School board member rejects Connecticut teacher’s worksheet on White privilege, systemic racism
A Connecticut high school teacher handing out a worksheet about White privilege and systemic racism drew swift backlash from parents and members of the local school board.
“To be honest, I was actually very surprised. We weren’t even in the first week of school at this point and, this was being passed out to students of one particular class,” Joseph Baczewski, vice chairperson of the Southington School Board, told “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday.
“We’re a very patriotic town. We teach patriotism, being a good citizen. It’s not part of our curriculum so this was a teacher bringing it upon themselves to pass this out to students.”
The worksheet states, “Racism is a systemic issue. If you look the other way or deny that these systems exist, you are part of the problem.”
Vocabulary items that appeared on the worksheet included the terms “white privilege,” “indigenous peoples,” “transgender,” “institutional racism,” gender pronouns, the term “Latinx,” as well as other controversial issues. The worksheet appears to show how those terms can be used in writing and includes definitions and proper ways to include a lot of those terms in their writing. WFSB – Channel 3 shared an image of the worksheet on Twitter.
Parents, like Southington resident Jenny Cinquemani, called the lesson “divisive” at a recent school board meeting.
“To be honest, I’m not even angry,” Cinquemani said, according to Patch.com. “I am sure that the teacher who put this together did not mean to be hurtful. But it is divisive.”
Baczewski said the issue was handled “swiftly” by the administration after a mother brought it to their attention. He encouraged parents to be involved in their children’s education.
“I think it showed her that the system that we have works. It was brought to our attention, it wasn’t supposed to be there. We’ve essentially handled it now. And now we’re going to be watching for it and making sure that this doesn’t become more of an issue.”
Baczewski said many people don’t subscribe to the idea that skin color determines the likelihood of someone’s success.
“To that, I say that’s absolutely preposterous,” Baczewski said.
He added that the most important teacher in a child’s life “is the parent in the family.”
Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.