A school district in upstate New York released a new curriculum that puts fourth-graders in “restorative justice” circles to talk about racism.
Fairport Central School District (FCSD) near Rochester, New York, partnered with a social justice consulting firm to develop the district’s new race-based curriculum. Nine-year-olds will be taught about how racism is deeply embedded in the Rochester community and encouraged to partake in activism.
According to the curriculum, obtained by The Daily Wire, fourth-grade students must be able to “understand, discuss, and identify examples of racism, segregation, and anti-racism.” Students were shown pictures of children protesting as an example of “anti-racism.” The children held signs that read, “Black Lives Matter” and “None of us is free until all of us are free.”
Children were also told that New York schools are the “most segregated schools in the country.” In the proceeding slides, students were shown housing segregation maps of Monroe County — the county that houses FCSD — and were asked to identify how redlining has affected where they live. The redlining maps provided to students were from 1935.
The curriculum also asks students to observe the role that the government played in segregating communities and showcased local “anti-integration” protests that took place at the University of Rochester.
As an “exit ticket” idea for teachers, fourth-graders were asked to watch a video to “reflect on how we as fourth graders can be antiracists” and what “problem(s) in our school or community that [they] want to change.” One example showed a picture of three young girls with the caption, “Bailey, Khaliat, and Simra meeting with their principal to address their concerns about hiring more black teachers.”
The curriculum was created by the PathStone Foundation, the fundraising arm of a corporation that “promotes social justice through programs and advocacy.” The curriculum is titled, “Untaught History: Structural Racism & Resistance Curriculum.”
In January 2020, the PathStone Foundation met with the FCSD school board. The school board said they were not interested in integrating the curriculum into schools. In June 2020, members of the Fairport community kickstarted a Change.org petition demanding that the school reconsider and adopt PathStone’s curriculum. By July, the school board had caved to activists and integrated PathStone’s curriculum.
Local school board candidate Stacy Schell told The Daily Wire that the curriculum is inherently political and integrates critical race theory into the district.
“Critical race theory, elementary sexual education, and pure division of our students and teachers have created an environment that is toxic for our children,” Schell said. “I believe that teachers need to be teachers. They need to focus on getting our children back to basics and promoting self-worth. Politics should be left out of the schools.”
A Fairport parent, who spoke to The Daily Wire on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said that the curriculum is making white children feel guilty for the color of their skin.
“We received a letter from our child’s school stating their fourth-grade class would be discussing the history of redlining in Rochester … [My child] said they ended the week by watching a video indicating white kids should feel guilty for being white,” the parent said. “I want my kids to understand the history of racism, but I completely reject that any child should be made to feel guilty for something they have never done.”
Fairport Central School District did not respond to request for comment.