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CA School District Changes “Woke” English Lesson After Parents Speak Up

Parents in La Quinta, California were outraged when they discovered their school district had implemented a “woke” agenda in Advanced Placement English classes, teaching students that they are privileged if they are white, male, Christian, able-bodied, and heterosexual. The education material came from the “Check your privilege campaign” lecture materials. After parents brought their concerns to the attention of the school, administrators decided to make a change.  The information officer at Desert Sands Unified School District, Mary Perry, told the Daily Signal, “The lesson was not in alignment with the district-adopted curriculum” and “actions are being taken to rectify the situation.”

The Instructional material asks students the following questions: “Do you see yourself as a member of the ‘oppressed’? Why or why not? What do you need from yourself, your family, or your new peers, your teachers to feel empowered holding this identity?” The lesson plan emphasizes privileges being based on “education, class, sex, gender, cisgender, white, wealth, well-connected family, adult/age, employed, first-world, linguistic, native English speaker, no speech impediment, sexuality, born in a country of residence, ability/able-bodied, mental health,” and many more according to the lesson plan. 

According to the Daily Signal, the lesson plans originated from the “Check your privilege campaign” created by the University of San Francisco’s Intercultural Center, under the leadership of  Associate Professor of Psychology, J. Garrett-Walker. The campaign is based on Walker’s research and its mission is “to increase the awareness of privilege, begin discussions around privilege, and for individuals to use their privilege(s) to advocate for others.” 

Campaign posters state things such as, “If you’re confident that police exist to protect you, you have white male privilege.” Another sign said, “If you can expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays, you have Christian privilege.” 

A La Quinta parent named Celeste Fiehle discovered what English classes were teaching, and posted the curriculum images for other parents on a Facebook group called “Informed Parents of California”. She mentioned that the students were not allowed to have their cellphones during the class and implied that it was intentional to prevent students from taking pictures. 

A teacher within the Desert Sands school district, Kenny Snell, has also become a vocal opponent of the curriculum. He told the Daily signal, “Politically biased indoctrination, that divides our students into victims and oppressors, educates them from the annals of Fake News stories from the legacy media, and instructs them in the ways of violent BLM [Black Lives Matter] and Antifa’ civic activism’ does not belong in public education.” 

According to Tell Me Now, Asra Nomani, vice president for strategy and investigations with the grassroots education organization Parents Defending Education, said that this kind of lesson plan reduces “human beings and children to the lowest common denominator.”

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