Poway Unified School District provides discipline training for staff that includes quizzes about swastikas and “Comparing Blacks to Monkeys”


Parents Defending Education received documents from a public records request submitted to the Poway Unified School District that contain training provided to staff. These documents contain questionable content, such as a presentation titled “2022-2023 PUSD Discipline Training” for “Veteran Administrators.” This presentation is about “Restorative Justice” which often focuses on determining the discipline of students by their identity characteristics, such as race and ethnicity. The idea of “Restorative Justice” also often involves not punishing students for violently breaking rules.

The presentation promotes a “Restorative Response Team” in an effort “to address incidents of bias on our school campuses.” The district is looking for team members who can address “sensitive topics regarding race/identity.” The presentation has a chart that had people fill out if they are “comfortable” discussing issues of “Anti-Blackness,” “Anti-Hispanic/Latinx,” and “Anti-LGBTQ+.”

The presentation also promotes the Anti-Defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” campaign. In a document for the “No Place for Hate” project, the ADL states that “although learning how to demonstrate kindness is an important part of a child’s psychological and social development, ADL highly encourages schools to move beyond kindness to social justice.” One section of the document is titled “Let’s Get It Right: Using Correct Pronouns and Names.” In this section, the document encourages teachers to use the preferred pronouns of students:

From an early age, many were taught that pronouns should follow specific rules along the gender binary: ‘she, her and hers’ for girls and women and ‘he, him and his’ for boys and men. However, as our society has progressed in understanding gender identity, our language must also be updated. It should be accurate and convey understanding and respect for all people, especially for those who are transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary.

The document then encourages teachers to implement “LGBTQ” topics into classroom discussions:

Using the lesson below, lead a discussion about the ways in which LGBTQ people, events and issues have been less visible or made invisible in mainstream accounts of history. Explore the impact of invisibility on people and how different groups have been historically marginalized in society. Then, engage students in a discussion about people who may feel invisible in their school. Be sure to focus on general identity characteristics (e.g., sexual orientation, immigration status, gender identity, etc.) rather than specific individuals. Based on this discussion, ask students to sign up to be interviewed if they feel like an aspect of their identity needs more visibility.

The “No Place for Hate” document also features a “Pyramid of Hate.” The ADL uses the document to explain that “while every biased attitude or act does not lead to genocide, each genocide has been built on the acceptance of attitudes and actions described at the lower levels of the Pyramid.” The pyramid intends to show that actions such as using “non-inclusive language” and committing “microaggressions” will possibly lead to “the act or intent to deliberately and systematically annihilate an entire people.”

The training also includes several quizzes:

These quizzes were often accompanied by their own presentations.