Tumwater required teachers to take course on ‘privilege’ and color in a ‘Privilege Pie’


A teacher who wishes to remain anonymous reached out to Parents Defending Education through a friend to share her experience during a required course on privilege.

One of the exercises was called The Privilege Pie. Participants had to color in the sections that applied to them. Being a woman is not considered a privilege; only a cisgender male, according to this activity, is “privileged.” Same for white, Christian, US born and heterosexual.

Below is a quote from the teacher:

“The school district hired a lady as a consultant to train some teachers and then those teachers provided the training to us during our early release time. I was so upset because we have so much to do and I would really prefer to use that time to design effective instruction or communicate with families. Instead, I’m sitting there for 2 hours learning about how I am privileged because of my skin color and about micro-aggressions. Part of the training was a pie chart —the more we colored in, the more privileged we were. The less color you had on the pie chart, the less privileged you were. We were asked to examine our privilege.

Because everyone was terrified to contribute to the discussion we were supposed to be having, lest we offend someone with one of the many micro-aggressions we had just learned about, the room was awkwardly silent for most of the time. The thing is, we started with these norms about respect of others’ views, etc., but we all knew darn well that if anyone like me shared their views on it, we would be shunned.”

Interestingly, Tumwater comes up right away in a Google search for “Privilege Pie” as part of a presentation at Tumwater High School. Below are a few slides from that presentation—note that the first slide says, “We’re White. We’re Interested. How do we get started?”