by Diane Rufino, October 21, 2019
On their second day at school at Heritage High School in Wake County, students in Ms. Wilson’s 10th grade English class were handed a worksheet titled “Diversity Inventory,” and told to complete it. That worksheet asked each student such questions as: who their friends and doctors are, who their teachers were, who are the members of their family, and who their neighbors are. These questions may seem a bit intrusive, but so far, they don’t raise any red flags. But then the worksheet asks the student to answer the following questions about each of those individuals: their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status.
Why does an English teacher need to pry into her students’ lives and why does she need this information? And even more troubling, did she plan to force each student to share that private information with other students?
Apparently, according to the teacher, it was a checklist to help this teacher literally map out how to force more social justice ‘diversity’ lessons (ie, indoctrination) into her students’ lives. As if that isn’t highly offensive enough, the questionnaire worksheet has no nexus to her teaching of English. It has no relevance and should have no relevance. How does it impact her OBLIGATION to teach students about English literature, plots, and themes.
Needless to say, some students were offended and confused by the assignment. When some kids showed hesitation about answering, Ms. Wilson responded: “Hey, it’s OK because I used to be a Catholic and now I’m an atheist and I’m bi-sexual.”
When has it become acceptable for a teacher to share the details of her sex life? And what possible relevance is it from an English teacher in an English class?
One parent, Dina Bartus, contacted the school’s principal to demand that her son be removed from the class. The principal did not respond, so she emailed him a second time. Only then did she hear back from him. As she explained: “It’s hard enough going to high school without having your teacher call you out and lump you into a category — and not a category like ‘do you like football or baseball?’ A category of, ‘who do you want to have sex with?’ She told the principal that the teachers’ worksheet, and the questions it asked, was it was unacceptable.
On Facebook, Bartus posted her disgust: “Now it gets better…. not only does she ask these questions, but she asks them stand under posters around the room representing the categories of questions she asks. For example: What makes you the most privileged? Needless to say there was an email sent. And it is only the second damn day of school.”
Luckily, and to the principal’s credit, as soon as Mrs. Bartus complained, he immediately reviewed the assignment and directed the teacher to discontinue it. The Wake County School System followed up by issuing a statement, which read: “While we value efforts to build a classroom community that is inclusive and respectful of all students and backgrounds, the Wake County Public School System also respects and values student privacy and their right to engage in discussion about personal identity when they are comfortable to do so.”
The response was dead on.
For those who believe the public school system has become the vehicle not of true education but of indoctrination by government and of social change, consider this reality. Wake County Public Schools created the Office of Equity Affairs (OEA) a few years ago to help guide the mission of Wake County’s public schools. A presentation by the OEA (accessible here: https://www.scribd.com/document/415005224/2019-06-05-NCSBE-06052019-WCPSS-OEA-Overview-v2) made clear that educators “will be the instruments for the infusion of raced-based and social justice training into schools and classrooms.” The presentation further states, and clearly so, that “Educators will work to socialize intelligence and effort among all students in every school, every classroom, every day…. Leaders will model and advance courageous conversations about special education status, family income, and race, and how these attributes shape teaching and learning experiences in schools and classrooms.”
Even more offensively, Wake County has promoted “professional development” training modules, which have been prepared by and are available on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website – under “Social Justice Standards.” The OEA has actively promoted the use of these “standards” in the classroom, directly frustrating parents’ legitimate expectations of teachers and of rightful expectations related to the rightful role of the public school (to educate and not to indoctrinate).
**** The clarifier “Bi-Sexual” was included in the title not to indicate any discrimination or mal intent against such individuals but only to suggest that someone who benefits so greatly from a very progressive social agenda (as the left and as the Southern Poverty Law Center pushes) may have had a reason for pushing the “Diversity Inventory” assignment and pushing a social agenda in her classroom – a classroom historically devoted to reading, analyzing, and appreciating outstanding works of English literature, studying plots and characters, looking for themes, tying the work into the time period, etc and NOT devoted to social change and government indoctrination.
Reference: Thanks to Lady Liberty (A.P. Dillon) for addressing the Office of Equity Affairs (OEA) in her article “Diversity Inventory Worksheet Given to Heritage High Students Yanked After Parents’ Pushback,” August 29, 2019. Referenced at: https://ladyliberty1885.com/2019/08/29/diversity-inventory-worksheet-given-to-heritage-high-students-yanked-after-parents-push-back/