After a parent learned that her child was given a “White Savior” assignment in class, they filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request using the key words, “Ethnic Studies.” Initially, the Tustin Unified School District in California had denied teaching critical race theory (CRT), claiming that the “White Savior” assignment hadn’t been approved and was taught by a substitute teacher. However, after reading through the results of the FOIA, parents found that this was untrue.
On June 8, 2021, The Epoch Times reported:
In a March 31 email from TUSD Superintendent Gregory Franklin to assistant superintendent Christine Matos, Franklin is shown approving the “white savior assignment.”
“I took a look at the white savior assignment,” Franklin said in the correspondence. “I think it’s a good assignment in the ethnic studies course … not so sure about a high school English course.”
In an English honors class at Foothill High School in Tustin, a substitute teacher gave students a “white savior assignment,” tasking teens with writing about a “white savior complex” in reference to the book To Kill a Mockingbird, parent Syndie Ly told The Epoch Times.Tustin School Board Emails Ignite Critical Race Theory Concerns, The Epoch Times
This email wasn’t the only internal communication that enraged parents. The following email (which ends with “(I) am about to draw some boundaries.”) instigated the creation of the parent group “Energetic Parents”.
Although the district has said it does not CRT, parents found an email of a board member attempting to soften language to prevent scrutiny from the “opposing parent group”.