On December 13, 2021, Steeple Run Elementary School published a weekly newsletter announcing “Implicit Bias Training” that will take place in January 2022. The weekly newsletter stated that implicit bias is “defined as a bias that results from the tendency to process information based on unconscious associations and feelings, even when these are contrary to one’s conscious or declared beliefs.” However, implicit bias as a theory has been widely debunked.
Steeple Run Elementary School belongs to Naperville Community Unit School District 203. The school district recently introduced a “5 Pillars of Success” video series to “ensure that our community and staff have a clear and accurate understanding” of the district’s equity plan. The goals of the video series include creating a “courageous equity centered staff” and implementing “equity centered schools and classroom practices.”
The school district’s website also features presentations titled “Courageous Conversations about Race” and “Understanding Implicit Bias.” In the implicit bias presentation, the school district claims that “everyone carries biases” and also provides perceived examples of implicit biases in the media. The presentation on race asks adults if they speak to their children about racial slurs and asks if their families ever talk about racism.
The school district provides “Anti-Racism Resources” for parents in an effort to help them teach their children about current events. The website states that “conversations about racism and discrimination are vital for all parents to have with their children.” Resources offered to parents include a video called “A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory” and another video called “Let’s Talk about Race.” In the “Let’s Talk about Race” video, the creator of the video said that “racism has happened in the United States for over 400 years,” despite America not existing for that long.
The school district also provides resources to “Immigrant and Undocumented Students and Families” with several links to websites that appear to help undocumented people avoid law enforcement. One resource titled “Family Support Network and Hotline” states that it intends to empower “our immigrant communities to fight back against any deportation force.”
The school district provides “LGBTQ+ Resources” on the same page with a link to a document titled “The Parent’s Guide to Your Transgender Child.” The document states that children who come out as transgender are not “following a trend” and praises parents for raising a child who “worked up the courage” to come out as transgender. Another document offered as a resource is titled “Gender Spectrum Resource Guide.” This document has a page dedicated to “youth” that offers resources for transgender children.
On June 25, 2020, the school district adopted a “Resolution Reaffirming Naperville 203’s Commitment to Equity for all Students Overcoming Systemic Racism and Ending Racial Injustice.” The resolution states that the school district will use “our voices as representatives of the community proactively to speak out against acts of racial and social injustice as we recognize that it is not enough to support justice, we must be against injustice.” The school district also published a video praising the resolution and showing students supporting “Black Lives Matter.”
On October 21, 2021, the school district announced in a video that students will take a Panorama survey responding to questions about cultural awareness, along with diversity and inclusion. Panorama Education Inc. is a well-known firm that embraces ideologies inspired by Critical Race Theory that works with thousands of schools throughout the country.