Hundreds of teachers in the San Diego Unified School district attended “white privilege” training in which they were told, “you are racist” and were asked to commit to becoming “anti-racist” in the classroom, The New York Post reported.
The white privilege re-education sessions began with instructors telling the teachers they will experience “guilt, anger, apathy and closed-mindedness” due to their “white fragility”, according to leaked training documents obtained by journalist Christopher F. Rufo of City Journal.
According to the report written by Rufo, the training was “mandatory” for all teachers within the San Diego Unified School District. The training involved teachers being taught about “land acknowledgment” and to accept that the US was established on stolen Native American land.
They were also instructed on the teachings of “White Fragility” author Robin DiAngelo and “Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection and Action” by author Ibram X. Kend, and required to watch clips of the two authors, followed by trainers reportedly telling the group, “you are racist” and “upholding racist ideas, structures, and policies.”
Participants were asked to commit to developing “anti racist” practices in the classroom as well as “confront and examine [their] white privilege” and “teach others to see their privilege,” according to the report.
The school district said so far hundreds of teachers chose to attend the professional development session, which was based on the teachings from author Anneliese A. Singh’s “Racial Healing Handbook.”
“We are a majority-minority district with a majority white teacher workforce. The ability to hold honest conversations about race with grace is important, which is why we offered the training and why so many teachers elected to enroll,” a district spokeswoman said in a statement.
“Our students benefit from being able to talk about race and other difficult issues, regardless of their background. Most of all, we believe every open and sincere conversation about race — no matter how it begins — provides an opportunity to learn from one another, for hearts to open, and for minds to grow,” the spokeswoman said.
The training sessions come after the district vowed to become “anti-racist” amid nationwide protests against racial injustice, which began in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Earlier this year, the school district underwent a major overhaul to its grading system in an effort to combat “racial discrimination” by eliminating non-academic factors like late work and classroom behavior in a student’s grade, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“This is part of our honest reckoning as a school district,” said Richard Barrera, who is the district’s vice president, NBC San Diego reported.
“If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years.”