Elementary School Antiracist Lesson Taught Kids Not To Be ‘Colorblind’

Slides from an elementary school's antiracist curriculum depict how young children were instructed not to be colorblind when it comes to race.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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antiracist curriculum

There has been a big push in recent times to rid schools of so-called antiracist curriculums that some parents claim aren’t actually teaching kids the harms of racism, but instead dividing them and making them view the world by the color of skin. Even more, some feel that this rhetoric is, in fact, doing quite the opposite, and making children judge others by their race. The most recent target of this contentious style of teaching comes from Fox News, which shared information from an Oregon elementary school’s antiracist curriculum, that allegedly persuaded kids not to look at the world in a “color blind” sense. 

According to the report, Errol Hassell Elementary school in Beaverton, Oregon taught a 21-day-long antiracist curriculum to students to kick off the 2022 year this past January. The conservative news outlet, which obtained copies of slides alleged to be used in part of this training, claims that students were told they should not be color blind to the race of their classmates. Furthermore, the curriculum was said to have instructed students to describe their race, and also that it taught them about microaggressions and systemic racism. 

The first slide shared from the antiracist curriculum defines microaggressions as the “every day”, not necessarily obvious unintentional ways someone can assert bias towards another person. It goes on to give examples, such as body language and certain comments. Likewise, the slide has a section where students are asked to define racism, along with answering why being color blind is not a good choice when it comes to race. It also asks them to share a word that describes the color of their skin with classmates. 

On a separate slide designed for educator use only, teachers were informed on how the district would strive to work to prevent and stop racist behaviors among students and staff when identified. Fox reported that teachers were instructed in this antiracist curriculum to identify children that questioned the validity of these assignments and “write them down” for staff to address. However, nowhere in the presented information did any of the attained info depict that this was occurring, and it remains hearsay.

One parent whose child was attending the school and forced to take part in this antiracist curriculum spoke to Fox News Digital about his concerns on the assignments. The father claims that after he instructed the school not to impose these lessons on his daughter, she was forced to sit in the hall outside the classroom each morning by herself while the lessons were being taught. He says that the school did this without his consent.

The allegations against this antiracist curriculum being taught to young children inside an Oregon elementary school mirror the sentiments of those opposed to the teaching of critical race theory. Some parents feel that it is being used to make certain children feel guilty about the color of their skin. They feel that it is a divisive concept that only serves to pit students against each other. 

But for supporters of these efforts, it serves as a means to abolish racism and make up for decades of bias towards non-white races, especially black students and their treatment. Antiracist curriculums have been used inside schools for decades, but as more and more parents question their validity, reports like this one continue to expose what they feel is a dangerous and contentious topic in schools. Unfortunately, this battle is likely to rage on in schools for years to come, as the country remains divided on whether or not these types of lessons are useful, or only furthering the divide.