Privilege Assignment Stirs Debate At Middle School

A privilege walk assignment asking students to step forwards or back based on there privilege is stirring debate from parents.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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privilege walk

Libs of TikTok, the viral sensation social media account, has been leading the fight against public schools this year. With a motto to “expose left lunacy” the user distributes information uncovering various schools across the country for their controversial practices and “woke” policies. Oftentimes, that is seen through divisive concepts, that parents feel only further segregate children in school. In one recent exposé, the account shared a picture of an alleged assignment given to middle schoolers for a privilege walk.

The obtained document was said to be taken from a classroom assignment mandated for 8th-grade students to participate in at Hendersonville Middle School in North Carolina. Officially called the Opportunity/Lack of Opportunity Walk, the assignment was said to have forced students to participate in a privilege walk. To do so, students were asked 29 different yes or no questions. Depending on the specific question and answer, they had to take a step forward or backward. 

The purpose of the privilege walk assignment was to show the students how different opportunities or disadvantages could affect their lives. Similarly, it was meant to give the children a better understanding of how a plethora of demographics such as race, socioeconomics, gender, and sexual orientation can affect those privileges. It was also touted as a team-building activity.

Some of the questions in the privilege walk required the eighth graders to step forward if they answered yes to questions about their families and college experience. Another asked them if they ever attended private school or summer camp. On race, one asked them to step forward if they often see their race represented in mainstream media. Another asked them to step forward if they felt comfortable talking about their sexual orientation. 

With the questions on disadvantages, students were required to take a step backward if they answered yes to the privilege walk survey. For these, students who were expected to be the first of their families to graduate from college had to step back. If they started school speaking a language other than English, they had to as well. Additionally, those who grew up in a single-parent home had to take a step back. Another asked them to step back if they were ever embarrassed by their clothes, family home, or car. 

Libs of Tik Tok shared that one of the student’s mothers spoke out against the privilege walk assignment on social media. She said that the assignment embarrassed her daughter and some of their friends. Furthermore, the mother has claimed that her daughter’s principal made a vagrant and rude comment to her, telling her that she needed to take more steps forward because she was white. 

This type of privilege walk has been gaining attention across media outlets, especially in recent years of civil unrest and racial tensions. The assignment is offered with perspective on the popular educational resource site, Learning For Justice, and is said to be an activity used by teachers across the nation. But not everyone agrees with the lesson. Below is a video example of a similar privilege walk that has made its way across the internet.

One such opposer to the privilege walk assignment used at the middle school is Vance McCraw. He is running this election year for the school board, and he is fighting for parents that want more transparency in their children’s education. Getting a hold of the assignment, he vowed to make sure assignments like this don’t sneak their way into curriculums, pledging to make schools focus on core curriculums. 

The privilege walk assignment signifies the growing divide felt across the nation. Many parents claim they are happy with the manner in which schools are teaching about racism and these said divisive concepts. But on the other hand, more parents and Republican lawmakers continue to claim it’s a growing concern to many. And as November elections loom, the issue is only growing more contentious.