Landmark lawsuit challenges race-based programming in schools
The battleground for the future of the American republic is found in our public schools. K-12 schools across our country have replaced traditional education with race-based programs in the name of “fairness.” What may have gone unnoticed by parents is now exposed as an authorization to punish students as young as 4 years old based on their skin color.
Public schools are an arm of government. The control of this power is in the courtroom. It is a well established law that in America the government cannot discriminate against people because of the color of their skin. This is what we call equality, and it is enshrined in the 14th Amendment to our Constitution and our civil rights laws.
Recognizing this, a courageous drama teacher from Evanston, Ill., Represented by the Southeastern Legal Foundation, recently filed a landmark lawsuit in federal court to prevent Evanston / Skokie School District 65 from discriminating against everyone. its teachers and all its students on the basis of race through illegal and unconstitutional teacher training, curriculum and general policies.
The trial became necessary after the Biden administration withdrew, without any explanation or legal justification, a January 2021 finding by the US Department of Education that the policies and procedures of District 65 violated Title VI of the Education Act. civil rights of 1964.
Since 2017, District 65 has openly declared its commitment “to focus on race as one of the first visible indicators of identity”. In practice, the district requires that almost all policies, teacher training sessions and lesson plans focus on racial identity.
The district required its teachers to undergo mandatory “anti-racist” training that included segregating teachers into racially-exclusive affinity groups. The district also required teachers to participate in mandatory privileged walks. At the end of the exercise, the facilitator asks all white people to come forward and concludes: “What you see is white privilege and the color line. ”
District 65 then turned to its students. He divided them into racially exclusive affinity groups, forced students to participate in privileged walks, and administered racial polls with prompts such as, “The teachers at Nichols Middle School think you are less intelligent than you are. not really because of your race / ethnicity. The district’s Kindergarten to Grade 8 curriculum also includes books that reinforce discriminatory messages, such as “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness” and includes an anti-racist pledge.
By vowing to define its teachers and students solely by their skin color, District 65 promotes and reinforces a view of racial essentialism that divides Americans into groups based solely on their skin color. District 65 teaches its teachers and students that their whole identity comes from the color of their skin. This perpetuates stereotypes that divide teachers and children against each other based on the color of their skin.
District 65 practices distance its teachers and students from truth and reconciliation. Instead, the practices divide them into two worlds: the oppressors and the oppressed. They teach them that their whole identity comes from the color of their skin. They teach them to discriminate against each other. They not only teach them How? ‘Or’ What be racist, but they should be racist. And the district does this by treating people differently because of their race. This is illegal, false and must be stopped.
The Supreme Court of the United States has stated: “Classifications of citizens on the basis of race alone are, by their very nature, odious to a free people whose institutions are founded on the doctrine of equality. They threaten to stigmatize individuals because of their membership of a racial group and to incite racial hostility.
Practices, policies and procedures like those in District 65 are simply not permitted under the Constitution or federal law. The Constitution demands equality for all individuals without racial preference. Equal protection is a principle bought at the cost of immeasurable human suffering. District 65 sacrificed equality on the altar of fairness, in violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Unfortunately, the facts of the District 65 lawsuit are not unique. Fortunately, parents and teachers across our country have had enough.
As parents and teachers speak out at school board meetings and state lawmakers abide by their oath to the Constitution, strategic lawsuits like the one brought by the Southeastern Legal Foundation against District 65 must be taken to prevent the school districts to implement practices that turn the idea of ”fairness” into a license to punish Americans because of their skin color.
Kimberly Hermann is General Counsel for the Southeastern Legal Foundation, a national constitutional public interest law firm and political center committed to promoting individual freedom, the rule of law and accountability in government.