A middle school drama teacher in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against her school district, alleging that it is violating anti-discrimination laws and the U.S. Constitution through its curriculum that pits “different racial groups against each other” in the name of “anti-racism.”
Teacher Stacy Deemar, in her lawsuit (pdf) filed in federal court on June 29, alleges that since 2017, teachers in Evanston-Skokie district (District 65) have been made to under go so-called “antiracist training,” and continue to do so.
Deemar is being represented by the Southeastern Legal Foundation.
Among a number of objectives in the training, teachers are stereotyped by trainers and divided according to their race, the complaint says. Teachers are required as part of the training to accept that white individuals are “loud, authoritative … controlling” and to hold the view that “to be less white is to be less racially oppressive,” according to the lawsuit. It added that teachers were taught to modify their viewpoint to fit the theory that “White identity is inherently racist” and to denounce “white privilege.”
If teachers oppose, question, or “disengage” from the views promoted in the training, the district “blatantly calls them ‘racist,’” the lawsuit alleges.
Students in the district, meanwhile, are then taught these concepts by their teachers who are mandated according to the curriculum for Pre-K through eighth grade to impose the race-based worldview on their students, the lawsuit added. As a result, students are expected to gather by race in “affinity groups,” and to participate in “privilege walks” based on their skin color. They are also given books depicting “whiteness” as a devil that “mess[es] endlessly” with “all fellow humans of color.”
The children were also taught “whiteness is a bad deal,” white people send “overt and subliminal messages” that they are “superior” and black people are “bad, ugly, and inferior,” and that pretending not to see skin color “helps racism,” according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges these practices violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection guarantee, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“Fostering racial identities, promoting the idea that they are in conflict, and perpetuating divisive stereotypes pits teachers and children against one another based on the color of their skin,” the lawsuit says. “They teach them that their whole identity comes from the color of their skin. They teach them to hate each other. They teach them not only how to be racist, but that they should be racist.”
The Evanston School District didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.
On its website, the district says that it has “persistent and unacceptable opportunity and achievement gaps for students of color.”
“The racial predictability of achievement and disciplinary outcomes is attributable to institutional racism, cultural biases and other societal factors,” it says. “The district recognizes that in order to provide educational opportunities that result in equitable outcomes, particularly for Black/Brown students, that it must proactively acknowledge and intentionally address racial and cultural biases, in an effort to eliminate institutional structures and practices that affect student learning and achievement.”
The lawsuit come as efforts to incorporate elements of the quasi-Marxist Critical Race Theory (CRT) into American classrooms face intense pushback from moderates and conservatives. States that have banned or restricted the teaching of CRT in public schools include Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas, while more than a dozen states are considering or have partially imposed similar restrictions.
The CRT is rooted in the Marxist theory of class struggle but with a particular focus on race. Proponents of CRT see racism in every aspect of the American public and private life, and seek to dismantle American institutions—such as the Constitution and legal system—which they deem to be inherently and irredeemably racist.
The effort to promote CRT in K-12 education drew national attention in April when the Education Department under the Biden administration proposed a rule to prioritize funding U.S. history and civics programs that incorporate the works of critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi and the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which centers around the idea that America was founded as, and remains today, a racist nation.
The lawsuit commented that ideologies like CRT are advocating “equity” in a departure from the U.S. tradition of striving for equality as “proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence [and] defended in the Civil War,” which is about sameness and treating everyone in an identical manner regardless of their race.
“Equality strives for equal opportunity while equity strives for equal outcomes,” it said.
GQ Pan contributed to this report.