Parents at Litchfield Elementary School District in Arizona are infuriated over the district’s proposed “equity plan” that is infused with elements of critical race theory, the idea that America is rooted in racism.
The district’s “Transformation Equity Work” plan centers around the definition of “anti-racism,” which claims that being not racist is insufficient. The definition suggests that parents and educators must be actively fighting against “racism” in all of its forms, though what is considered racist is often subjective. This ideology was crafted by Boston University professor and author Ibram X. Kendi.
According to the equity plan obtained by the Young America’s Foundation, the district aims to host yearly mandatory equity training for teachers, review and audit the curriculum to become sufficiently “anti-racist,” reduce discipline based on race, and hire staff based on race.
During a school board meeting, parents slammed the board members who crafted and supported the equity plan. One parent threatened to hold a recall campaign against board members.
“I’ve done a lot of research into this transformational equity work document as well as [Ibram X. Kendi’s] theory — radical theory — proven without a lot of supporting evidence,” one parent said. “I’m deeply concerned for my kids who are in this district.”
A Hispanic parent assailed the school board for attempting to racialize her minority children. She said the equity plan was filled with “leftist rhetoric” and claims the plan is a political stunt.
“My kids are a minority group, I am Hispanic, never once have they come home and said they felt victimized or discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity. Do you wanna know why? Because my children are taught at home the value of people, that you treat people the way that their character and integrity defines them in your view,” she said.
“That is not a place for the district or the board to impose a leftist — and yes I’m going to make it political because that’s exactly what this document is — leftist rhetoric that has no place in our schools,” the parent said.
Another parent said the document was the antithesis of what Americans fought for during the battle for equal rights.
“The document references reducing disciplinary action by race, reviewing library books, and hiring based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, faith, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, and age,” she said. “We fought a battle for equal rights in this country. This doesn’t sound like equal rights.”
One parent spoke on behalf of over a dozen teachers who are allegedly upset over the transformational equity proposal. The parent said that teachers feel they cannot speak up for fear of “retaliation and possible discrimination.”
The school board’s sole opponent to the equity plan, Jeremy Hoenack, lamented his colleagues for picking staff based on race instead of merit.
The school district comprises 10 elementary schools and five middle schools. It has a 57 percent proficiency rate in math and a 56 percent proficiency rate in reading.
“You’re not going to tell me that your efforts are better focused on something like Kendi’s theory than on my child’s academic success. That is not what you’re here for, that’s not what the educators are here for,” one parent concluded.