renee Taylor saying, “Our society speaks racism. It has spoken racism since we were born. Of course you are a racist, of course.”
Another video being shown to kids as young as 8 years old features an actor reading from the book “Anti-Racist Baby,” written by Ibram X. Kendi, in which he says, “Anti-racist baby is bred, not born.” Kendi also wrote the book “How to Be an Antiracist.”
In September, a training session for teachers at Forest Park Elementary in Portland turned nasty after a White teacher questioned the accuracy and wisdom of linking the trait perfectionism with white supremacy. According to two sources in attendance, the meeting leader used her 90 seconds to berate the White teacher repeatedly and in a raised voice saying she made her feel unsafe.
The recipient of the verbal attack, who doesn’t want her name used out of fear of retaliation, was instructed to remain silent. The White teacher, who claims the two colleagues only had one brief interaction before the meeting, says the equity leader was hysterical, “I made her feel unsafe. She kept going on and on. I was dumbfounded. I felt like it was unfair. I couldn’t defend myself.”
The teacher believes she was a victim of bullying under the Portland Public Schools definition, which reads, “Bullying and harassment are behaviors that make someone feel intimidated or offended. Bullying and harassment are unfair, one-sided, repeated and one person may be using their power over another person.”
Portland Public Schools officials and the Oregon Education Association refused to respond to Fox News’ numerous inquiries.
Teacher training material provided to Fox News shows middle school students are taught about “white racial identity”, which is broken into sections on “whiteness” and “white privilege.” It defines white privilege as “you (white students) actively benefit from the oppression of Black, Indigenous, People of color.”
The founder of a new group, Every Black Life Matters, calls the curriculum child abuse.
“They’re undermining our children,” says Kevin McGary, an African American IT executive in California. “They are taking the position as if they have the right to propagandize them, brainwash them and then use them for radical purposes with radical ends.”
Oregon passed a law in 2017 mandating ethnic studies be taught in every school district. Now, a Republican lawmaker has introduced the Student Non-Discrimination and Dignity Act, which would prohibit schools from using material that depicts one race as superior or inferior to another.
“Racism is bad no matter what form it takes,” said Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls. “Whether it’s individual or institutionalized, whether it’s from the left or from the right, I believe we shouldn’t tolerate racism no matter what justification is given.”
The anti-racist training is aimed toward activism, with guiding quotes such as ‘An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor’ from Lerone Bennett Jr. Some teachers practice the revolution they’re told to preach in the classroom. At least five Portland area teachers were arrested during more than 100 consecutive days of protest and rioting following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. The arresting charges ranged from assaulting a federal officer to felony riot and attempting to steal a baton from an officer.
Portland has mandated social justice and cultural competency training for all teachers since 2011 following an Oregon Department of Education audit that found a wide gap in achievement between Black and white students. But the training is failing to meet the stated objectives.
According to ODE reports, in 2015 27% of Black students were proficient in Language Arts. In 2019 the number dropped to 19%. In 2015 15% of Black students were proficient in Math. In 2019 only 9% passed. The racial achievement gap has only widened since 2011.
Tony Greenwald, a retired social psychologist who taught and did research for decades at the University of Washington, says there’s been no studies showing anti-racism training does anything to benefit students or their teachers.
“This is not the way to get people to think differently, to act differently,” said Greenwald. “I think you need to develop protocols for behavior that actually lead to the behaviors you want, without worrying what’s in the minds of people carrying out those protocols.”
Greenwald blames school district administrators for blindly adopting diversity, equity and inclusion training without any evidence it works.