A concerned community member reached out to Parents Defending Education regarding Rock Creek Elementary School in Oregon sending parents a letter promoting affinity groups. Affinity groups are groups of people segregated by their characteristics, such as race and ethnicity. The letter was titled “Optional 4th & 5th Grade After School Affinity Clubs!” The letter is from a school counselor at Rock Creek Elementary School and specifically mentions a “BIPOC affinity space for students who identify as BIPOC and/or multiracial” and a “white learning space affinity group for our white-identifying students.” The counselor explains in the letter:
The affinity groups offer safe and brave spaces for conversation and collaboration around student identities so that students can come back together to form even stronger relationships based on trust and support. With this model, our BIPOC-identifying students have a safe space to share common experiences and celebrate their differences, while allowing our white students to ask questions, learn, and make mistakes without harming their peers.
The first meeting is scheduled for October 2, 2023. The Beaverton School District has a video published online of the elementary school’s BIPOC affinity group.