A high school English teacher recently tendered her resignation on Tuesday in protest of the school’s use of critical race theory to indoctrinate its students. She contended that the curriculum and work environment created by the leadership’s fixation on race have been abysmal, and now she is speaking out.
Dana Stangel-Plowe submitted her resignation letter to the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR), an organization “dedicated to advancing civil rights and liberties for all Americans and promoting a common culture based on fairness, understanding and humanity,” according to its website. She criticized the Dwight-Englewood School for segregating light-skinned teachers and threatening to fire and replace them with minority staff members.
“I believe that D-E is failing our students. Over the past few years, the school has embraced an ideology that is damaging to our students’ intellectual and emotional growth and destroying any chance at creating a true community among our diverse population,” Plowe wrote.
The former educator described how students are conditioned to view each lesson or topic through the critical race theory lens of oppressor and oppressed, even when those factors are not relevant to the topic at hand. She wrote:
“I teach students who approach texts in search of the oppressor. I teach students who see inequities in texts that have nothing to do with power. Students have internalized the message that this is the way we read and think about the world, and as a result, they fixate on power and group identity. This fixation has stunted their ability to observe and engage with the full fabric of human experience in our literature.”
The former teacher also filmed a video in which she reciting the full content of the letter.
In the letter, she argued that “this theory of power hierarchies is only one way of seeing the world, and yet it pervades D-E as the singular way of seeing the world.”
As a result, students arrive in my classroom accepting this theory as fact: People born with less melanin in their skin are oppressors, and people born with more melanin in their skin are oppressed. Men are oppressors, women are oppressed, and so on. This is the dominant and divisive ideology that is guiding our adolescent students.
Plowe noted that not all students agreed with the ideas being taught, but remained silent or pretended to go along with it for fear of being ostracized. “Many pretend to agree because of pressure to conform. I’ve heard from students who want to ask a question but stop for fear of offending someone. I have heard from students who don’t participate in discussions for fear of being ostracized,” she recalled. “One student did not want to develop her personal essay — about an experience she had in another country — for fear that it might mean that she was, without even realizing it, racist.”
But it wasn’t just the students who were pressured to conform; teachers were also coerced into accepting and teaching the Marxist ideology. “On at least two separate occasions in 2017 and 2018, our Head of School, standing at the front of Hajjar Auditorium, told the entire faculty that he would fire us all if he could so that he could replace us all with people of color,” Plowe wrote.
The former teacher also recounted a faculty meeting in which “teachers were segregated by skin color.” She explained that “Teachers who had light skin were placed into a ‘white caucus’ group and asked to ‘remember’ that we are ‘White’ and ‘to take responsibility for [our] power and privilege.’”
It is clear that educators are not allowed to question or oppose the focus on critical race theory and its application in the classroom.
Critical race theory recently became the subject of controversy after it was revealed that many schools across the nation are using it to push their usual “white people are racist” orthodoxy to America’s children. While many educators are simply using it to teach history, others are engaging in full-blown indoctrination designed to cast whites as racist oppressors and minorities as helpless victims.
Several states are pushing to ban the teaching of this theory in public schools. However, this does raise a critical question: Is the banning of critical race theory the victory we think it is?
Those who espouse critical race theory are claiming that this is the way to address racial wealth, education, and income disparities between minorities and whites. They believe their methodology is a solution to the racial gap problem. But on the right, these are issues that are typically ignored, meaning that the left is the only ones talking about it. The way to defeat bad ideas is by offering better ones – and no, ignoring a problem is not a better idea.
If conservatives truly wish to defeat this ideology, they must do more than just advocate for bans; they have to offer competing conservative solutions to address the racial problems that are still present in the nation. Otherwise, the hard left will simply continue persuading more Americans that their way is the best and those bans will be easily overturned.