Springfield Public Schools in Missouri required staff to participate in a district wide training in the fall of 2021. The school district boasts an Office of Equity and Diversity that employs five people. The 43 slides including in the training reveal activities that compel staff members to talk about their feelings after watching a video of the killing of George Floyd and their thoughts about the words “oppression, systemic racism or white supremacy. They are taught which terms are acceptable, preferred and not acceptable when referring to racial/ethnic groups. “Caucasian” is in the “not acceptable” category. “Lynchng” is listed under ‘Current Social Issues Terminology.”
There is a message to Staff:
…at every level must be willing to be
uncomfortable in their struggle for black
students, recognizing students’ power and
feeding it by honoring their many contributions
to our schools.
And a message to teachers:
…need to insist on using their own power to
consistently reveal and examine their practice,
and seek input from black stakeholders; they
must invite black parents to the table, listen to
their concerns and ideas, and act on them
There are also specific messages included for principals, district-level administrators and school board members on slides 35, 36 and 37.
Staff is also required to do an “antiracist solo write” about their thoughts and commitments to the “anti-racist statement.”
The entire slide deck of the training is below:
Note: The Attorney General of Missouri recently filed a lawsuit against Springfield Public Schools, alleging the district had violated the Sunshine Law in responding to his office’s request for “records relating to critical race theory and anti-racist teaching.” Read story here.