Frustrations over a racially-charged worksheet advocating woke concepts such as anti-racism and “white privilege” spilled into a Connecticut school board meeting on Thursday night.
The three-page worksheet was given to students in a High School English class on the first day at Southington High School in Southington, Connecticut.
The handout begins with a vocabulary section offering definitions for concepts such as cisgender, structural racism, “gender v. sex,” gender non-conforming, and white privilege.
The document also included controversial statements such as:
- “If you look the other way or deny that these [racist] systems exist, you are part of the problem.”
- “No individual is personally responsible for what white people have done or the historical decisions of the American government, but you ARE for whether you are currently upholding the systems that elevate white people over people of color.”
“It’s troubling to me. I read the worksheet. Do I agree with it? Absolutely not,” said Board Vice Chairperson Joseph Baczewski, according to local news station WFSB.
School board members say they were unaware of the worksheet and are still investigating the incident.
However, outrage and disapproval from parents and students alike were evident at Thursday night’s school board meeting.
One parent complained that the handout had nothing to with English.
“I’m paying taxes so my kids can learn how to read, write and communicate properly,” he said. “I’m not paying taxes for them to learn stuff in this document.”
“This is critical race theory, which is not supposed to be taught in Southington Public Schools,” the same parent added.
High school student Ella Perillo said she felt offended that all white people were treated as solely responsible for racial injustices.
“If my friend is a person of color, I will treat them the same way as everyone is treated, and I expect the same thing in return,” Perillo said, according to Connecticut’s Patch. “This is what will cause a divide. There is no white privilege.”
Mother Jenny Cinquemani, whose daughter was in the class and brought the worksheet to a school counselor, called the document “divisive.”
“I am sure that the teacher who put this together did not mean to be hurtful. But it is divisive,” Cinquemani explained, noting her perspective as Puerto Rican.
Another parent, Pat Tavalozzi, called the teacher who distributed the worksheet “rogue” and suggested the teacher was trying to indoctrinate students.
“We need to police the teachers bringing these ideologies that are just completely off the wall,” she said.