New Trier paid second “white privilege” consultant $109K to train its teachers
New Trier High School District 203 has paid $108,583 in consulting fees to second group dedicated to spreading a philosophy of “white privilege” to U.S. high school teachers, according to a North Cook News analysis of district financial records.
The analysis uncovered 39 payments between Dec. 2011 and Feb. 2016 to Massachusetts-based SEED, or Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity, which states its mission is to train teachers to acknowledge white “oppression, power, and privilege.”
The payments, many of which were coded in district finance reports as “grounds supplies” and grouped with building maintenance and landscaping items, not other professional development expenses, like those to New Trier made to the Pacific Educational Group, which similarly instructs teachers on why whites are to blame for any underperformance in school by black students.
Dan Cohen, an English teacher at Oak Park-River Forest H.S., which also retains SEED, said that his “anger and frustration (once) erupted.. at racist systems and institutions” that failed to, he believed, adequately hold white police responsible for crimes committed by blacks.
But thanks to his SEED training, Cohen quickly realized he should really be angry with himself.
“I quickly stopped and reminded myself that I, as a white male, am part of those (racist) structures, he wrote. “Therefore if I want justice and I want to dismantle those systems, I need to start with myself and do my own work and interrupt the racist default patterns that live inside me.”
In a similar analysis of financial reports from Township High School District 113, which includes Highland Park H.S. and Deerfield H.S., North Cook News found seven payments totaling $14,205 to SEED, dating back to the 2014-15 school year.
New Trier’s “Equity Team,” formed by Superintendent Linda Yonke and led by Assistant Superintendent Tim Hayes and Special Education Teacher Pat Savage-Williams, is responsible for promoting and organizing mandatory teacher training through SEED, often in catered sessions at the school.
New Trier made an additional $4,492 in payments to caterers supplying food and drinks at SEED seminars, records show.
Hayes and Savage-Williams, who also serves as president of the Evanston Township High School Board, are New Trier’s SEED “co-facilitators.”
SEED’s founder, Wellesley College Women’s Studies Professor Peggy McIntosh, is a leading promoter of “white privilege” and “male privilege” who contends that white males receive “an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.”
“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group” McIntosh writes.
New Trier District 203 Payments to SEED
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