West Linn-Wilsonville Schools emphasizes ‘importance of anti-racism’ in social studies


On June 19, 2020, West Linn-Wilsonville School Superintendent Kathy Ludwig sent parents an email on the “importance of anti-racism,” noting that the district plans to “creat[e] Social Studies units grounded in understanding racial equity and social justice.”

The school sent families a handout titled “Comprehensive Approach to Disrupting System of Racism.” The fourth entry on the chart, “Cultural Racism,” asserts that “In America, the standards of art, beauty, and other forms of culture have historically been decided by straight, white, Christian men. As a result, the dominant American culture often reflects the needs of that group while excluding or devaluing the contributions of people of color. Therefore, in America, the holidays we celebrate, the statues in our parks, the stories in our history books and other markers of culture generally honor white men to the exclusion of other groups.”

The district’s 2019-2021 Equity Action Plan notes that its focus and purpose is to “integrate strategies and structures for making inclusion, anti-racism and the acceptance of differences a key component of lesson planning” by “[u]sing Andratesha Fitzgerald’s text, ‘Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning,'” and to “[i]mplement classroom lessons (using Teaching Tolerance Anti-Bias Education Stamped, etc.) to engage in discussions about racism, social justice, diversity and equity. Ensure that updates to K-12 Social Studies and ELA curriculum are implemented into classroom lessons including Tribal History/Shared History (SB 13); Holocaust & Genocide (SB 664); and Ethnic Studies and Inclusive Education (HB 2845, HB 2023).”


Superintendent’s Message: Celebrating Juneteenth, West Linn-Wilsonville School District, June 19, 2020