• Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

Parents Find Critical Race Theory Training Materials at Pennsylvania School That Refuses to Teach CRT

ByJanice K. Merrill

Jun 15, 2022

Parents at the Tredyffrin–Easttown School District (TESD) in Chester County, Pennsylvania, have been granted public access to Critical Race Theory (CRT) training materials used by the school district through an application process beleaguered right to know that was resolved in court.

The training was prepared by the California-based Pacific Educational Group (PEG). He aims to change school culture, or “transform systemic racial equity,” which he calls “the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished ability of all children, especially black children, to reach the highest levels”.

School district attorney Brian R. Elias carefully framed his characterization of critical race theory in relation to TESD in a conversation with The Epoch Times, clarifying that CRT is not part of the curriculum. .

“The school district does not teach CRT. It’s not in this program. CRT appears in third-party training materials that are used as part of the school district’s equity initiative,” Elias told The Epoch Times. “I don’t know if teachers are trained with this material. Part of the training for the equity initiative includes this term. It has nothing to do with teaching children.

Newly accessed documents include emails and training materials that frequently use the phrase “critical race theory.” One lesson, Seminar #2, is titled “Using Critical Race Theory to Transform Leadership and the District.”

By teaching “what it means to be white”, the training seems to suggest that white people do not face difficulties.

PEG explains that white people are typically Christian, with a husband as the breadwinner and a wife as the housewife subordinate to the husband. The PEG formation explains that white people believe children should have their own room and be independent. White uses “King’s English” and shows no emotion. They respect authority, always have to “do something” about a situation and define themselves by their work. When it comes to beauty, white women should be slim and blond like a Barbie doll and men can look like anything if they are rich and powerful. Whites are steak and potato, bland people.

It’s from just one of the 166 pages that parents now see.

This page from the Pacific Educational Group’s critical race theory papers describes some of the supposed traits of white people. This document was one of many used for training in the Tredyffrin–Easttown School District in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The training document does not have a similar list of characteristics for other breeds. Instead, he portrays non-white races as oppressed and disadvantaged by the persistence of racism and bigotry in mainstream culture, and he blames schools.

“Those who discriminate and those who tolerate discrimination are graduates of our schools,” teaches part of a lesson. “Public education has successfully shifted the blame for schools’ failure to meet minority needs onto the shoulders of the clients they claim to serve. They have succeeded in the perfect crime, for which they can never really be held responsible, since the reasons for school failure would be the fault of poor homes, cultural handicaps, linguistic deficiencies and disadvantaged neighborhoods. The fact that the schools are primarily designed to serve monolingual, white, middle-class and Anglo-Saxon citizens is never in question.

PEG, also known as Courageous Conversations, did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Get the documents

TESD began a partnership in 2018 with PEG “to improve policies and practices around racial equity,” the district explains on its website.

In 2020, when students were homeschooled during the pandemic, parents started seeing things they weren’t comfortable with, Rachael Kill, a mother of two elementary school students, told The Epoch Times. .

Epoch Times Photo
A page from Pacific Educational Group’s Critical Race Theory Training used in the Tredyffrin–Easttown School District in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

“There was a group of parents, a lot of parents actually, who were asking about it at school board meetings and saying, ‘OK, this Pacific Educational Group that’s a supplier, we added that up and that looks like almost $400,000 that we spent on – and as a district – what is that?’ Because we looked at the Pacific Educational Group online, and they’re mostly aligned with critical race theory,” Kill said. “We kept being shut down and, ‘Oh, no. There’s no critical race theory. I’ve even been called a conspiracy theorist a few times and a racist a couple of times.

Kill ran for the school board around this time but was not elected.

Many parents have made right-to-know requests asking to see the material used by PEG.

Despite a year-long battle for access to taxpayer-funded material, Elias says the public has always had access to the documents.

“These documents that people refer to now have always been available for inspection,” Elias said. “It was only recently made available for reproduction by the holder of the materials. These materials were available for inspection at any time and are only recently made available for reproduction.

But TESD contradicts that claim in a Q&A explainer on its own website as recently as June 14, 2022, which tells the public about its racial equity initiative.

Question: “Can I see a copy of the material used by PEG in these professional development training sessions?”

Answer: “No. Like many training programs for teachers and other professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and entrepreneurs, the materials developed by PEG to facilitate these professional training sessions are proprietary and are not meant to be released publicly by the district or by anyone involved in vocational training. improvement sessions.

Epoch Times Photo
The Tredyffrin–Easttown School District attorney said the Pacific Educational Group’s critical race theory training has always been available for inspection, but this document on the district’s website says the public cannot see “a copy” of the material and does not invite the public to view the original documents.

Wally Zimolong, a Delaware county attorney, told The Epoch Times, “The school district actually nodded and said, ‘Well, we can’t stop you from seeing these documents, but we can stop you from seeing them. copy and photograph or transcribe them. in any way or by having physical copies.’ »

Zimolong is co-counsel with Nicholas Barry, an attorney at America First Legal, a nonprofit legal services organization interested in constitutional issues.

It became a constitutional issue when parent Ben Auslander went to see the documents at school and was placed in a room with two school district officials.

Zimolong said, “He started taking voice memos of what he was watching, and the school district had a complete meltdown and started making all kinds of threats to him and said, ‘You’re violating the law on the copyright, you can’t do this. If you continue to do this, we will stop this review and escort you out of the building.

“My client would not be influenced. And he continued to record the sound of his own voice, his mental impressions on the documents. Keep in mind that he was not taking pictures of these documents, even though he had the right to do so under the First Amendment. They just didn’t want him recording even his verbal thoughts about what he was watching.

District officials called the school’s attorney, threatened to call the police, and told Auslander to leave.

“You can’t stop someone from simply expressing their own thoughts in words. He didn’t disturb the school in any way. He was simply recording in his phone what he was watching. They didn’t like it,” Zimolong said. “Because they knew these documents [were] really embarrassing for them. They knew the documents would show they had lied to parents for over a year, saying they weren’t teaching critical race theory.

Zimolong and America First Legal sued for copies of the documents, which the district argued it could not share due to copyright rules. The First Amendment issue has yet to be resolved.

“This is active litigation. The school district does not believe it infringed on Mr. Auslander’s First Amendment rights, and they will defend themselves on that basis,” Elias said.

Undesirable lessons

Zimolong says CRT has little to do with race.

“It’s just a repackaged Marxist theory. And critical race theorists have been very clever in their approach. They use diversity, equity and inclusion as a vehicle to introduce Marxist theory, because most people agree. I agree with diversity. I agree with the inclusion. These are principles most Americans agree with,” he said. “But when you look at what they teach, it’s just Marxist teaching.”

For example, he said, property should be redistributed because of racism. He is a tenant of the CRT and of Marxism.

Kill says the formation is taking the company in the wrong direction.

“He talks about discussing whiteness and dividing people up based on the color of their skin before we know anything about them, which as a parent terrifies me,” he said. she declared. “I think it’s a huge step backwards in our society, it really wasn’t racist to begin with.”

Beth Brelje

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Beth Brelje is an investigative reporter covering Pennsylvania politics, the courts, and the Commonwealth’s most interesting and sometimes hidden news. Send her your story ideas: [email protected]