Nichols Middle School segregates teacher staff meetings while inundating students with racial awareness programs
Children at Nichols Middle School in Evanston are being served a steady dose of racial sensitivity and equity awareness by a school administration that segregates its teachers.
Nichols Middle School Principal Adrian Harries was busted late in 2017 for having separate staff meetings for white and black teachers, a practice that one source told North Cook News is ongoing.
This spring alone the students have been subjected to a “Privilege Walk,” a lecture by a man discussing his life as a transgender Latinx man, activities aimed at “unpacking the ‘N-word'” and a policy change to curb bullying with “restorative actions” rather than discipline.
The programs fall under the Evanston/Skokie District 65’s “Commitment To Equity,” a program some parents say achieves the opposite of its stated goal.
“It’s all about shaming some kids because of their so-called white privilege,” one local parent told North Cook News. “These programs only lead to even more division.”
The Privilege Walk held May 1 for eighth-graders is “a step forward step back activity” according to an instructional guide provided for teachers by the administration. Its goal is to “discuss the complicated intersections of privileges and marginalizations in a less confrontational and more reflective way.”
Children lined up side-by-side are told to take a step back “if you or your ancestors have ever learned that because of your race, skin color, or ethnicity, you are ugly, inferior, or a threat to others.”
They are told to take a step forward “if your household employs help as caretakers, gardeners, etc.”
“When you have finished the statements,” the guide says, “ask participants to take note of where they are in the room in relation to others.”
On March 6, the administration set two hours of the school day aside for “defining hate language and discussing the impact of the use of the ‘N-word,’” according to a note sent to parents.
On April 12, the school held an 80-minute assembly with guest speaker Aaric Guerrielo, who was scheduled to talk about his “experiences as a Latinx, transgender male,” a Nichols staff email obtained by North Cook News said.
On April 4, D 65 Superintendent Paul Goren sent a note to families on changes in its anti-bullying policy: “We have taken the lead in shifting our disciplinary measures from punitive to restorative actions in an effort to build relationships, enhance school climate, and to work towards eliminating the school-to-prison pipeline,” the note said. “With the passing of SB 100 [approved 2015], the state of Illinois followed suit in requiring all school districts take a more proactive approach to student discipline by eliminating zero and limiting suspensions and expulsions.”
This, even though a “federal commission on school safety has repudiated the use of disparate-impact analysis in evaluating whether school discipline is racially biased,” wrote Heather MacDonald in a Manhattan Institute commentary, “The Lunacy of Crying ‘Racism’ Over School Suspensions.”
Training teachers to implement race awareness programs cost the taxpayers plenty. An August 2017 North Cook News story showed that awareness training for two New Trier High School teachers ran into the thousands.