Effects of CRT in WCS

Here is a letter from the parents of a second grader at WCS. Identifying information were removed for privacy.

"Superintendent Golden,

Over the past few months my husband and I have become very concerned about the new curriculum that has been implemented this semester for our 2nd grader at _____ Elementary. He is currently in the online class. The new curriculum has a high-level intensity focused on race that is highly inappropriate for 7- and 8-year-old children. We are a bi-racial family, _____ and White. This class has been very harmful to his identify and self-esteem. Our son never questioned his race or identity until this class and the probing and re-directed questions posed to him when he did not give the obvious answer back to the teacher that she as looking for from him. Now, he tells us that he isn’t American, he isn’t white. He is _____. He is ashamed of his genetic white half.

We have shared our concerns with Principal _____. She assured us that she would share our concerns with her superiors. We continue to see no change in the curriculum as well as no communication from the school or the Administration.

The story of Dr. King and his ‘I have a Dream’ speech is beautiful and uplifting. This is the world that my child lived in until now. He was color blind. But this curriculum has changed that. It is far more harmful than helpful. It depresses him. It is dark and divisive. It paints a picture of a world with only white and black people. It paints a picture of poor black people being attacked by evil white people. Our child is only shown evidence of how evil white people are to black people and Native Americans. Some of the stories that his class spent months reviewing and studying include:

• Ruby Bridges, the first black student to integrate New Orleans public schools.

• The young high schoolers who went to eat at a white only restaurant and were refused service and attacked with boiling coffee down their backs and ketchup thrown in their faces.

• White firemen in Birmingham sprayed young black kids against a wall with hoses ripping off their clothes and leaving bruises on their bodies.

Even more problematic, the teacher would not accept the non-racial, color blind answer from our son to a question she asked. So, the teacher asked again and again, looking for a different (acceptable) answer. Our child gave a basic, but insightful, second grader response, but again it was non-racial in nature. If his answer did not recognize that race must surely play a part here then the answer was not acceptable. This is purposely looking to stir up differences and make children put race and differences foremost in their thoughts when none should be even in the mix of such a discussion. We are more than willing to share with you the details of what actually took place in the exchange between our child and his teacher in regard to this particular curriculum.

This content has been used for months to teach reading, writing and analysis. These are very dark topics for 2nd graders to spend the majority of their time learning. This has been going on for weeks and weeks and now months. It is depressing. Our son is not getting anything out of this other than the shame of being half white and ultimately coaching him into becoming racist. As a bi-racial family this is appalling to us. Our son has now come to hate his class and his school because of this curriculum being allowed in a second-grade classroom. It is certainly not age appropriate for 2nd graders to learn this content at this young age. With the proper context this content could be appropriate for high schoolers if taught in a fair and balanced manner, but it is highly inappropriate for elementary students.

We demand that this curriculum cease immediately. We expect 2nd graders to be learning basic educational concepts and not be force fed story after story of racial aggressions and evils committed in the past. This is not how we create a better world for our children. This curriculum only highlights race and creates further division among the new generation. We want our child to be colorblind and value people for who they are and not the color of their skin or for past evils or mistakes that other people made in history.

Mr. Golden, will you please set up either an in-person or a zoom meeting with us and the principal, school board representative, and appropriate person in charge of curriculum. We will wait to hear from you or your assistant regarding the meeting.

Thank you for your time and attention to this most important matter that affects not only our child, but so many young children in our school system."