‘Psychologically Abusive’: Some Back-to-School Programs Dividing Students by ‘Gender, Culture, and Identity’

by Reagan Reece


A back-to-school curriculum focused on social-emotional learning (SEL) lays the foundation for Critical Race Theory (CRT) by dividing children through the creation of identity charts, “getting to know you” questionnaires and classroom contracts, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A curriculum created by Facing History and Ourselves, a group that partners with more than 100,000 teachers to provide education resources to combat “racism, antisemitism and prejudice at pivotal moments in history,” has a five day back-to-school lesson plan that teaches kids about gender, culture and identity. The curriculum is based in SEL, which focuses on teaching students social skills for their emotional well-being but has been criticized for laying the groundwork for CRT in the classroom, as similar lesson plans based in SEL are growing in popularity across the country, experts told the DCNF.

“Separating children by their group identities and having them judge others or self-judge because of their group identity is psychologically abusive, not to mention despicable, in a modern society,” Wai Wah Chin, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told the DCNF. “Promoting SEL in schools puts powerful control and assessment tools into the hands of educators. Educators are failing in their job to educate academics, but want instead to divert from their failures to matters of mind control and manipulation.”

The curriculum suggests students read a passage called “Orientation Day,” a story about Jennifer Wang, a 17-year-old Chinese American girl, who struggles to do a “get to know you” activity. Wang wonders how to tell her classmates, “I am a girl who wandered the aisles of Toys ‘R’ Us for two hours, hunting in vain for a doll with a yellowish skin tone.”

Students are asked to think about their “individual identities” and write down how the way they view themselves differs from the way others see them, the curriculum states. The students must think of what factors have forced them to have these identities as a part of the lesson plan.

Educators are advised to create a “classroom contract” that “empowers” students to “wrestle” with “multiple perspectives,” the curriculum stated. The contracts should include “logical consequences” for those who don’t foster a proper “classroom community.”

“The purpose of this exercise is none other than to program kids to internalize information through an ideological and racial lens rather than to understand the historical context of the facts,” Dr. Elana Fishbein, president of No Left Turn In Education, told the DCNF. “Instead, the teacher should guarantee objectivity, pledge to keep politics out of the classroom, and promise to let all perspectives be heard, without a threat of intimidation or retaliation.”

The curriculum in total is 230 minutes devoted to “establishing classroom norms and an inclusive environment.” By day five, students have inspected their identity and become bound to a contract to keep them accepting and inclusive throughout the school year.

“Classes may commence with ‘get to know you’ questions and exercises about kids’ gender, culture and identity so that kids can ‘share their stories” to ‘feel safer’ and ‘build trust’ on the very shaky premise that culture, gender, and identities inform learning styles,” Nicole Solas, senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, told the DCNF. “But children should not have to talk about their gender or ‘share their stories’ just to learn algebra.”

Educators and schools are implementing curriculums like these for the beginning of the year, which is when parents need to be the most weary of these introduction lessons, Chin told the DCNF.

“The schools starting CRT and SEL indoctrination early set up the controls for the year,” Chin told the DCNF. “Parents need to develop networks to be aware of what is being taught, and to develop options when the local educational offerings are destructive.”

Facing History and Ourselves did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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Reagan Reese is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Students in Class” by CDC.



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