ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. — A soon-to-be Sophomore at Penn High School slammed the district’s Critical Race Theory teachings in emotional first-hand testimony at the School Board’s monthly meeting last week.
“Although people have tried to assure you that the SEL (Social Emotional Learning) curriculum is only teaching positive ideas of inclusiveness, I have experienced first-hand how presenting quotes and ideas from critical race theorists like Robin DiAngelo and Ibrim Kendi can damage students in our school.” The student, who REAL News Michiana will not name due to her age, stated during public comment.
The student began to explain how a discussion in a classroom about race turned into an attack against her for not being “anti-racist.” As part of the class-wide conversation, she explained she had only experienced one act of actual racism while at Penn High School, where a boy had said something overtly racist to her and she walked away rather than confront him.
“To this teacher I was now a part of the problem.” She said. “I was the one to blame because I had not been anti-racist.” The girl, who is a minority herself, said.
“(Ibram) Kendi’s beliefs so clearly stuck out to me as my teacher decided it was right to yell at me until I broke down in tears in front of all of my peers. (To this teacher) I had not confronted the situation head-on. I had not been explicitly anti-racist. And, so by default, I was the racist.” She explained.
“He openly stated that it was my fault that this person was and would continue to be racist and that I was the problem.” She continued.
According to the student, the teacher used more of the CRT teachings to apologize.
“This teacher apologized for his actions by stating that he would never understand how I felt due to my race and sex because quote ‘Society will always treat you like you are way down here (as he put his hands near the floor).'”
“My life is not hard because of my race or sex.” She said through tears.
The student went on to explain how CRT and its teachings are detrimental to all children, in particular people of color and mixed-race children like herself.
“For mixed race, half white children, like me… they could be feeling like their parent is looking down on them, their siblings and their other parent. I couldn’t ever imagine feeling like my dad doesn’t love me because of my mother’s race.” She continued.
You can see the full video of her statement below. RNM has blurred the video to protect her identity.
All of this comes at the same time PHM superintendent Jerry Thacker assured parents and staff that CRT is not being taught in the district. Parents slammed Thacker’s statement in an open letter last week. You can read all about that here.
Meanwhile, the education reporter for the South Bend Tribune, Carley Lanich, ignored the first-hand CRT encounter testimony. Instead, the article seems to dismiss parent and student concerns while bolstering the views of CRT supporters. You can read her full article here.